How to Optimize Website for the Google Mobile First Index:- Mobile devices have become the main source of internet traffic around the world. In 2018, globally, 52.2 percent of website traffic was dominated by mobile devices. Even in India, 94 percent of internet users access the internet via mobile devices.
How to Optimize Website for the Google Mobile-First Index
The habits of internet users above certainly concern Google. In order to provide better search results for smartphone users, Google has implemented a new algorithm, namely the Google Mobile-First Index. In 2018, Google officially released the Google Mobile-First Index algorithm.
What is the Google Mobile-First Index?
The Google Mobile-First Index is a Google indexing method that prioritizes the mobile version of a website to determine to rank. If previously Google determined ranking based on website performance on the desktop version, with the Google Mobile-First Index, now Google assesses website performance through crawling the mobile version of the website. This means that poor website performance on the mobile version will adversely affect your SEO assessment.
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Unfortunately, there are still many website owners who are not aware of the importance of website performance on mobile devices. In 2017, only 21 percent of online business website owners have optimized their website to be mobile-friendly.
Check Mobile Version Website Performance
Before optimizing the mobile version of the website, you need to check the performance of the website on a mobile device first. That way you can find out what needs to be improved.
How to use the three tools above is quite easy. You only need to enter the address of the website you want to check for performance and the tool will perform an inspection and assessment. You can use one of them or use all three at once. If you want a more detailed and objective assessment, we recommend doing a performance test on all three tools.
5 Ways to Optimize Website for Google Mobile-First Index
Your website won’t suddenly become mobile-friendly without doing anything. Various optimization steps are required to make a mobile-friendly website. Here are five ways to make your website a Mobile-First Index:
1. Select a Responsive Theme
Most of the WordPress themes are now labeled mobile-friendly. However, if the theme you are using doesn’t have a mobile-friendly label, there’s no need to worry. Here are some steps you need to take.
First, update the WordPress theme to the latest version. Usually, developers update by adding new features such as mobile-friendly. If the developer releases a mobile-friendly feature, you may not need to change the theme.
Second, if your WordPress theme developer doesn’t provide mobile-friendly features or doesn’t even provide updates anymore, it doesn’t hurt to change to a new theme. There is a wide selection of responsive and mobile-friendly WordPress themes. You can check out this article to see some of them.
2. Mobile First Design
Responsive and mobile-friendly themes are not enough. You also need to create a website design with mobile-first design principles. If before, most people prioritized desktop version design, now is the time to make mobile design a priority or mobile-first design.
Here are some things you need to consider when creating a mobile-first design :
- Don’t Use Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player is usually used to display visual media such as images or videos. Unfortunately, most mobile device users cannot access Flash, which will interfere with the user experience.
Even if users install Adobe Flash Player, it will only slow down the loading of your website. If you want to add visual media or other unique components, we recommend using HTML5 or Java.
- Use Popups Appropriately
The use of popups is always debatable. Popup pro groups argue, popups effectively increase conversions. On the other hand, the contra popup group says that the popup interferes with the user experience.
Should you stick with popups? Actually, popups will not interfere with the user experience if you use them fairly, not popups that appear every few seconds on a page. So as long as you use it fairly, the popup will not interfere with the user experience.
- Apply Finger Friendly Design
When designing a website for mobile devices, you need to consider the tools that users use on mobile devices, namely fingers. Your website design should be finger-friendly, easy to find on small screens, and easy to click on my fingers.
- Avoid Using Sliders
Maybe a slider is considered to be able to beautify the visuals of a website. Sliders are just aesthetically pleasing, but not efficient for website speed and user experience. In fact, only 1 percent of visitors click on content from the slider.
4. Increase Website Speed
Website speed is always a major issue, both on desktop and mobile devices. Regardless of the device used, visitors always demand high speed for loading websites. Website visitors can’t wait to load the website for a long time. Based on a Google survey, 53 percent of Indian internet users leave websites that load for more than 3 seconds.
The findings above are certainly not surprising, considering that internet users have thousands or even hundreds of thousands of websites that discuss similar things. They are free to choose which websites to open and websites that can provide content faster, of course, have a higher chance of winning the competition.
So take the time to check your website’s loading speed and take various optimization steps to increase your website speed. Download the ebook 20+ Tips to Make WordPress Super Fast to learn effective tips and tricks to increase the speed of your website.
5. Use the WordPress Mobile Plugin
If you want the most practical and fastest way to create a mobile-friendly website, a mobile WordPress plugin can be your solution. WordPress provides a wide selection of mobile plugins to help you create a mobile-friendly website. Some of them are:
WPTouch is the most popular choice for creating mobile-friendly websites. This plugin will help you make your website more mobile-friendly without breaking the WordPress website theme on the desktop. In addition, WPTouch also ensures that your mobile version of the website passes the Google Mobile Test so that it can improve your SEO ranking.
The WPTouch plugin is available in a free version and a paid version. If all you need is to create a mobile-friendly website with basic features, the free version is sufficient. The premium version of WPTouch allows you to change fonts, set caching options, and support the developer.
The second plugin that is quite popular for creating a mobile-friendly website is AMP for WP. This plugin provides a feature to check the speed of the WordPress theme you are using. If the WordPress theme you are using is not fast enough, you can replace it with a theme from AMP for WP which is faster and more responsive.
This third WordPress mobile plugin is probably familiar to most people, namely 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 this: Jetpack also provides a mobile-friendly theme for your WordPress website.
You can easily adjust the appearance of your mobile website through the settings menu on Jetpack. Jetpack allows you to adjust the appearance of the mobile website from the menu to the image size. The good news is, Jetpack is available free for all WordPress users.
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The release of the Google Mobile-First Index algorithm is not without reason. This algorithm is here to meet the needs of users who now use more mobile devices to access the internet. Website owners are also required to provide a mobile-friendly website so that they can provide a good user experience to website visitors. That way all parties benefit.
Google can display search results for mobile-friendly websites, visitors get a good user experience, and website owners get visitors who are satisfied with their website.
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