mobile-first indexing

Updated 29 September 2020 | Khrystyna Oliinyk

The world is gearing up for a mobile-first future, with more and more people now preferring the use of smartphones and tablets over laptops and PCs. A Google study on customer interaction discovered that users are two times more likely to interact with brands on mobile than they are on desktop and in person. This underscores the need for businesses to focus on their online content for mobile audiences.

This need is further reinforced by the fact that Google implemented its mobile-first index in March of this year. SEO specialists Ayima suggest that Google will now use its very own Smartphone Googlebot to crawl, index, and rank websites that are mobile-optimized. This means that sites that do not have mobile versions will have lower search rankings. This is in stark contrast to rankings in the past, when Google simply indexed pages based on the desktop versions of sites.

In light of these changes, online businesses therefore have to make the necessary adjustments in order to rank high on mobile search results.

Emphasis on Mobile-Responsiveness

A major concern that needs to be addressed immediately is an eCommerce site’s mobile-responsiveness. Websites with responsive design typically have higher rankings in Google, due to the fact that they provide a fluid user experience, no matter what device is used to view them.

Good website builders can make this possible. Meanwhile, API2Cart also provides an efficient solution to integrate shopping carts with websites through its single API. This can work seamlessly with your website builder, and will require less time and resources to implement.

Mobile-Optimized Content

Content matters just as much as design. Therefore, the most relevant information on your page should be featured most prominently on its mobile versions. Ensure that you optimize all forms of content, from text, to images, to videos.

eCommerce websites will benefit from shorter headlines and product names. Meanwhile, product images should be of high quality even for mobile viewing, as customers may zoom in for a closer look.

Remember to place a feedback form or analytical trackers on your website as well. These can help discover which pieces of content your users engage with the most.

Better Site Search

Mobile screens typically allow fewer navigation options. Because of the limited display, visitors may resort to the site search feature to quickly find what they are looking for. Therefore, a lot of effort should be made towards optimizing this function.

Make sure to provide filtering options even on mobile, as well as an autocorrect feature for a more efficient search process. The site search function should also be in a prominent spot on the website for easy access.

Conversion Rate on Mobile

Mobile conversions have been traditionally lower than desktop versions. Digital marketing consultant Shane Barker explains that one reason for this is that the latter platform allows for more product information to be shown on screen. However, with Google's mobile-first index in place, it's important that eCommerce sites find better ways to relay product information on mobile platforms to boost sales.

One noteworthy tip is to make sure the user only needs three taps or less in the checkout process. Make the information gathering simpler and only ask for the details you need.

Optimized Keyboards

The way customers interact with your site is often overlooked. Understand that visitors are dealing with smaller screens, so eCommerce sites should serve keyboards that display the necessary keys on a contextual basis. For instance, fields that require numerical data in the checkout process should only pull up a numerical keyboard.

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