As announced for some time, the release of Google's new Mobile First update will take effect from March 2021: its algorithm will consider the mobile version as primary for indexing a website from an SEO perspective.
This means that any desktop-only optimized content will not appear in the SERP (search engine results page) or search engine results page, as it will not be a ranking factor.
The more responsive a site is, the greater the likelihood that it will appear among the first pages of search results.
The use of the internet mainly from mobile is also confirmed in Italy by the latest audiweb data. The total audience is represented by 35.2 million unique users divided according to the following percentages: 30.9 million users use smartphones (71% of Italians aged 18-74), 5.7 million users use tablets (13% of Italians aged 18-74) and 11.3 million computer users (18.9% of Italians aged 2 and over). It therefore seems that very soon we will see a shift from a mobile first approach to a mobile-only approach.
It therefore seems that very soon we will see a shift from a Mobile First approach to a Mobile-Only approach.
It is therefore essential to gear up for this change to prevent the pages of your website from being penalized.
First of all it is necessary to implement the mobile version of the website and in this regard we can identify three different ways depending on whether you want to keep the URLs of the desktop version also for the mobile version or whether you decide to use different URLs:
1) Responsive Web Design: allows you to keep the same url for both versions. In this case, the output remains the same for all devices since the server always returns the same HTML.
2) Dynamic Serving or Adapting Design: even in this case the URLs remain unchanged, but there are different outputs as the server returns different HTML and CSS depending on the device from which the request is made.
3) Separate URLs: Two separate optimized versions are implemented for desktop and mobile with separate URLs.
The latter option is very effective for the general user experience, although Google does not recommend it as it can be more expensive in terms of development and maintenance. Conversely, the responsive web design approach is considered the most sustainable in terms of budget, development and maintenance.
At a later stage, you can check if your site is mobile-first by using the Google Search Console URL checking tool.
It is important to note that moving the site towards mobile-first indexing is an irreversible action: once implemented, it can no longer be canceled.
This activation is not done manually but automatically and, in most cases, no major changes are required, especially if the site is already responsive.
If the versions of the site for desktop and mobile are equivalent, the transition to mobile-first indexing will have no impact on positioning; conversely, if there are two distinct versions, users will see only mobile URLs in the SERP.
Also within the Google Search Console it will then be possible to check if the site is correctly indexed for mobile devices, thanks to the Mobile-friendly tool test.
Using this tool, you can quickly identify any usability problems such as errors or blocked resources that could make it difficult for the search engine to understand the page.
It must be remembered that one of the factors that have the greatest impact on the positioning of a page is the browsing experience: if it is poor this will have negative repercussions on the page positioning ability.
To improve it very often there is a tendency to hide and delete numerous elements present in the desktop version when the site is viewed on mobile devices. Instead, it is important to return the same browsing experience on desktop and mobile to maintain consistency between the two versions.
It is therefore necessary to study how certain elements, such as images and videos, are displayed, rather than removing them.
Here are some precautions to be applied to ensure that the site is optimized for the user experience from mobile devices:
o Usabilty: it is important that all the contents of the page can be viewed and enjoyed correctly by the user while browsing to ensure a seamless experience
o Speed: The loading time of a page must not exceed 3 seconds. If it is too high, it negatively affects indexation, favoring its downgrading.
o Finger-friendly: all touch points such as buttons, links and forms must be positioned in such a way that they can be easily clicked on a small screen.
E-Business Consulting, which has been operating in the world of digital communication since 2003, is the ideal partner to help you step by step to make your site Mobile Friendly and to develop and implement the most suitable Mobile Marketing strategy to achieve your business goals. Request a free quote!