Posted on 21 Jun 2017
In the last few years the web has seen a big shift from desktop to mobile and, unsurprisingly, this trend has resulted in a large number of online searches launched via mobile devices.
Currently, nearly 60% of all searches are performed on mobile, but Google still uses the desktop version of a site to calculate what page your website will appear on. However, Google has already announced plans to switch to a mobile first index which will use your mobile content to determine where you appear in the search engines.
Do I Need to Make Fundamental Changes?
The full list of what Google is using to determine where a site should rank in its new mobile first index hasn't been released and it's unlikely to ever provide any sort of detailed list, we can, however, use the existing bits of information to piece together what type of website we would expect to struggle and what type of website will be near the top:
Google absolutely loves response websites, even going so far as to recommend responsive design as the method to use when creating a mobile site. The reasons are straightforward, the content on a responsive site is the same as on a desktop, the URL doesn't change and the site responds to screen size directly.
ICG actively makes all of its websites responsive as we believe that this is results in a better and more consistent user experience.
It's not always easy to tell how fast your site is, it's often easier to tell when your site is slow.
On mobile the key is to focus on anything that can result in large data transfers as people will typically leave your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load, meaning it might be ok to show big imagery and HTML5 videos on the desktop but you will have to scale it back on mobile.
Images are the most common cause of a slow website, they are often left unoptimised and can result in some fairly significant increases to page load time. Other common culprits are scripts added by plugins and bad caching.
If you are using a popup screen on a mobile site you may well be on your way to an interstitial penalty.
Google is cracking down hard on people using popups on mobile, unfortunately, for a lot of websites it has become common practice to use a popup for newsletter signups and similar features.
We redesigned this feature on our clients' mobile sites to provide the same functionality but meet the Google guidelines, the result is a website that is fully compatible with the guidelines and a very mobile friendly experience for the user.
Is Your Website Ready?
Make sure you don't get caught out by Google's mobile first update, you can get a free mobile website evaluation from ICG by contacting us directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org