Back in 2015, Google changed its algorithm to penalise websites that do not optimise for mobile. This means that you are already six years behind if you have not already ensured that your website is optimised for mobile. The changes in the algorithm mean that searches performed on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will prioritise pages that are fit for mobile. If your page is not, it will be harder to find in Google.
So in this article we will look at five tips on how to optimise your website for mobile to ensure it is easy and clear to find on all platforms.
1. Make it responsive
You might have come to a website while on mobile where you have to scroll to the side to see the full page as it has not been fitted to the screen. This is not only annoying but damaging for the website’s performance in the search engine.
That the website is user-friendly on a desktop is, of course, important, but if it does not look good on smaller screens you stand the risk of losing a lot of potential customers.
Dependent on the industry, the share of search on mobile ranges from 39 to 72 %. In order to not loose out on these potential customers, you will need a website that is easy for them to use on mobile as well.
For a website to be deemed responsive simply means that it automatically adapts its sizing to the screen it is viewed on. So how will the same website look on a desktop compared to a mobile device?
Most websites have a navigation menu in the header of the page with different elements arranged horizontally. When you enter the same page on a mobile device, you might see the same menu arranged in a dropdown format, allowing you to see all the elements on the smaller screen. This is just one of many ways a website can be better optimised for mobile.
Not sure if your website is optimised for mobile or not? Get Google’s opinion here.
2. Less is more
Many businesses make the mistake of keeping the same information on the mobile version of their website as the desktop version. This is not always the wrong way of going about things, but keep in mind that five lines of text on desktop will seem much longer when you view it on a smaller mobile screen.
Another way to look at it is to consider why the person is visiting your page on mobile over desktop. Maybe they are on the go, which means they will have less time and patience to read an extensive explanation of what you do.
Try swapping longer copy on your website for shorter text, remove elements that require a lot of data to load and make long forms shorter. This is key to optimising for mobile.
3. Make your website SMART
When optimising for mobile you can use systems like HubSpot you to implement SMART rules that changes the content on your website based on who the visitor is. One option is to display different versions of a page depending on the device the visitor is using.
If you are using call to actions on your website you can create simple buttons that are better suited to mobile (if you are not using call to actions start using them now!).
You can also write longer blog content for readers on desktop, and shorter summaries for those visiting your blog on mobile. Read more about HubSpot’s smart rules here.
4. Keep loading time to under 3 seconds
This goes for both desktop and mobile, but load time is even more important when people visit your page on mobile. Their patience is extremely short, and 47 % say they expect a website to load in mere 2 seconds.
5. Mobile first
The best way to ensure that your website is fit for mobile is to develop for mobile. It is much easier to scale up than down, meaning if you start with mobile you can create a great desktop site as well. This approach to website is focused on content, and it is the content of a website people have come to see.
Start by prioritising the content you want to have on the page, and structure this in a spreadsheet. Ensure that all “touch-points” are big enough and easy to use on a smaller screen.
Avoid using hovering effects and such as these only work well with a mouse, not on a mobile. And last but not least, test thoroughly that your website works on all devices.
If you follow these 5 steps you will be ensuring that your website will perform the very best not matter whether it is viewed on a desktop, or on a mobile device. At Digital Bazaar we specialise in creating websites designed specifically to get the most out of both desktop and mobile traffic. Contact us today to see how we can optimise your existing website, or develop a new one specifically for your business.