Google’s Mobile-First Indexing: What It Means for Websites

Google isn’t the only search engine, but it is the most popular search engine, so where Google leads, other search engines will follow. And Google is leading the Internet to a mobile-only world. Here’s what you need to know (and do) to ensure your website is not stuck in soon-to-be-obsolete desktop-land.

Make Sure You Are Searchable Locally

Mobile devices make it possible to map users, and pinpointing their location makes it possible for search engines to deliver local results for their searches. To make sure that search engines know where you are so that you can rise to the top of local organic searches:

  1. Update and optimize your Google My Business profile. Your profile is what puts you on Google maps, and an optimized profile can help Google better understand what your company does and what you have to offer its consumers.
  1. Put your company name, address, phone number and directions from major landmarks or directional helps in text, not an image that can’t be fully indexed. Bot-readable contact information gives search engines another source from which to determine your relevancy for local searches.
  1. Include your location in areas with high SEO-value, like page titles and headings.

You can boost your local search ranking potential with links to popular review sites, like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc. Many visitors take the initiative to post reviews on their own, but if you want more, ask! Put a sign up in your point-of-sales area or create a thank-you page with a link or invitation to leave a review post-online sale.

Make Sure You Are Voice-Search-Friendly

Voice search is growing. By 2020, 50% of all Internet searches are expected to be voice-activated. Like traditional search, keyword phrases are at the heart of voice-search success, but keywords that work for typed searches are not likely to yield good voice-search results.

To be voice-search-friendly, use keyword phrases that:

  • Sound conversational…because people are going to talk to Siri (or Alexa or Cortana or OK Google) like they talk to their friends.
  • Answer questions voice-searchers are likely to ask:
    • What?
    • Where?
    • When?
    • How?
    • Why?

The keyword phrases that answer searcher questions are likely going to be pretty lengthy—that’s okay. Long-tail keyword phrases are have better ranking potential in voice searches, and they’re less competitive.

Make Sure Your Efforts Aren’t Wasted

Investing the time and effort to make your business “pop” in local and voice searches is all for naught if your website is not mobile-friendly. While responsive design is nearly standard for most websites designed and engineered today, if you have a well-established website that has not been updated in a while, you may run the risk of being mobile-invisible.

To find out how to make maintain your online visibility in a mobile-only world, contact