Google’s recent announcement of new a mobile search index – which will supersede the current desktop one – has marketers scrambling to make mobile a priority.

While a mobile-optimized website was already important (more than half of all searches happen on mobile and people will typically give up on your site if it takes more than a couple seconds to load), it will be more crucial than ever for companies to ensure that their websites and marketing campaigns cater to mobile users.

Here’s how to get ready for the change:

  • Make sure your website is designed from a mobile-first perspective– Use a responsive or mobile site design to ensure that your site is easy to navigate and access on a mobile device (for instance, the user doesn’t have to pinch the screen in order to click a link). Starting in January, Google will penalize mobile sites that use interstitials or pop-ups. To prevent a drop in mobile rankings with this index update, be sure to avoid using those.
  • Work to ensure that your site loads quickly– Your site should load within 3 seconds to prevent mobile traffic from moving to a competitor’s site. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool and’s Website Speed Test to measure site speed and determine opportunities for improvement.
  • Consider revisiting your keyword strategy to add more natural language terms– Natural language terms are search strings that people use via voice search on mobile. Natural language terms tend to be in the form of questions. Review your keyword strategy to see if there are relevant natural language terms that should be added.
  • Optimize on-page SEO elements – Through Google Analytics, find pages that receive the most mobile traffic. Then evaluate which relevant mobile terms should be incorporated into these pages, particularly within key on-site SEO elements, such as metadata, header tags and alt tags.
  • Track terms within your keyword tracking tool on both desktop and mobile – As rankings across desktop and mobile will have the potential to be quite different from one another, it will be important to track monitored terms across both device types to watch for optimization opportunities.

Since Google said the change will happen in the coming months, the sooner you can work to make updates, the better.

Questions? Contact us.

While a mobile-optimized website was already important, it will be more crucial than ever for companies to ensure that their websites and marketing campaigns cater to mobile users.


About the Author

Rachael Roark

SEO Manager

Rachael is a data-driven marketing strategist who specializes in organic and local search, working to create and execute integrated marketing strategies that facilitate client goals.