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How mobile-first indexing boosts visibility and booking rates

Nick Brown
By Nick Brown
04 June, 2024

Mobile-first indexing is here to stay. Find out how it can benefit your visibility and booking rates


What does mobile-first indexing mean for your business and your booking process? Well, it means that if you aren’t prioritizing your mobile strategy, you could be missing out on a lot of high-value bookings.

Here, we’ll take you through what mobile-first indexing is, why it’s important, how it benefits your business, and how you can improve your mobile strategy.

What is mobile-first indexing, and why is it important?

Before we go any further, let’s dive into what mobile-first indexing is, why it came about, and why it’s important.

Mobile vs. desktop

The desktop version of any site used to be the gold standard. Companies would spend a lot of time and resources making sure that their desktop site was up to standard. Then, if they could be bothered with a mobile version at all, they would spend a cursory amount of time fitting their desktop design to mobile standards.

That's not the case anymore. 

graphic mobile vs desktop total traffic 2023
Image sourced from SemRush

days, the vast majority of internet users spend most of their browsing time on mobile devices. There are nuances to this. For example, some people do 'casual' browsing on their mobile devices and save the 'serious' research and purchasing for when they get to their desktops.

But that kind of behavior is getting rarer. Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha trust their mobile devices enough to do pretty much anything on them. Often, they know and trust their mobile devices more than they do their desktop computers.

The upcoming generations spend the majority of their time with their mobile devices. They only sit down with their desktop computers to do specific things, like play high-powered games or do work. They are most familiar and comfortable with the devices that travel with them, that fit into their hands, and that give them what they need easily and intuitively.

So, mobile dominance is set to grow and grow.

This has serious implications for businesses that rely on desktop versions of their websites, especially when it comes to SEO strategies

What is mobile-first indexing?

In 2020, Google announced that it would be switching to mobile-first indexing for the whole web. This means that, when someone searches on Google, the search engine will crawl the mobile version of sites first, and get relevant information from that mobile search.

In practical terms, this means that companies which don't prioritize their mobile site design will lose an important ranking factor for Google searches. Companies which want to rank highly in search indexes and bring in more traffic need to focus on creating and maintaining mobile-friendly websites.

desktop and mobile google indexing
Image sourced from Sitechecker pro

4 Ways Mobile-First Indexing Improves Visibility and Booking Rates

If you have a good, responsive mobile website, mobile-first indexing can be very good for your business. Here are just a few ways it can improve your business' visibility through search and increase your bookings:

1. It boosts search rankings

As we explained above, Google uses a mobile-first strategy when crawling websites for search results. While it does also crawl desktop versions of sites, it prioritizes mobile versions. So, brands with a good, accessible, well-optimized mobile version will have an advantage when it comes to search rankings.

SaaS SEO case studies tend to highlight the importance of targeting mobile users alongside more traditional strategies, like keyword placement and backlinking. By focusing on mobile usability, brands can take advantage of Google's mobile-first indexing policy and get a head start on SEO before even writing any content.

2. It helps people to make bookings on the go

If you don't have a mobile-friendly version of your website, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential browsing time. People are spending less and less time at their desktop computers, and more time browsing the web in snatches or while they work on the go from their phones and mobile devices.

By creating a good mobile website with fast load times and a responsive design, you make it easy for people to find your site and make a booking on the go. Combined with mobile-first indexing, this will boost the overall traffic to your website, improve customer experience, and bring in a lot more bookings.

You should also consider using tools like TIMIFY to create an omni-channel booking system. This will allow your customers to book through various 24/7 communication touchpoints, increasing your company's growth and customer satisfaction. 

3. It brings in younger customers

stock image a woman with a phone on her hand
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

A majority of users from younger demographics use mobile devices a lot more than desktops. Mobile-first indexing will direct these younger, up-and-coming customers straight to your website.

It's well worth attracting bookings from younger people for a variety of reasons. Not only do younger customers typically have a stronger lifetime value, they are also more likely to share their experiences of your company online, leave reviews, give feedback, and generally boost your online presence.

4. It helps you to appear slick, modern, and sophisticated

Your website is like your shop window. People judge your company on the quality, appearance, and usability of your website. A website that is slow, clunky, and hard to use on mobile won't do your reputation any favors.

Good mobile usability, on the other hand, shows that you're on top of the latest tech trends and understand what modern customers want. It helps you to appear sophisticated, up-to-date, and highly competent. 

Mobile-first best practices

So, mobile-first indexing can be very good for your visibility and booking rates. But how can you make it work for you?

Here are some mobile-first best practices to help you optimize your website and booking system for mobile indexing:

Focus on mobile-friendly design

stockimage a mobile phone
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Mobile optimization is one of the very best things you can do to boost your mobile SEO. A well-optimized mobile site should:

  • Have fast load times on mobile devices.
  • Have a responsive web design that 'snaps' to fit smaller screens.
  • Text that's clear and readable on smaller screens. You may have to rewrite some of your content in shorter form for proper mobile optimization.
  • Easily-clickable CTAs. Buttons are often better than link text for mobile devices, as they're much simpler to find and click on a small screen.
  • Simple navigation.
  • Good mobile SEO. SEO for mobile can be complicated. If you don't have the time or the knowledge to optimize your mobile site, consider hiring a B2B SEO agency to help out.
  • Incorporate tools. Leveraging resources such as a toolkit for WordPress can significantly streamline the mobile optimization process for your website, from optimizing images to ensuring seamless navigation across various screen sizes.

Make sure your mobile site is crawlable

Search engine optimization is great, but it's no use if Google can't crawl your mobile site in the first place.

So, make sure that Google's bots can find and explore your site by making it crawlable.

How can you do this? Here are a few important things to check:

  • Make sure that you aren't blocking resources like Javascript or CSS.
  • Use structured data markup. This will help search engines to run your code faster and more easily.
  • Regularly audit your crawlability by running your site through site auditing software.

Optimize images for mobile

Images can be a problem for mobile sites. They can hold up load times and throw out your page formatting. So, it's important to make sure that all your images are optimized for mobile.

Optimizing images for mobile involves:

  • Compressing images to keep load times fast.
  • Building an image sitemap to help search engine crawlers find your images.
  • Implement lazy loading for images (i.e., make sure that the main content of your page loads first and images come in later when there's enough bandwidth).
  • Replacing images that can't be properly structured or compressed with more suitable images.

Mobile-first indexing can boost your bookings

Mobile-first indexing is here to stay. In order to take advantage of the benefits mobile-first indexing can bring, make sure that your site is optimized for mobile.

In doing so, you’ll boost your online presence and ramp up those booking rates. 

More than this, you’ll also ensure that you’re able to stay ahead by keeping your site smooth and easy to navigate on mobiles, making sure it’s accessible to Google’s bots, and tuning your content for smaller screens. So, lean into the mobile trend—it’s your ticket to growing your business and staying fresh in the digital game.

Nick Brown

About the author

Nick Brown

Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, the SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK-based agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA.

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