The Right Way to Respond to Google’s Mobile-First Initiative

Google's Mobile First initiative means you need to worry mainly about how your website looks and functions on Smartphones and tablets.
Google’s Mobile First initiative ranks you in search based primarily on the mobile version of your website. The impact of this will be big, and Valet can help you respond.

Google’s Mobile First initiative. Have you heard about this yet? You have? Great.

But what are you planning to do in response to it?

Nothing? OK, that’s not great. Not great at all. Because ignoring Mobile First is a surefire way to sink your website’s rankings in Google search.

A big drop in rank portends an equally big disruption of your marketing objectives, whether they involve using your website to inform the world, build your brand, or generate ever-increasing gobs of money.

Mobile First Already Rolling Out

As such, you really need to get onboard with Mobile First. We at Valet can help you prep for it. 

Before we explain how, allow us to offer some background on Mobile First in case you’re not yet up to speed on it.

Mobile First began rolling out last year. However, Google refuses to say how long the rollout will continue. Weeks? Months? A total unknown.

Regardless, Google aims with Mobile First to from now on rank you in its search listings based primarily on the mobile—not the desktop—version of your website.

So if your website appears terrific when viewed on a desktop display but horrific on an iPhone screen, consider yourself lucky to even show up on Page One-Zillion of the search results.

This isn’t to say your desktop version will be ignored in the new scheme of things. Indeed, Mobile First still as before weighs its qualities and characteristics in assigning a rank. It’s just that your desktop formulation counts for a whole lot less going forward.

Google Mobile First rewards you for having a website fully evolved in favor of mobile device-using visitors.
Mobile First puts the needs of mobile users ahead of all others. So, if you want your website to rank high in Google search, you better make sure it’s sufficiently evolved in terms of mobile responsiveness and functionality.

 

Mobile First Impact Will Be Big

Let us say your website features a perfectly mobile-friendly version. You make a serious mistake by resting on that laurel.

Why? Mobile-friendliness counts for but one factor in determining search rank. You rank high or low depending also on the value of your content and on the quality of the user experience you deliver. Same as always.

Valet recognizes that Mobile First carries with it the potential to seriously impact your Internet ambitions. It won’t break your website. But it can throw a wet blanket over your dreams unless you mount a proper response.

Before you can respond to Mobile First, however, you must gain a solid understanding of how your site stacks up under it.

Valet in its capacity as your WordPress concierge will be only too glad to test your website for mobile-friendliness and provide you with a clear, concise interpretation of the results.

Valet will be delighted as well to develop an optimization strategy for you and even carry it out on your behalf.

How Valet Will Help Get You Ready

If you need help getting ready to meet the new Google standards, our approach will involve conducting a holistic evaluation of your site’s mobile health.  Here is just some of what we’ll assess:

  • How well everything searchable on the site is indexed
  • Responsiveness
  • Page design
  • Sitemaps
  • Structured data
  • Metadata
  • How much server capacity is available

If you want to try establishing on your own whether your website is or isn’t mobile-friendly, the starting point is any of the numerous test tools created for this express purpose. Here is one them.

To use this particular tool, just enter the URL of the website you want to test. Unfortunately, the test gives you results for only the URL you submitted.

To test your entire website, you must submit the URL for each and every page. That potentially involves a great deal of work. So to simplify things, enter the URL of your homepage, of each main page, and of each page type. It takes about 15 to 30 seconds to test a single URL.

If told your site passed, this tool then invites you to click a button that informs Google of the good news. If told you failed, you get a list of reasons why, along with the suggested remedies.

The suggested remedies won’t be as comprehensive as those developed by Valet. Also, Valet will implement what we suggest as remedies, not merely hand you a list.

Mobile First Demands Action on Your Part

It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you don’t need to worry about Mobile First, especially if you possess analytic data showing few mobile-using visitors coming to your site. You can easily lull yourself into thinking it pointless to become mobile-friendly if desktop users make up the vast majority of visitors.

In reality, it may be that few mobile users visit because your site ranks low in Google search. They can’t visit if you’re invisible in search.

Taking no action counts as perhaps the worst thing you can do in the event you fail a Mobile First test.

Taking no action if you do pass it is just as bad for the reason that you can always improve the mobile-friendliness of a mobile-friendly site. Let Valet explain to you directly how best that can be accomplished.

Please send us a note here to let us know you’d like to talk about your concerns with mobile-friendliness. We would be delighted to help you with that.

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