Google pays great attention to changes in behaviour and seeks at all times to adapt as best as possible to new user habits. It regularly updates its search engine to better respond to user needs. The latest change is the movement to a mobile-first index, using predominantly the mobile version of your site in its indexing criteria. How can your SEO positioning be improved in this context?
Choose a suitable mobile solution
To be in phase with Google mobile-first indexing, it is essential that your site should be compatible with mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Three solutions are possible here:
- A responsive site: This technique makes it possible to adjust your site display to any screen width while conserving the same URL. Recommended by Google, this solution is generally the most optimal in terms of SEO as it avoids possible information loss.
- Dynamic serving: A method that consists of conserving the design and the original URL of your site, as in the responsive method, but uses a different code according to the type of apparatus (mobile or desktop). The aim is to lighten the source code of the mobile version.
- A dedicated mobile site (m.dot): This consists of setting up two different sites – one for mobiles and the other for computers. It requires a great deal of work (with two distinct sites to be set up, managed and optimised) and particular attention paid to possible loss of information (the mobile version is often less complete).
Optimising mobile content
The mobile version of your site should feature high-quality content optimised for SEO. Texts, images and videos are all involved. This criterion is all the more important for sites where a dedicated mobile site option (m.dot) has been chosen. Indeed, withdrawing content from your site reduces your chances of gaining good positions, especially in the long tail.
Optimising the content of your metadata (mainly title tags and meta description) is also important. It must be equivalent and present on both versions of your website.
Add structured data
Incorporating structured data in content has become primordial with mobile-first indexing, especially to appear in rich answers (boxes giving direct replies in search engines). Take care that they are present in both versions of your website.
Check the indexability of the mobile site
The mobile version of your site may be well optimised, but it will not perform with Google mobile if it is not seen by the search engines. For this, check that there are no longer any rules in your robots.txt file that would block Googlebot crawl and that there are no noindex title tags on certain pages to be indexed.
Think of the user first and foremost
Users are the main target of your website. It is thus essential that they can read content and navigate easily from their smartphones or tablets. For this, pay special attention to ergonomics:
- Font size: text must be legible on smaller screens.
- Key and space size: clicking on the various buttons must be easy, with no risk of error.
- Display problems: the size of the content must be adjusted to the screen.
- Ads and interstitial ads: these should not be too intrusive and hamper navigation on the site.
You can have an idea of your users’ experience on your mobile site by means of your Google Analytics data (bounce rate, time spent on a page, number of pages viewed, etc.).
Speed up page loading
The speed of page loading is already important for the desktop version of a website, but even more important for the mobile-first index. It is estimated that an average of 53% of internauts leave a mobile site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Maintain coherence for m.dot sites
If you have opted for a dedicated mobile site (m.dot), take care to maintain coherence throughout coding. For example, for all the title tags containing an ‘href’ link, mobile pages should link to other mobile URLs while desktop pages should link to desktop URLs.
Would you like to attain better performance in Google mobile-indexing? Ask us for advice to improve the SEO referencing of your mobile site.