Will Mobile First Actually Happen?

Last Updated:

Nov 18, 2017 @ 2:29 pm

This is a question on everyone’s lips right now. Ever since Google’s John Mueller said that “if they can’t get Mobile First to work, then they won’t roll it out”, it has left open a huge question about the highly controversial update. Except it is a lot more than just a simple update!

What is Mobile First?

Simply put, Mobile First is going to turn SEO on its head – quite literally! Rather than using your desktop site as a basis for your search rankings, Mobile First is going to use your mobile site to determine this!

What could stop Google from rolling Mobile First out?

Before Google roll any algorithm out, there is an extended period of testing. Sometimes we might see these results in the SERPs temporarily, sometimes we wont and with thousands of tests run each year, we can be sure that if something doesn’t work, that it won’t be used.

The same can be said for Mobile First and with it being such a huge change, Google want to make sure that it is going to work without ruining everyone’s search positions.

If there are issues further down the line and Google need more time to perfect it, then it will be placed on hold until such times as it is working as intended.

However, if there was ever a time to get your mobile site in order, now would be it!

What can I do to get ready for Mobile First?

You must start with understanding if your site is mobile friendly. There are a few ways to do this, but I suggest you start with Google. You can do that by clicking here.

It might seem like an obvious thing, to have your site mobile friendly, but that isn’t the end of the story. Your site might pass as being mobile friendly, but how about site usability? What happens when someone lands on your site? Do they love what is there, or do they drop off and try to find something better?

Believe it or not, one of the biggest problems for mobile users, is site speed. If your site is slow, you will always end up with a higher drop-off rate. This drop-ff very quickly turns into lost revenue and opportunities. This speed may or may not get taken into account by Google, but from a user point of view, it is very important.

So here are two very actionable points you can do yourself.

  1. Use the mobile friendly test from Google, or use Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
  2. Install HotJar and actually record live users on your site.

Why would you want to watch live users on your site? Well, wouldn’t you want to know what they do an don’t like? What better way than to watch where they are struggling.

Once you have spent a little bit of time doing this, then you will have some idea of where you are at and what you need to do to correct it.

Here is a little additional reading (watching) on the subject from John Mueller:
Google 2017 SEO Advice: Make Sure You Optimize For Mobile Like You Do For Desktop

The Easy Route

Make sure your site is responsive. If you run WordPress, chances are you will have nothing to worry about.

Generally, if you are running a site powered by WordPress, then you can continue without having to wonder how much it will impact you – but don’t think that is the end of the story.

Pick up your mobile phone and think to yourself, “If I was visiting my site for the first time, would I be happy?”

Be brutal with yourself – if you think something sucks, it probably does and you should do something about it. Remember that no-one wants to be on a never-ending page of scroll, so limit the sections available to mobile devices and show your visitors just the important aspects.

Here are a couple videos to help you with this transition. Take some time to watch them.

2017-11-18T14:29:10+00:00