During last month’s Next10x Conference in Boston, Google’s Gary Ilyes admitted that the company may not launch its mobile-first index until 2018, after originally expecting it to go live this year. While Google appears to be disappointed with the delay, it gives brands and webmasters more time to polish their mobile strategy.

So, what can you – and your SEO agency – do to improve your website’s mobile-friendliness?

“Mobile SEO is part technical and part engagement, and 100 percent critical,” wrote columnist Nate Dame in a recent Search Engine Land article. “As Google prepares to roll out mobile-first indexing, optimizing your site for mobile is more important than ever.”

To begin with, your site and content must fit comfortably on mobile device displays. Web page buttons and links should be large enough for mobile users to select and tap. Improvements like keeping paragraphs short and center-aligning media do wonders for the mobile experience.

Site speed is also crucially important for both user experience and as a ranking element: mobile users tend to abandon sites that take more than three seconds to load, and faster site speed is associated with better rankings and more engagement across platforms. Website design is crucial to SEO success, and your SEO agency should be able to guide you through this process. Digital marketing agencies can no longer add optimized content and links to your site and call it a day; SEO must now be taken into consideration at the earliest stages of your website build.

Finally, it’s time to abandon pop-up advertisements and interstitials: Google introduced a penalty against ads that cover content on mobile sites at the beginning of the year.

As a Premier Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media understands how to make your website visible in search engine results. Our full-service digital marketing and SEO agency can get your company noticed, generate online traffic, and direct qualified leads to your site.