In recent years, mobile devices have become the pinnacle way in which we find information online. You cannot walk down a street these days without seeing someone using one and because of that, it is now paramount that your business is ready and optimised with mobile-friendly web designs.
To this day, Google is continuously updating its algorithms to make it easier for the user to find what they are looking for. Back in April 2015, mobile became the forefront of Google’s priorities in its ‘Mobilegeddon’ update. This all-important update had three main differences:
- It affects only search rankings on mobile devices
- It affects search results in all languages globally
- It applies to individual pages, not entire websites
This changed the game when it came to optimising your website. It now had to be ‘mobile-friendly’, optimised with mobile web page design and ready for the next generation of how we received information. If yours was not, then you were sure to fall behind very quickly.
What does a mobile-friendly website mean?
A mobile-friendly website means just that. – it’s a website that works well and is ‘friendly’ with any mobile or handheld device such as iPhone or Android phones, iPads and other tablets. By friendly we mean that each page fits, adjusts and works well with all screen sizes and all the elements like images, text, titles and so on move and flow as the user swipes making the experience ‘user friendly’.
Another coined term is to make sure you have a ‘responsive website’, meaning that it is easily transferable from desktop to any device without any issues. The average user expects any website to do this, and so does Google, so without it your rankings will be damaged.
How to optimise a website for a mobile
In 2007 the first Apple iPhone was released, paving the future of mobile use and completely transforming the way we browse for information and shop online.
In 2020 it seems common knowledge to know that we are able to find all the information we desire with ease, and most people reach for their mobile first to do that – something that is very important to know when optimising your site. You must always think mobile first.
Designing your desktop website to look professional and easy to use, using smooth animations and lots of useful pages, is all well and good, but when it is transferred to mobile it could become bloated, significantly slower and some of the elements simply won’t work. When it comes to a mobile website, it’s good to get into the mindset of less is more and always think about how you will implement a mobile-friendly web design.
A great way to test if your website is mobile-friendly is to add a signup or web form. If one of these forms looks as it does on a desktop and the user has to pinch and zoom to fill it in, then you’ll find they are more likely to give up. 74% of companies use web forms, with 49.7% stating their online forms are their highest converting lead generation tool.
Page speeds are another factor to take into account when optimising your website for mobile.
The average user expects a website to load instantaneously and if not, then you are in danger of them leaving prematurely which impacts not only your brand reputation but also the conversion rates.
Test your page speeds using Google’s free PageSpeed insights tool and explore what you can do to improve your loading times. You may need a web developer on hand to help you implement some of these recommendations.
Growing your business online is paramount to your website’s success. To thrive in the saturated world of over a billion websites on the internet today, you have to be sure that yours stands out and is as mobile-friendly as possible. But what are the real benefits of this?
- You will attract more customers: Having a website that works well on all devices will show your customers you’re ready for them, boosting your online reputation. Optimising your sales pages for easier checkout has the potential to raise your conversion rate. Plus, with a better user experience, you are more likely to be recommended to other potential customers.
- It proves you are up to date: Everyone’s a critic and with more users becoming savvy to how the world wide web works, you need to prove to them that you are staying up to date. Keep your mobile website clean, simple and fast, and make sure to keep abreast of the latest trends to keep your site looking fresh.
- Google will see you are credible: As stated above, the Mobilegeddon update made mobile-friendly websites very important for your website to rank well in the SERPs. In 2020 it is now one of the most important pieces of the SEO puzzle and if you optimise correctly, Google will reward you.
- You can increase your turnover: Given that more and more sales are happening through mobile devices, if your business sells products, then building an eCommerce store will help you to boost traffic as well as increase revenue. In addition creating a mobile friendly eCommerce store will streamline your sales processes and help to increase your conversion rates. In 2020, there are many options available to you to help build a successful online store – start yours today.
In 2020 it has never been easier to create a website and it is usually relatively easy to make it fully responsive. This can only be a good thing given that you need your website to be responsive in order to see its traffic grow and sales or leads increase.
Be ready for the future
Having a mobile-friendly website has been important for a number of years now. It’s almost common knowledge that you have to use this practice in order to survive in this fast-paced online world.
Remember that whether you are building a website from scratch or updating one that you created 20 years ago, always think ‘mobile first’. Without this optimisation you are more than likely going to see negative effects on your business.
A mobile-friendly website doesn’t have to be complicated, as we have said, and less can be more, but having a website that responds well to all devices is a must in this modern era of online information.