Mobile first index can well be described as Google’s initiative to enhance search experience on mobile platforms. When this particular initiative debuted in the digital space (it was way back in Novemeber 2016, that we actually got the word from Google) only a limited the number of sites were actually tested for mobile-efficiency—only signaling that with the advent of time almost each and every site would come under its purview.
What is Mobile-First Index?
Now, it will clearly be difficult to fathom the impact of mobile-first index on SEO and PPC, without deciphering what it is all about. The mobile-first perspective – very simply is a thoughtful effort towards living up to the evolving search trends. The trends clearly mark a shift from the “desktop” to “mobile.” Your potential customers are conducting searches more on their mobile devices than on their desktops. And, it’s not without reason that they are gravitating thus! Consider the basic convenience of carrying your mobile devices around and using them as well.
Mobile First: Why?
As far as the frequency of use is concerned, mobile devices have clearly edged past their desktop counterparts. Consequently, mobile devices have also gone on to replace desktop when it comes to driving online traffic. Quality content, thus has little value today if it’s optimized solely for desktop and not for mobile devices. Needless to say, your mobile site clearly reflects your intentions as a search engine enthusiast. You might as well have a great website backed by stellar content in place. However, the absence of the mobile version of the website would mean that when your viewers are trying to access the same content through their mobile devices they’re actually met with confusing navigation, bloated “speed-hindering” page sizes and other important elements that don’t really scale optimally with mobile devices.
This is primarily the reason why Google decided to roll out an algorithm prioritizing mobile devices. According to the mobile-first perspective, Google will index your site optimized for mobile devices first before the desktop site.
Will it Only Impact SEO?
Needless to say, the impact of the mobile-first index will transcend organic search. The most astute digital professionals out there opine that important elements of your PPC strategy like landing page experience and bounce rate remain vulnerable in this regard. If your website is not optimized accordingly for mobile – then expect these important metrics to govern how much you’re paying for a click and how much you’re getting back for the same. If your users are unable to interact properly with your website then expect them to drop off thereby increasing bounce rate to a major extent.
Why should the PPC Campaigners be Worried?
The mobile version of your website should also be backed by quality content (free of grammatical mistakes, errors etc) so as to avoid risks associated with low landing page experience. It has also been conjectured that with Google tightening its noose on those still not prioritizing mobile, you can expect pages with low quality irrelevant content to be penalized as well. Penalty in this case would mean higher CPC, whereby you end up paying more for a click than what your competitors are doing. Once again, higher CPC (and limited campaign budget) would actually have long term implications whereby number of conversions your campaign is able to generate will be compromised as well.
How Can you Tide Over the Impact of Mobile-First Index on PPC?
So, campaigners, at large need to realize that mobile is a vastly different ballgame from desktop and to arbitrarily assume that the desktop sites can actually convert them into mobile is no less than a detrimental. As such, make sure you’re investing time and effort to create websites specifically suited for mobile use. Some of the most efficacious ways to achieve desirable results would be to shrink image sizes, eliminating large elements like extended forms or sliders, unnecessary texts and overall condensation of pages. Google reports that every single industry has faltered in terms of maintaining the average speed for mobile sites. It’s still around 2.5x lower than what the best practices dictate. Estimating your own performance in the wake of such dismal reports is of utmost importance.