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Mobile – First Indexing of Ecommerce Sites

Mobile – First Indexing of Ecommerce Sites


Mobile-first indexing has been a popular topic over the past few months. We’ve seen a lot of articles on the subject, discussing how it may impact site appearance in search results. It’s important though not to confuse mobile-first indexing with ranking – remember the basics of indexing and ranking when it comes to this topic.

  • Indexing vs. Ranking

Search engines perform two main tasks – indexing and ranking. The mobile-first index means that mobile pages will be crawled first, and Google will revert to desktop pages if no mobile page is available.

The factors Google use to determine search rankings include mobile usability (mobile friendliness). Mobile-friendly content will be ranked higher in search results when a user is searching on a mobile device – this has been a factor that’s been around since 2015.

Keyword rankings differ based on whether the searcher is using mobile or desktop. This is due to Google ranking factors and roadblocks that exist in their mobile results, such as mobile page speed as a ranking factor and the intrusive interstitial penalty


  • How Can Ecommerce Companies Adapt?

The obvious: Make sure your site is mobile optimized

The first step you need to take, if you haven’t already, is to switch to a responsive website as soon as possible. There are other options for optimizing your site for mobile, including having a separate mobile site, but responsive design is generally recognized as being the easiest to maintain.

To check whether your site is currently mobile friendly, check out Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

Mobile Friendly test

Start thinking mobile-first With their move to a mobile-first index, Google is effectively stating that mobile is leading the way in search. If they haven’t already done so, brands need to follow suit.

Thinking mobile-first doesn’t mean mobile-only. As we discussed in the previous chapter, desktop still has a key role to play in search and the overall conversion funnel for many industries.

A mobile-first strategy will take into account the types of searches typically undertaken on mobile, and will develop content best suited for those searches.

Google’s micro-moments explain the typical search intent behind different types of query, and show how this might affect the search results returned in each case.

Google’s micro-moments

As an example of how ecommerce companies can implement strategies to target mobile users, a search for ‘contact Shopper Stop’ on mobile should return options to contact the company quickly and easily.

Through the use of click to call markup, ecommerce sites can provide search engines with the data they need to offer this feature in their results:


  • Report on Performance Between Mobile and Desktop

Reporting on desktop vs. mobile performance is easily and clearly accomplished in Google Analytics.

Measuring rankings and organic channel performance for mobile separate to desktop can give you a better picture of how things are working across both channels. As search usage continues to shift toward mobile, this will become increasingly important.

The vast majority of ecommerce sites need to adapt and work to improve the current situation of how their sites perform for mobile users. When designing a mobile-friendly site, certain mistakes keep popping up, even among top e-commerce sites.

We searched for the most common mistakes made on mobile websites, and found that the vast majority of sites were plagued by significant problems.


  • The five biggest errors we found were:

  • 4xx error codes, which impact a user’s ability to utilize or access the site correctly.
  • Slow page loading speed, which will drive users away and negatively impact SEO.
  • Issues with mixed content, which will negatively affect user experience and reduce confidence in your website.
  • Missing or empty title tags, preventing Google from identifying the content correctly.
  • Redirect chains and loops, which prevent users from getting to the correct destination quickly
Landing Page Optimization

Landing Page Optimization


Before understanding the importance and impact of landing pages, it is essential to understand what it is and how it works. A landing page is a standalone page created especially for marketing or advertising purposes. A visitor lands up on this page after clicking on a Google Adwords ad or any other click bait. The landing pages are created with a single objective to get the user click the Call-To-Action (CTA). Many people confuse the landing page with the homepage. While homepage is the opening page of any website giving insight about the site containing a number of links, the landing page usually contains only one link (CTA) to take the user to another designated page. Adding a landing page to a website helps drive traffic and acquiring leads and advertises the expertise of the website.

Optimizing the landing page is a long and complicated process but it is extremely essential to Search Engine Optimization (SEM). If done wrong, landing page optimization could have adverse effects on the traffic of the website but a few pointers could boost quality score and incoming traffic like never before:

  • One main Call-To-Action (CTA)

The purpose of a landing page is to get the user to take action. A laser focused landing page with a single CTA button which caters to the expertise and domain of the website converts better. Using benefit-oriented CTA also goes a long way in appealing to users, e.g. using “Get Free Sample” in place of “Download” or “Add to Cart and save 20%” in place of “Buy Now” instantly attracts people and could boost in traffic and actions taken.

  • Benefit-Oriented headline

A recent study showed that benefit oriented headline increases conversion rate by 4.3%. Users are always drawn towards freebies and benefits. The positive effects of the products rubs on the consumers.

  • Understanding Customers

The landing page needs to be in-line with the motivation, needs, desires and frustrations of the customers. The design needs to be user-centric and eye-catching yet simple with only a single CTA.

  • Relevant Content

Content is probably the most crucial part of any page and is more relevant in the case of the landing page. After creating the content, one needs to assure if it successfully answers the relevant customer questions. What is the product about? Does the page provide necessary information? Will the user trust the webpage? Is the time-taking long enough to frustrate a new user? These are vital questions which make or break any website. A lot of websites design with place-holders like Lorem Ipsum in place of real copies and content. Creating the content should be a priority and the design should be in line with the content and not the other way around.

  • Design

The look and feel of the landing page is what attracts a new user in the first place. A visually attractive design which is pleasing on the eye helps get new traffic and marketing through word-of mouth.

Optimizing a landing page is a time taking process which requires a team effort including a graphic designer, content developer and the IT team. There are a number of potential bottlenecks which could disrupt the traffic of the website but if planned and executed right, landing page optimization could do wonders to your website and business.

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