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2 min read

How Mobile First is impacting Vodafone – SMX London 2018

How mobile first is impacting Vodaphone was presented by Nick Wilsdon. Nick is the SEO lead at Vodafone and has 19 years of SEO experience.

Vodafone Started with mobile-friendly initiatives

Vodafone’s early mobile initiatives were:

– They were prompted by mobile traffic tipping point in late 2016
– Vodafone began with deploying a responsive web design
– They retired mobile (m dot) subdomains
– Removed intrusive pop ups and interstitials
– Performance program reduced average load time by -10 secs (Worldwide)

Mobile-first demands entirely new outlook

Mobile-last would be closer to the truth that Vodafone had:

  • Degraded experience
  • Shoe-horned into development
  • Silo-development

Mobile-first is a greater challenge

  • Progressively enhanced
  • Future-friendly
  • Fit for mobile-led markets (ZA)

What factors are influencing mobile-first indexing

What is Google looking for?

  • Responsive websites
  • HTTPS migrations
  • Forcing HTTPS for all users, overcoming header enrichment restrictions
  • Low number of technical errors
  • Mobile usability
  • Page speed

Tips on page speed improvements

Page loading speed is crucial

  • High quality, free tools available. No excuses for not running a performance program
  • Lighthouse 3.0 released in May
  • Sitespeed.io allows you to set up free hosted performance suite
  • HTTP/2 can be set up through most major CDNs

Vodafone’s quick wins with AMP

Considerable success with AMP

  • Vodafone used this across product pages
  • Initial deployments gave them 27%+ increase in traffic and 12% decrease in abandonment rates
  • 65% increase in conversion for AMP journeys vs non-AMP journeys
  • They won the Drum award for iPhone 8/X launch
  • However, AMP should be deployed alongside a comprehensive performance program.

Progressive web apps (PWA)

Huge shift towards progressive web apps (PWAs) this will be seismic change for SEOs:

  • iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 (launched out of beta in March) supported PWA
  • Google announced desktop progressive apps at I/O 2018
  • Renewed push from developers for Javascript frameworks (React PWA Support)

Mobile-first to Data-first with API development

API access to data is key

  • Deployed Alexa Skill for pay monthly customers but still need to open PAYG accounts
  • Ongoing efforts to deliver store location API data, delivered through 3rd party partners
  • Like mobile-first, requires significant changes to enable secure, fast, data delivery via API

Final Insights

  • Mobile-first is a business wide challenge
  • Page speed is crucially important in 2018 – you need a performance program
  • AMP is a successful quick-fix and can be used on all page types
  • Start preparing for PWA development
  • Open data via APIs for competitive advantage