Google Mobile First Index ~ Mobile devices have become the main source of internet traffic throughout the world . In 2018 – 2022, 77.5 percent of traffic the website is dominated by devices mobile. Even in Indonesia, there is 89.86 million people of internet users access the internet through mobile devices .
Internet user habits above are certainly a concern of Google. So that gives the results of the search are much better for smartphone users, Google implement the new algorithm, called Google Mobile First Index. In 2018, Google is officially released the algorithm of Google Mobile First Index .
What is Google Mobile First Index?
Google Mobile First Index is Google indexation method that prioritizes the mobile version of a website to determine ranking. If previous Google determines ranking based on the performance of the website in the version of the desktop, with Google Mobile First Index, now Google assess the performance of the website through mobile version website crawler. This means that the performance of a website that is bad in the version of the mobile will impact badly on your SEO assessment.
Unfortunately , there are still so many owners of websites that are not yet aware the importance of performance for mobile device websites. In 2017, only 21 percent of online business website owners have optimized the website to be mobile friendly.
Check Website Performance in Mobile Version
Before doing mobile version website optimization, you need to check the performance of the website with mobile devices . So you will know what you need to improve .
Those tools are so easy to use even if you are so new. You only need to enter the website address where you want to check the performance and the tool will carry out inspections and assessments. You can use any one in them or use all three at once . If you want a more detailed and objective assessment , you should do a performance test on all three tools.
5 Ways to Optimize a Website for Google Mobile First Index
Your website are not going to suddenly become mobile-friendly without doing anything else. It required various steps of optimization to make a mobile friendly website. Here are five ways to make your website Mobile First Index:
- Choose Responsive Themes
At this Age usually most of WordPress Themes are mobile friendly. However , if the theme you are using haven’t got a mobile friendly label, you have nothing to worry . Here are some steps you need to take .
First , update your WordPress theme to the latest version . Usually developers do an update by adding new features such as mobile friendly. If the developer releases the mobile friendly feature , you may not need to change the theme .
Second , if the developer of your WordPress theme do not provide mobile-friendly feature or even already not provide an update again , there is nothing wrong for you to change the theme of your website . There are so many responsive and mobile friendly WordPress themes available online. You can try to find the best theme that suit your website.
- Mobile First Design
Responsive and mobile friendly thems are still not enough . You also need to create a website design with the principles of mobile first design . If previously , most people put the design version of the desktop, now the time to make mobile first design as your priority design.
Here are a few things you need to consider when creating a mobile first design :
- Don’t Use Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player used to display visual media such as images or videos. Unfortunately , most mobile device users can not access Flash so it will only interfere user experience.
Even if users installing Adobe Flash Player, it will only slow down your website loading . If you want to add visual media or other unique components , we recommend using HTML5 or Java.
- Use Popup Naturally
The use of popups always create debate . Pro group of popup argued , popup are effective to increase conversion. On the other hand , the counter popup group said that popup bother user experience.
Should you still use popups? Actually popups are not going to interfere user experience if you use and place it well , not the popup that appears every how many seconds all in one page . So as long as you use it appropriately , popups will not interfere user experience.
- Apply Finger Friendly Design
When designing a website for mobile devices, you need to consider a tool that user use to access your mobile friendly website (FINGER). You have to make your website design finger friendly , easy to use, easy to find, and easy for user finger to click.
- Avoid the use of sliders
Maybe slider is considered to be able to make your website looks beautiful visually. Slider only beautify your website visually, but not efficient for website speed and user experience. In fact only 1 percent of visitors will click your slider content.
- Increase Website Speed
Website speed has always been a major issue , both on desktop and mobile devices . Whatever the device they used , visitors always asking for high speed website loading. Website visitors can not wait to load a website. Based on Google’s survey , 53 percent of internet users leave websites loading more than 3 seconds .
There is nothing about it, considering internet user has thousands or even hundreds of thousands websites that discuss similar topics. They are free to choose the website which will be opened and websites that can provide content more quickly would have a high chance to win the competition.
So take the time to check your website loading speed and do various optimization steps to increase website speed
Also read : 10 Free Tools to Check Website Speed
- Use Mobile WordPress Plugin
If you want the most practical and fastest way to create a mobile-friendly website, the WordPress mobile plugin can be your solution . WordPress provides a wide selection of mobile plugins to help you create websites that are mobile friendly. Some of them are :
WPTouch is the most popular choice for creating mobile friendly websites. This plugin will help you to change your website to be more mobile-friendly without damaging the theme of WordPress website on your desktop. Besides that , WPTouch will also your mobile version website past Google Mobile Test so it will be easy for your to increase your SEO ranking.
WPTouch plugin is available in a free version and in a paid version . If you only need to create a mobile friendly website with basic features , the free version is a good choice. And premium version of WPTouch allows you to change fonts, set caching options , and support from the developer.
The second plugin is quite popular for creating mobile friendly websites and that is AMP for WP. This plugin provide a feature to check the speed of Wordpress theme that you are using . If WordPress theme that you use is not fast enough , you can replace it with AMP for WP Theme that will be faster and responsive .
This is the third WordPress mobile plugin that probably already quite familiar to most people, called Jetpack. Jetpack is known as an All-In-One plugin that provides security features to social media for WordPress . Maybe many people don’t know about this yet : Jetpack also provides a mobile friendly theme for your WordPress website .
You easily adjust your mobile version display through settings menu on Jetpack. Jetpack also allows you to adjust the appearance of mobile website from the menu to the image size . The good news , Jetpack is available free for all WordPress users .
Also Read : 8+ Best WordPress Mobile Plugins
The release of the Google Mobile First Index algorithm is not without reason . The algorithm is present to meet the needs of users who are now using mobile devices to access the internet. Website owners are also required to provide a mobile-friendly website so that it can provide a good user experience to website visitors . That way all parties will have their benefit .
Google can display mobile friendly website search results , visitors get a good user experience , and website owners get visitors who are satisfied with their website.