Photographer SEO Help: Google’s Mobile First Indexing

Ohhhh photographer SEO help – always a fun subject. But first – WOW yesterday’s Kickass About Page Master Class was seriously awesome. We went through some about pages of the attendees’ and talked about things to update and change, and more importantly – WHY! I know it might seem overwhelming, but you can do this. 🙂

If you missed the Kickass About Page Master Class, you can still view the replay by clicking here!

Okay. Onto today’s website news. Well, it’s not really NEW news, it came out in November. But based on my recent browsing on photographer’s websites, it seems to be news that a lot of people haven’t seen, or don’t know how to address.

So, here’s the thing with ALL SEO that you must know: only the people that create the algorithms at Google really know what goes into them, and I’m willing to bet there are so many pieces that there is no one person that really knows EVERYTHING that can help you to rank well. However, we do have announcements from Google that can help, and this was one of them from November of 2016.

Google announced that it is rolling out a new mobile-first index.

So what the heck does that mean?

Well, let’s break it down.

Basically, Google said that we recognize that most people are searching on their mobile devices, so instead of looking at the desktop version of your website, we are now going to look at the mobile version to make sure that everything looks fabulous and offers great content for us to serve up to our users.

Remember this in EVERYTHING that you do when it comes to SEO: Google’s job (and other search engines) is to serve up the best possible information based on a search that someone types in.

So when someone types in “best brunch in Denver” and it comes up with brunch in Ohio instead, it makes Google look bad – and no one wants to look bad to their customers!

ALL search engines will ultimately be looking for the best possible information to serve up based on searches, and this announcement says that Google will now be looking at the MOBILE version of your site to determine how useful it is for their users.

Whew. This is HUGE, ladies and gentlemen, huge. They’re basically saying that if your mobile site doesn’t have the necessary content and information like your desktop site, you could be in trouble when it comes to SEO for photographers and ranking well.

A few questions that have come up because of this announcement, that I have seen in the past few months:

1. I didn’t create my mobile website, what does that mean?

That means you’re DONE, my friend. KIDDING! Google has said that if you don’t have a mobile site, it will still crawl the desktop version. “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.” So, they will still be able to see your content. However, as we move more and more into a mobile age, I would expect that even if they’re willing to crawl your desktop site instead, you could be penalized for it. Meaning that your content won’t rank as well because you don’t have a mobile site. So get on that, get it done!

2. What if my site is responsive?

This is actually what Google recommends. This means that the content is the same as you navigate through the pages on both desktop and mobile sites. There are other ways to get a mobile website, and certain companies that cater to photographers offer these different options, however the recommendation is to go with a responsive site. Personally, I have found that not only are responsive sites easier to use and look nicer, but they are also now going to be easier for Google to crawl, which could potentially mean that they might rank higher than a site that is not responsive.

3. How can I tell if my site is safe and Google will see the mobile website as well?

Google Search Console is the best resource to really look at your site and how it is seen by Google, however, you can also use this test to determine if the web page is mobile friendly. Another way to test? It sounds super silly to say, but on your mobile. Check on your mobile. Check on your spouse’s mobile. Check on your kids’ tablet. Check on every mobile device you can find. Click on the links and check it out, see how it looks and if the content is still the same. Can you still read the text? Is the basic information still there? Check it out, you might be surprised.

Overall, this is a HUGE CHANGE when it comes to SEO, but really, Google has been moving more and more towards mobile friendly sites and rankings anyway. If you have been a part of the world in the past five years, you know how prevalent smartphones are, and how important it is to be accessible from all devices.

Ultimately, you want your clients to be able to see your awesome information ANYWHERE – even if they are out and about, so make sure that you have a mobile friendly site! Not just for Google, but for your dream clients too.

I hope this helps, I have seen a lot of questions about this. If there is anything else I can answer for you, please feel free to ask in the Facebook group. Groups are also a fabulous resource to ask others to test your site with different devices, everyone has a different favorite when it comes to mobile devices!

Ready to get your website into gear and sharpen your marketing message for all of your visitors to see? Do you even know how many visitors you have, or if you have any? How do you track all of this? How do you know what they are seeing? OMG BROOKE HELP ME!

I hear you friends. Click here to be the first to know about a brand new resource to help you transform your website into your top employee in your business, booking your dream clients every day!

If you want to be a part of the beta group, I’m looking for about 10 super motivated individuals but there is an application… so go do it already! Deadline is Friday, March 17th, click here!