Ladies and gentlemen…. Start your engines….. The race starts July 1st. Start the engines on the mobile version of your website and clean it up ASAP! The race starts July 1st!
Google has just announced that all new websites “previously unknown to Google Search” will be indexed using mobile-first indexing starting on July 1, 2019.
Last month, I was speaking to one of the top 20 groups of Internet Directors in the country and I tipped them that “Big G” (Google) would be moving to a mobile-first index protocol. Several of the directors told me that since they had “responsive” websites they “didn’t even look at their mobile version websites.” I was so shocked I almost fell on the floor! I would have expected this mindset from a less qualified group, but not from top internet directors in the country.
I cannot stress enough that it is absolutely imperative that you pull out your pocket computer (known as a smartphone) and examine your mobile website immediately and often. With mobile traffic strongly surpassing desktop traffic, and that percentage growing every year, you need to see, feel, and touch what your prospects and customers are seeing and feeling. Responsive websites are great for content, but they don’t display the “feel” and navigational organization need on your mobile-version website. There is no substitution other than exploring the mobile version of your website.
So, why do I say, “start your engines,” because too often automotive Search Results Pages (SRP) and Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP) have so many icons and Call To Actions (CTAs) that they look like the side of a NASCAR vehicle covered with sponsor stickers. We need to clean that up and clean it up quickly! Research is clear that customers get confused with too many choices and too much clutter. When customers are confused, they do nothing and that severely impacts conversions. Simply stated less CTAs equal higher conversions.
The good news for previously indexed and previously known websites to Google, is that you still have more time to clean up your mobile versions. Google says, “for older websites, we’ll continue monitoring and evaluating pages for their readiness for mobile first indexing and will notify them through Search Console once they’re seen as being ready.” Therefore, it is crucial that your webmaster is monitoring your website Search Console for indexing notifications. Conversely, Google will not send notifications to new sites or sites that have not previously indexed, but mobile indexing will be the new standard.
What does all this mean? To win the Google search index race, you need a clean, mobile first version website with a perfect blend of evergreen content with fresh, current and accurate content in an easy to understand flow using a limited number of CTAs. The race is yours to win… Good luck!
About the author:
Ray Reggie is based in New Orleans, Louisiana and has spent over three decades in the automobile industry. Ray is a nationally recognized digital consultant and expert that specializes in the automotive market. He often shares his expertise speaking on automotive digital trends and changes at conferences, dealer group meetings, and national conventions.