Google’s Mobile-First Indexing And What You Need To Know

Mobile-First Indexing has been on Google’s agenda since 2016 and its staged implementation has seen all new websites fall under the new indexation from July last year and the complete migration of legacy sites by September 2020 . 

Google’s move to using the mobile version of a website for indexing instead of the desktop version isn’t really a surprise considering mobile usage has been on the increase year on year. According to Statista recent statistics indicate that:

  • 60% of Google searches are done on a mobile. 
  • 65% of Google Ad clicks are from mobile devices.

The Rise In Mobile Usage

Mobile phones have become an integral feature of most peoples’ lives and are the main go-to choice of device for browsing the internet. Their popularity is no doubt due to the increased sophistication of software, their convenience, plus they are personal and intuitive, which makes a mobile extremely user friendly. Google’s move towards mobile-first for indexing instead of using the desktop version of a website reflects this change in browsing habits. This change in direction has led to the new indexing system being rolled out over the past 4 years.

Has Your Website Been Switched?

You can’t opt-in or opt-out of mobile-first indexing, your site will be switched in accordance with Google’s rollout and website readiness so unfortunately, you have no control over this. At this late stage of the implementation it is most likely your site has been migrated however Google will determine readiness based on their algorithmic criteria which takes into consideration website aspects such as, videos, links, text, structured data and metadata.

If you are unsure if your website has been switched go to Google’s Search Console a message will appear like the one below, informing you of the date it was migrated. This was the message we received for our website, bearing in mind migration is still being rolled out for legacy sites, ours was one of the early ones.

Mobile-First Indexing Migration Notification

What Should I do About Mobile-First Indexing?

Google Best Practices and Preparing Your Site

Making sure you fulfill Googlebot criteria will help counteract a ranking dip that some legacy websites have experienced when migrated. This shouldn’t happen if your mobile site is exactly the same as your desktop version and Google can crawl it easily.  This dip is likely to happen if your current mobile site doesn’t have best practice factors in place. These help identify what your pages are about and provide the bot with the information it needs in order to provide an index of your site.  Don’t be overly concerned, you will be informed by Google of any indexing issues, however it’s best to sort out the problems before you get a notice. 

 To help you out, here are some of Google’s recommendations:   

  • Mobile sites should have the same content as the desktop. Serving less content on a mobile version may lead to a drop in traffic because Google can’t gain as much information from the page. 
  • Headings on the mobile should be the same as the desktop. 
  • Structured data and metadata should be the same on both sites.
  • Make sure image URLs are the same on both devices
  • Videos – don’t use URLs that change every time it loads
  • Content that doesn’t load until and action is made such as a click or swipe will not be indexed. These need to be ungated.

A Few Common Questions About Mobile-First Indexing

Is it the same as mobile usability?

 Mobile-first indexing and mobile usability are not the same and quite different. Mobile usability, friendliness and responsive layouts are not a prerequisite for mobile-first indexing.  Mobile-first indexes pages based on the content that is provided on a mobile device, in order to understand your site and how it’s structured. It’s not concerned with for example whether the text is too small, or clickable elements are too close, it’s more about page and ultimately site identification.

What if I don’t have a mobile version of my website?

If you don’t have a mobile version then Google will still index your site but there may be a drop in search ranking because mobile-friendly sites will be given preference. This does seem a little harsh however looking at it from Google’s perspective, they perceive from online usage data that the best user experience will be from a mobile device. Their algorithm and crawler are therefore set up for mobile not desktop. With this in mind, the best way to ensure effective indexation is to create a mobile version of your website.

If you would like to know more about how to improve your website for search, mobile indexing or have any other optimisation questions you would like to ask then please get in touch, our contact details are here 

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Be Smart With Your Social Media Marketing

Having a clear well thought out marketing strategy is a must in order to achieve successful marketing campaigns and increased sales.  You need to know what you are working towards and what goals you want to achieve.  Successful businesses have clear, measurable goals and objectives, they know what they want and how to go about achieving it.   An efficient method used by many performance managers is through SMART targets and is particularly effective when applied to social media marketing.

So what is SMART and how can you implement it?

The term/acronym SMART was given by George T Doran in an article produced for Management Review and has extensively been used in business to enable management to define goals and objectives in a structured and effective manner. There are different interpretations as to the exact definition, however they all stress the importance of planning and goal setting.

Cartoon man at laptop using SMART targets

S – Specific  

     M – Measurable

   A – Assignable

R – Relevant

       T – Time related.

Let’s look at each section in more depth

Specific

Focus on an area of improvement, be specific don’t generalise.  Decide on what the end result is going to be, and  what you want to achieve?Think about how you will use social media in order to reach your objective. Which platforms will you us to reach your target market? Decide on who is involved and make sure that they are all aware of their roles and individual objectives and how they fit into the overall scheme.

Measurablemeasuring tape illustrating SMART target

Create a system where you can track progress and provide focus as you work towards your final objective/goal. Without setting targets it’s not possible to know whether you are progressing. Analytical tools  are a useful means by which you can track the success of your social media campaigns and can provide a wealth of information on such areas such as, engagement, and provide a variety of statistics on public interaction.  This knowledge will help you fine tune your campaign and understand more about what is successful or not, enabling you to meet your goal more efficiently.

