Mobile First Indexing: Our Top Tips

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Mobile First Indexing Top Tips

Now that Google prioritise the indexing of mobile sites ahead of desktop versions, you need to ensure your company doesn’t suffer in the search rankings. To make sure you are ready for mobile indexing below are some of the most important things to look out for. 

Carry out an audit

The first thing to do in preparation for mobile indexing is to carry out an SEO website audit. There are a number of companies that offer this tool, which performs a crawl to compare your mobile and desktop websites. 

It will tell you if anything has changed and if there are any issues on the mobile site that need to be addressed. This will cover things such as meta tags and descriptions, structured data, hreflang tags, alt attributes on images and canonical tags – some of which we explain in more detail below. 

Other important things to look out for

Some websites may not have to do anything to prepare for mobile indexing. Google has said that if you have a responsive website, or if both the mobile and desktop versions are the same, there is a chance that things can be left as they are (assuming that you already have good rankings).

Even if your site is currently responsive, it’s a good idea to check that images and other dynamic elements are mobile optimised, and that load time and page speeds are at a good level. For companies with a separate mobile site you should check:

  • Content: Ensure text, images, videos and all key data on your desktop version is also on the mobile site, checking the formats used can be indexed.
  • Structured data mark-up: The structured data mark-up on the desktop site should also be used on the mobile version. Minimise the amount of structured data used if it isn’t relevant to the page.
  • Metadata: Include the same metadata title and description info on the mobile site – it doesn’t have to be identical, but use the same info and keywords. 
  • Hreflang: Some companies use rel=hreflang for multi-lingual sites, ensure these annotations point to the mobile version for the relevant language variation or country. Desktop tags should point to desktop versions.
  • Social metadata: Include Twitter cards, OpenGraph tags and other social metadata on the both versions of the site.
  • XML and media sitemaps: Mobile sites should link to sitemaps, which also include robots.txt and similar directives, as well as privacy policy pages.
  • Server capacity: If the mobile site is set up on a different domain, there will be an increased crawl rate so you need to check the host servers are set up to handle this. 

What should you do next?

Depending on how ready your site is for mobile indexing, you may have a lot of work to do. Even if you are mobile ready, it’s a good idea to organise a review to check you are fully optimised.

Get in touch today to find out more about our free mobile site review, which offers a complete 10-step guide so you can ensure everything is fully optimised for Google’s big changeover. 

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