Your aesthetic practice may have noticed an email from the “Google Search Console Team” hit your inbox this week alerting you that “mobile-first indexing has been enabled” for your website. You’re receiving this notice because you’ve been added as a user, or you are an owner, of your website’s Google Webmaster Tools account.
To be fair, this update by Google isn’t new at all, they announced it back in March. Google confirmed that mobile-first indexing is an update in which their:
“crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
What does this mean for your aesthetic practice’s website?
Let me start by confirming that this update is not an algorithm change but a shift in how Google indexes mobile websites, not necessarily in how the search engine ranks them. There are implications that the indexing change may influence rankings, but that has yet to be seen.
If your website is on a mobile-responsive design, meaning that your platform automatically converts everything (text, images, video) into a mobile-friendly version then this update will have very little impact on your mobile indexing, and ultimately, rankings.
If you have a specific mobile website that differs from your desktop website, such as an “m.” website, then your mobile content likely differs from desktop content. If that’s the case then this update will affect how your website is indexed, but again, it may not influence mobile rankings, especially if your mobile site is loaded with quality content.
If you do not have a mobile-friendly website then you’ve likely already seen the drop in rankings, user engagement, and conversions because of this, so this mobile-first indexing announcement should serve as a reminder that you need to make sure you make your website mobile-friendly ASAP.
Google rolled this out slowly, which is why they announced it in March and some folks saw notices over the summer and others are just now being notified. Whether your website’s content has been indexed by mobile-first or not has no bearing on your search rankings.
That said, mobile-responsiveness, in general, has been a ranking factor since 2015. Remember the “mobilegeddon” craze?! Now, mobile SEO is a part of any SEO strategy.
Fast-forward to 2018 and now it’s not just about being mobile-responsive but mobile-effective. This means focusing on your menu, calls to action, and your page load time. Back in July, Google announced their “Speed Update,” which confirmed that site speed influences search rankings.
What’s Turbo’s mobile stance?
While we focus on building aesthetically-appealing websites that perform well on mobile, we don’t take a “set it and forget it approach.” All of our monthly marketing clients benefit from…
- 2x a month technical audits: run site audit within SEMRush software and adjust for any issues related to meta data, page names, re-directs, etc
- 2x a month mobile website audit: check the site for fully functioning gallery, menu, etc on mobile
- monthly technical audits: evaluate Webmaster Tools crawl data and mobile indexing
- monthly site speed audits: adjust any issues related to CSS, HTML, images, etc
- monthly SEO audits, including mobile SEO
- and much more
While we love WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) platform, like any software, it requires some maintenance. The aforementioned are just a few of the Turbo monthly “maintenance” items we evaluate to keep your website running tip-top.
Concerned about your mobile site’s effectiveness?
If you’d like to learn more about your website’s mobile-friendliness or mobile-effectiveness, or you simply have a question about mobile, SEO, or anything marketing-related, drop us a line here. You can also reach Turbo directly at 877-673-7096 x2. Turbo proudly serves the aesthetic industry, working primarily with plastic surgeons, medical spas, and cosmetic dermatologists.