Get in touch with our team


2 min read

How Mobile First is impacting Vodafone – SMX London 2018

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

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
  • 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