What is Page Speed & Mobile-First Indexing?

Today, everything moves at a quicker pace. People want rapid results when they’re online, whether they’re paying bills, researching for vacation spots, or working on their own work projects. That’s why it is imperative marketers keep people engaged on mobile and focus on building mobile-first experiences. If a site isn’t easily and quickly navigable, users will move on to another site. The faster the landing site, the more revenue the company will make.

 Page speed and mobile-first indexing can seem complex and confusing, but we’re here to help! So, let’s start with the basics.

 What is Page Speed?

Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads. A slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation. Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page.

What is “mobile-first indexing”?

Mobile-first indexing means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. If you monitor crawlbot traffic to your site, you may see an increase in traffic from Smartphone Googlebot, and the cached versions of pages will usually be the mobile version of the page.

It’s called “mobile-first” because it’s not a mobile-only index. For example, if a site doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. However the lack of a mobile-friendly experience could impact negatively on the rankings of that site, and a site with a better mobile experience would potentially receive a rankings boost even for searchers on a desktop.

Here are some extra tips that help ensure a site is ready for mobile-first indexing:

·      Make sure the mobile version of the site also has the important, high-quality content. This includes text, images (with alt-attributes), and videos—in the usual crawlable and indexable formats.

·      Structured data is important for indexing and search features that users love: it should be both on the mobile and desktop version of the site. Ensure URLs within the structured data are updated to the mobile version on the mobile pages.

·      Metadata should be present on both versions of the site. It provides hints about the content on a page for indexing and serving. For example, make sure that titles and meta descriptions are equivalent across both versions of all pages on the site.

·      Ensure the servers hosting the site have enough capacity to handle potentially increased crawl rate. This doesn't affect sites that use responsive web design and dynamic serving, only sites where the mobile version is on a separate host, such as m.example.com.

Increasing your sites page speed and using mobile-first indexing will drive more customers to your website and, in turn, your business. With about 5 billion searches performed every day, stand out and be found!

 

Rachael Doukas