In the past, web design focused primarily around optimising a site for desktop users. This trend peaked in the days before the rise of mobile really began to take hold. Nowadays, it is seen by many as an outdated way of approaching web development.
This isn’t to say that desktop is no longer relevant, oh no. For many businesses, the majority of traffic comes via desktop still, meaning that the platform still plays an important role when it comes to web design. Despite this, Google is confident that mobile web usage will continue to rise. Have a look at your own analytics over the last few months, and we're sure you will agree that mobile use is on the rise in a big way.
Welcome to the age of mobile – and Google’s long-awaited mobile first update.
What is Mobile First?
Having been in the pipeline for quite a while, it is only recently that people really began to sit up and pay attention to the upcoming mobile first update. Google is notoriously secretive when it comes to releasing new updates, preferring to roll out changes in secret rather than giving businesses and digital agencies prior warning. While this approach works well for Google, it has historically been the cause of some major issues for small businesses and big-name corporations alike.
Although we don’t know an exact date of implementation, on paper, the mobile first update is straightforward. Once the new index is applied, the search engine will assess websites according to the mobile version of their websites, updating listings accordingly. In short, if your mobile site isn't up to scratch, you may simply disappear overnight.
So, why are they doing this? The shift towards increased mobile consumption is the primary driving force behind the update. Google wants its rankings to benefit sites which work well on both desktop and mobile, benefiting the user in every way.
This means that creating a high-quality, user-friendly mobile site is more important now than it ever has been.
Why is Mobile Optimisation Important?
Wondering whether the update will affect your business? Google’s updates are rolled out across the board, meaning that household names are just as likely to be affected as start-ups. Let us say that one more time, for clarity: this update, much like Panda, will affect all websites.
However, things aren’t all bad!
Google is well aware that many businesses have previously neglected the mobile versions of their sites in favour of dabbling with apps or creating an all-singing, all-dancing desktop site. So, while there are many rumours circulating about mobile first, we all know that it is coming and will likely arrive soon - giving us all time to get ready!
This means that now is the perfect time to make sure that you and your website are prepared. Is your site mobile friendly? If the answer is no, take the time to make some changes and address the issue.
Mobile first needn’t cause you a massive headache - there is still time! Here at i3MEDIA, we specialise in web design -both desktop and mobile - and always work to ensure that our client’s mobile sites are just as strong as their main websites.
Interested in hearing more? Just drop us a line – we will be more than happy to discuss your needs with you in greater detail.