Google’s Mobile First Index has hit Australian Businesses

Two years ago, Google made a big announcement about significant changes in their indexing algorithm. Gary Illyes, Google’s webmaster trend analyst, states that the tech giant is shifting to a mobile first index. This means that mobile friendly websites will have a better edge at ranking higher in Google’s search results page. While the transition was rolled out little by little, it was reported that Google’s mobile first index scheme is now in full swing – and Australian businesses are starting to feel its effects.

According to Mumbrella, Australian users still prefer using their desktops when going online. However, mobile use is consistently increasing, and this is the market share that Google wants Australian businesses to tap into. In doing so, Google is making sure that websites deliver an optimal content experience to the users.

What Does It Mean for Australian Businesses?

Google's mobile first index

Ever since Google’s mobile first index was disclosed to digital marketers and webmasters, some Australian businesses have begun optimising their websites, particularly in terms of its mobile responsiveness.

Webmasters are gradually receiving notifications that Google’s mobile first-index has been enabled in their sites. This means that if the mobile and desktop versions of their websites are not giving similar content, there’s a good chance that the sites’ rankings will drop.

But, there’s a silver lining to this. Google’s mobile first index is not specific about mobile and desktop versions having identical layouts or user experience. Google’s topmost priority right now is for users to be able to access similar content, regardless of the device they are using.

Good news! You can check your website’s mobile responsiveness through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool can tell how smoothly and conveniently visitors can access your site using a mobile device. Having said that, Google’s mobile friendly test only serves as an assessment tool. It cannot, in any way, improve your page’s mobile responsiveness.

If you are serious about going mobile-friendly, listed are some things you might want to consider.

Elements of a Mobile-Friendly Website

Google's mobile first index

  • Fast Page-Loading Speed

One of the hallmarks of a responsive website is its fast loading speed. For Google’s mobile first index, the loading speed is crucial as it also serves as a ranking factor. You should be able to provide what the users are looking for quickly and efficiently. Or else, it will have a negative effect on your conversion rate.

  • Optimal User Experience

There are two things that Google checks in surmising how your site’s mobile version fared in terms of user experience. The first one is the length of time that a user spends on your page, and if there’s a decline in mobile traffic between pages.

Since Google’s mobile first index wants users to have access to the same content across all devices, it is important that you fine tune your mobile site. This way, you can give the optimal user experience that your visitors deserve.

  • Mobile-Friendly Fonts and TextsReal-Estate-Web-Developer-Gold-Coast-Brisbane-Sydney

Ideally, your website should have a font style and size that are easy on the eyes of the users. It is recommended that you use at least a size 14 font across your page so that the visitors won’t have to zoom in for them to be able to read the texts.

In terms of the content and text spacing, your content should be short and direct. It is also a must that you do line breaks on each sentence. These will make your texts easier to read while on mobile.

  • Mobile Parity

Mobile parity is having similar content seen both on mobile and desktop. Some Australian businesses have started to reconfigure the layout of their pages to achieve this. Word of advice: It would be wise to design a website that is mobile responsive.

Has Google’s search console notified your business about the mobile first index? Whether you have or haven’t, Visual Marketing Australia can help your business easily adapt to these changes and have a mobile friendly website that ranks. Contact us today!

John Bond CEO of Visual Marketing

With over 38 years’ experience in Print Media, Sales and Marketing, Online Services & Marketing plus Financial Service industries. John brings a wealth of knowledge to Visual Marketing Australia. As a Certified Google Partner, his Digital Marketing knowledge includes: Web Design & Development, SEO, Mobile App. Development, Online Marketing, Online Video Marketing and Email Marketing Solutions. With 8 years experience of using Zoho CRM it is a natural progression to become and Authorised Consulting Partner so we can now ad Sales and Marketing Automation to the list.