What is mobile optimization and why is it important?
Mobile website optimization, also commonly referred to as mobile SEO, is the process of making a website usable and convenient for mobile users.
Simply put, it’s a search engine optimization technique that focuses on the site’s structure, design, loading speed, and more to ensure that a website isn’t inadvertently turning mobile users away. It’s one of the most innovative ways of improving your online rankings.
But how do you optimize your website for mobile devices?
Before we look into that, let’s find out the difference between mobile responsive and mobile friendly.
Is Mobile Responsive the Same as Mobile Friendly?
No! A mobile-friendly website is a copy of a desktop version that appears smaller on the phone and may not work ideally on tablets and other touchscreen devices.
On the other hand, an optimized website is made using a responsive design, which allows it to automatically adjust or reformat itself based on the screen size, platform, and orientation.
Why’s Mobile Optimization Important?
Here are ten reasons why you should optimize your site for mobile devices.
Google recently introduced a new algorithm called Mobilegeddon that rewards mobile-friendly websites and penalizes those that are not. The company is also planning to split mobile and desktop search indexes, and the mobile will be the primary focus.
By designing a mobile responsive site, you’ll rank higher in Google’s search results, and this will, in turn, lead to increased organic traffic.
Also, Google will put a little badge next to your website’s name to show its users that your site supports mobile devices.
More Than Half of Online Traffic Comes from Mobile
More than 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. Additionally, 78% of smartphone users and 70% of tablet users browse the internet at least once per day.
With a mobile-friendly website, you’ll be able to attract these mobile users and convert most of them into loyal customers.
Increased Loading Speed
It’s important to note that 47% of web users expect to access a website within two seconds or less. About 75% of them give up if a site is loading too slowly and may opt for a competitor’s website.
Mobile site optimization will help to improve your site’s loading speed by reducing redirects, enabling compression, improving server response time, and more.
Did you know that only about 57% of small businesses have optimized their website for mobile devices?
What does this mean for your business? It means you have an opportunity to make your business stand out from your rivals.
From the statistics, nearly 50% of your competitors could have unresponsive sites. Besides, a significant percentage of those who claim to have optimized sites have not embraced mobile fully.
Optimizing your site for mobile devices is one of the best ways to get what you’ve always wanted: a competitive advantage.
Mobile Users Behave Differently
While mobile users are theoretically the same as those behind desktops, they tend to behave significantly different when they switch from mobile devices to desktop devices or vice versa.
Despite limited bandwidth, mobile device users, for instance, consume a higher amount of visual media than desktop users.
If you think mobile, you’ll be able to harness the power of visual media, and this will capture the attention of most mobile users.
Mobile Users Tend to Buy More
Research shows that mobile users spend more money than desktop users. Although mobile users account for the lowest amount per transaction, they make frequent purchases.
If you sell something below $20, you need a mobile-friendly website to attract smartphone users.
Tablet users, on the other hand, account for the highest dollar per transaction. If you own an e-commerce site, you need to optimize it for mobile devices and target these users.
Some Users Switch Screens
Most web users switch between devices to accomplish specific goals. This means that even if most of your buyers use desktop devices, they might need to access your site via mobile at some point in the sale process.
If your site can’t handle all types of screens, you’ll miss out on sales.
Mobile Landing Pages Need Other Strategies
Your landing page is your most crucial conversion tool. It has to be useful if you want to increase your online revenue.
But did you know that the techniques used on your desktop landing page can’t work for mobile landing pages?
Yes, some techniques don’t change, but mobile devices can’t handle the same principles applied on a desktop screen. Make sure your mobile landing page includes the following:
- A simple design
- 5-word headline
- A clear CTA button
- Fast page-load speed
If you want to reach out to mobile users, you need to come up with a mobile-oriented website that meets these requirements.
Boosting Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
If you’ve invested in social media marketing, there’s a high chance that most of your incoming traffic will be from mobile devices. An unresponsive site will turn-off mobile users and waste the money you’ve spent on advertisement.
If you want to take advantage of social media marketing, you need an optimized website that will catch your users’ social click-throughs.
Mobile Advertising Is Underutilized
Optimizing your site for mobile devices offers a huge advertising opportunity for your business.
Americans spend about 24% of their time on their smartphones or tablets, and yet, only 8% of businesses invest in mobile advertising. This shows that the mobile advertising world is underutilized and you’re likely to pay less to market your product on mobile.
You should take advantage of this opportunity now because it won’t last for long.
In the next three years, experts predict that mobile ad spending will rise and increase the cost of mobile advertising as demand continues to increase.
How Can You Create a Mobile Friendly Website?
There are potentially hundreds of tips to make your website better suited for mobile devices, here are the main ones.
