By Victoria C. | Solution21 | Director of Content Marketing

Google Begins Mobile-First Indexing for Better User Experience

Without a mobile-friendly website, your ranking will start to dip

Google’s recent announcement of mobile-first indexing is encouraging a lot of dental, medical and plastic surgery practices to move away from old desktop website into native mobile-first or responsive design. This move is not a surprise as search queries using smartphones now outnumbers the more traditional desktop searches. While it’s still referred to as an ‘experiment,’ the move is still seen as Google’s planned shift away from crawling desktop version of websites and into ranking mobile content first when ranking search results to meet smartphone’s increasing importance in searches.

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Previous algorithms focused largely on the desktop version of a website, instead of ranking it by their mobile site. In Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm, the search engine will be giving preferential search rankings to websites optimized for mobile. This will allow for a better search experience for your potential patients using mobile devices.

What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?

A website is considered mobile-friendly when it includes distinct features such as readable text on small screen without zooming, content sized to a smartphone screen and the absence of applications that don’t function on smartphones like Flash. The navigation and content should be specifically tailored to mobile search behavior for it to be considered fully mobile-optimized. Websites that don’t meet these standards are not considered mobile-friendly and will most likely fall in search rankings. However, it must be noted, that informative and relevant content will continue to be rewarded.

What’s at Stake for Your Practice?

According to Pew Research Center’s Health Fact Sheet, 52% of smartphone owners have used their phones to look up health or medical information online. It is, therefore, in your practice interest to invest and update to a mobile-friendly website. Google’s mobile-first indexing will analyze your website and check if the page has a mobile-friendly design, which will have a significant impact on search results. If your website is built for desktop use only, you may be ranked lower in search. This means your potential patients will not be able to find you on the first page of Google search results for queries that matter to your practice.

The Solution: Responsive Website Platform

Just having a mobile version of your website, may be a quick-fix for Google’s mobile-friendly requirements, is not going to be enough to help in your search ranking or make potential patients find your practice. Get a responsive website, which offers consistent markups and content across desktop, tablets and smartphones. Responsive website platform is a state-of-the-art for mobile-friendly website design. Responsive technology detects the size of the screen that your patients are using and automatically adjusts the website to conform to that screen size. Elements and content of the website are displayed correctly within the detected screen size for better readability and usability.

Update to a Mobile-Friendly Responsive Website Now

If you have your regular website maintained by Solution21, we offer a special rate to help update your practice website to a mobile-friendly or responsive platform. With a new desktop design, we will add responsive website technology to ensure an optimal experience for your patients. If you would like to keep your existing design, we may be able to convert that to responsive technology. Your hosting fee will include updates, website monitoring and performance tweaks and troubleshooting. For more information, please contact (888) 423-9235.

Source:
Mobile-first Indexing | Google Webmaster Central Blog
Google begins mobile-first indexing, using mobile content for all search rankings | Search Engine Land