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October 23, 2018

5 Tips For Maintaining Your Mobile-First Position

In March of this year, Google finally began implementing a mobile first function into its search engine algorithm after two years of preparation, revolutionising the way websites are indexed. In this article, we’re going to explain exactly how this function works, as well as supplying you with 5 tips to help you maintain your mobile first position.

What is Mobile first?

It’s relatively self-explanatory, but mobile first is exactly how it sounds – Google now indexes the content of the mobile version of a website first, using the mobile content as a barometer of where the website should rank in search engine results. This is being implemented to cater for Google’s increasing and now primarily mobile user audience. So, whereas before you would have to fulfil desktop criteria to rank highly in search engine results, now mobile criteria comes first. Here are 5 tips to ensure you maintain your position and don’t fall behind the pack.

Improve Your Website’s Page speed

The first step you can take to maintain your mobile first position is to improve your website’s loading speed. One of the main reasons for Google implementing a mobile first function was to speed up the mobile web and by definition improve user experience.

A great tool which you can use to identify what might be slowing your website down is Google’s Page Speed Insights, simply enter your URL, and it will provide you with your website’s speed and a series of suggestions as to how you can improve its speed. These suggestions tend to include, getting rid of any large images, leveraging browser caching and removing any unnecessary or redundant data your website no longer needs.

Keep Your Website’s Content Concise And To The Point

The second step you’ll need to take is to ensure that every piece of content on your pages are an appropriate length in the context of  the query they’re answering  and the information they are supplying to their intended audience. This is so that your content fulfils criteria in the newly published Google Quality Rating guidelines. Where Google advises its human raters that short sentences provide the best answers and that said they need to be as early in pages as possible. So, if you feel you’re content isn’t concise nor is it to the point it would be wise to edit them accordingly to fulfil Google’s rating criteria.

Make Sure Your Website Can Serve Content Dynamically

The third is based around a website’s dynamic serving, a setup where a website’s server responds with different types of HTML on the same URL, depending on which device a user is viewing the website through. So, someone using an Apple smartphone or tablet will see a slightly different website to someone using a desktop.

You can ensure that your website serves the correct code to each device by using ‘The Vary HTTP Header’, which signals to caching servers whether or not the user is on a handheld device or a desktop.

Re-Design Your Website For Mobile

While your website might look great on desktop, the introduction of mobile first means that accounts for very little in Google’s eyes, so you’ll need to make it mobile friendly to ensure that you maintain your mobile first position. Consider your website’s size, whether the fonts or buttons are too big or if it’s easy for users to navigate your site on a smaller device. Try to use fonts just above 10 pixels and buttons that  are around 45 by 45 pixels in size, this will ensure the best possible experience for mobile users.

To summarise, you need to simplify your website and its design. You can do this by removing any unnecessary formatting, any tables or frames that aren’t crucial to your site’s operation. Also adjust your approach to forms, instead of traditional methods, integrate checklists and dropdown menus to make it easy for visitors to fill forms out using a smartphone.

Test Your Newly Adapted Website

The final step is to now test your website to ensure it will maintain its position in the mobile first index. Use Google’s Search Console to see that your mobile version of your site has been verified and ensure your site is accessible to Smartphone GoogleBot so you can be notified with updates in regards to your crawl rate. If your crawl rate increases, then you have successfully maintained your mobile first position.

For more information on search engines and SEO specifically, feel free to call us on 01245 287  864, today.



Ben Austin

With a solid background in the sales and finance industry, Ben was inspired by the possibilities of SEO after propelling his own website to search engine success. With a natural flair for digital marketing and a strong work ethic, his entrepreneurial streak soon took over, leading to the birth of Absolute Digital Media.

Naturally ambitious by nature, Ben didn’t stop here, instead pushing the business to new heights, offering a wider range of services to more and more clients. He is now proud to employ a number of SEO, PPC, web design, social media, copywriting and marketing professionals and is driven by all things digital marketing. His passion and persistence have led the company to multiple awards and accolades, such as the company being awarded the prestigious ‘Best Use Of Search – Finance’ award at the UK Search Awards 2018 and announced as Digital Agency Of The Year at the 2018 Southern Business Awards. When he’s not busy leading the company on new ventures, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

Email b.austin@absolute.digital

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