Attainable

Give yourself something to work and strive towards but don’t have targets that are unobtainable, don’t be too ambitious, be realistic.  Having goals that are unobtainable lead to demoralisation and the feeling of failure .  Its good to be stretched in such a way that there are rewards for all the hard effort. I know being realistic is a difficult term to define,  some people are more confident than others, the road to reaching your goal may be one of new discoveries and opportunities, but primarily the main aspect of having achievable goals is to know your industry well and be well informed.

Relevant

Take into consideration current markets and is your goal relevant in the current market situation, therefore timing is so important.  Also is it relevant to what your brand promotes and what you have done previously, this will also relate to having the relevant skills and resources to be able to move forward.

Time RelatedClock illustrating time SMART target

Don’t drift, set time related goals and a sense of urgency, so that you are more driven.  Without time limits complacency can set in and other things take preference. Deadlines provide focus and efficiency.

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Social Media Branding – Important! If so why?

Apple Image

What is the name of this company and what do they do?

I really didn’t need to ask, we all know the logo and what it stands for, and it isn’t a greengrocer! The image doesn’t even relate to computers or mobile technology in any way, it can be any colour or size it doesn’t matter, because Apple have created a visual image that is immediately recognisable and unique to them. As soon as we see it we know what it stands for.

So why is it important to visually market your company?Creative Roar_Social Media Document11

To be recognised and stand out from the crowd! You may have a good business name but that alone will not make you stand out on a social networking platform such as Twitter.

Your logo will be seen before anyone reads your article or post. Therefore make it noticeable, enabling immediate identification. It ideally should be simple, distinctive and if possible appropriate.

Creative Roar_Social Media Document9A logo is your companies’ signature, so the colours, font and symbols should be unique to your business. 

Create consistency -it’s a visual representation of your company, and as with Apple or Twitter it will become synonymous with your brand. Make sure it is on everything you do from business cards, banners your web site, all promotional material and not forgetting your social media platforms.

In the current fast paced world of social media marketing  branding becomes even more important, think of your twitter feed, most people will rapidly scan the feed and pick up on one or two items. Clearly their eye is going to pick up on designs that stand out. Too often we see companies who have spent a great deal of time and thought on their branding yet throw something together when it comes to social media. Yet in reality the way you show your brand on social media is arguably even more important than any other area of your business.

 

Remember each social media platform is different and has its own unique design and look, which means that a banner designed for LinkedIn  won’t be the right fit for Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

SOCIAL MEDIA BANNER

Creative Roar_Social Media Document8

Creative Roar_Social Media Document4Creative Roar_Social Media Document6

These images show how our banners are specifically designed for each individual platform, they are also designed to work on different devices, whether it be for example a mobile phone, computer or tablet.

We would love to know what you think about social media branding have you got your social media branded if not why not?

Comment and let us know what you think, or feel free to contact us direct, we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Business Productivity and the Cloud

High Speed Broadband is now an integral part of the UK’s push to become a leading knowledge economy, how could your business benefit from the use of high speed broadband and Cloud computing?

 

So what do we mean by the Cloud?

 

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. Examples of this may be Google Drive, Microsoft 365 or Apple I Cloud.

 

In the UK Broadband Study of 2013 improved productivity was one of the areas outlined as one which could help business. How could cloud computing help make your staff more productive? The UK Broadband study found that nationally a 2% reduction in commuting  would lead to a reduction of some 2.3 billion kilometers per annum this in turn would make essential journeys quicker and more productive.

 

Do you need to attend every meeting in person? Using webinar and meeting tools could see a 9% reduction in business travel reducing business mileage by 5.3 billion kms per annum.

Above we have provided you with just a few interesting statistics as to the beneficial effects of using Cloud there are many others, so let’s summarize the main benefits:

Flexibility

You can work from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet , which for example can be through your phone, tablet ,computer or Chrome Book and is what we ‘call off premises IT.’   Telecommuting means that your office can be anywhere you want it to be!

Enables real time information and shared access.

You can work with others on a document at the same time.  You can even see what the other person is doing as it happens. There is no longer the need to keep passing information backwards and forwards.

Low cost

There is normally no initial start up cost and the majority are pay as you go.  There is also no need to invest in expensive in-house servers and software, all is provided for by the service provider

Suppliers responsible for the infrastructure

Management such as security and updates are provided for at no extra cost by the suppliers who invest heavily in an experienced and knowledgeable workforce, in order to enable them to be key players in what is a growing competitive market. For example if you are using Google Apps everything is provided by Google and hosted on their powerful and secure servers.

Disaster management and protection of data

If  in the case for example of a fire, flood or theft, data will not be lost and still accessible.  Therefore causing less disruption to business and the peace of mind in knowing that data will be safe.  Cloud also eliminates the need to have to back up files or download to a server.

Let us know how Cloud computing has impacted on your business?

In such a complex area it is always good to know an expert we would suggest Phil Oakley at Outserve  http://www.outserveweb.co.uk/

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Philip Oakley - a specialist in productivity and the cloud

Philip Oakley – Cloud Computing Expert

Or contact us

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7 LinkedIn Tips -to boost sales