Use a Responsive Design
This is probably the most important thing you need to keep in mind when optimizing your site for mobile devices
A responsive site contains the same content on any device you access it on, but it changes the way its arranged or displayed based on the size of the device screen. The arrangement will ensure that your mobile visitors access the same information as the desktop visitors, and this enhances user experience and ensure customer satisfaction.
Using a responsive design will also improve your SEO strategy. Google and other search engines have repeatedly said that it’s their preferred format for mobile sites.
Make It Easy to Find Relevant Information
Some mobile users don’t mind taking some time to read or browse information at the same pace they would on a PC, but others want to find information as fast as possible.
Think about what mobile users look for when they visit your site and put it where they can easily find it on mobile.
Don’t Use Flash
Adobe Flash can slow down the loading of a page, and it doesn’t work with a lot of devices and some browsers. In fact, neither iOS nor Google’s Android supports Adobe Flash.
If you come up with a site that depends in any way on Adobe Flash, your mobile visitors might be left out. You should, therefore, avoid Flash and find a reliable, fast web design that can work without it.
Don’t be misled! Blocking them will lead to indexations problems that can negatively affect your SEO. You should keep all these coding elements present and available to search crawlers.
It’s essential to note that using the best mobile SEO techniques won’t help if search engines can’t index your website in the first place.
Ensure Your Image and Videos Load Properly
If you access your site using mobile and see a “File not found” message, this is bad news for both SEO and human visitors.
To avoid these compatibility problems, you need to learn web design best practices that ensure the images and videos load quickly and correctly on mobile browsers.
Make Your Text Visible
Web design is essential, but the text is the most important thing on your site. If mobile visitors have a hard time reading your text, they’ll leave your site and probably never come back.
To optimize your site for mobile, you need to ensure the text is visible and legible without zooming or scrolling.
Make Your Buttons and Menus Finger-Clickable
Do you want to make a website that mobile users will love?
All you need is to make your buttons, dropdowns, menus, choices, and other actionable elements easily navigable with fingers.
Coming up with finger-clickable elements can be difficult, so make sure you hire a knowledgeable and experienced web developer. You also need to access your website using your phone and test all the buttons to see if they’re finger-clickable before you launch it.
Improve the Loading Speed of Your Site
Have you ever visited a website that takes more than five seconds to load? It’s terrible, right?
If your website takes longer than five seconds to load, your visitors might not give you a chance. You can reduce the page loading time by installing a good caching plugin, using the right image format, and clearing old drafts and Metadata.
Some mobile pop-ups such as prompts to sign up for a newsletter or participate in a survey can be useful, but you should avoid pop-ups on mobile devices as much as possible.
Mobile pop-ups are quite annoying. They’re not only challenging to cancel but also increase the likelihood of miss-pressing and ending up on the wrong page.
Only use pop-ups when necessary.
Design Specifically for Mobile
You should note that there’s a difference between taking an existing desktop website and making it mobile-friendly and rebuilding a site specifically for your mobile audience.
Unless you have proof that your visitors mostly use computers, it’s a good idea to redesign your site from the ground-up for the mobile experience. This means arranging your content and information vertically and redesigning all the actionable element and functions to appeal to your mobile visitors.
Create an Easy to Switch to Desktop Version
Some of your mobile users may prefer to access the desktop version of your site instead. You can come up with a button that allows them to switch to desktop view whenever they like.
This will make your website user-friendly and also help to improve the user experience.
Make Your Content Mobile-friendly
Make sure the content you upload on your mobile site is mobile-friendly.
If you own a blog, for example, you should post short articles on your mobile website. If you have to publish lengthy articles, try using shorter paragraphs or replacing wordy phrases with simple ones.
You can also combine your articles with audio-visual media such as video or other infographics. Here are more tools that can help you improve your content:
- Styling (bold and italic)
With these, your mobile visitors are likely to have a better experience.
Evaluate the User Behavior to Make the Right Adjustments
Don’t assume that the changes you make will be valuable to your mobile visitors. Once you launch your mobile-friendly website, you should study and follow up the user behavior.
How are your mobile visitors interacting with your site? Are they engaging the way you thought they would? How can you make the site better?
Don’t be afraid to ask the mobile users questions and use their feedback to improve the overall performance of your website.
Creating an optimized website is more important now than ever before. Search engines have embraced the fact that mobile is the future and are now prioritizing mobile-friendly websites.
Lack of a mobile-first experience shouldn’t stop you from ranking top on search engine’s results. Embrace mobile optimization for better online rankings and to enhance the mobile user experience.
Feel free to contact us for web design and SEO services that can help to get your business to the next level.