Think about the last time you visited a website on your smartphone, and it didn’t look right. Maybe you were trying to buy a new pair of gloves on the go, but the website didn’t fit your screen. You had to scroll left and right to find the right product. The payment information page kept jumping around as you fought to fit your credit card number in the correct box.
How did this experience make you feel? Frustrated right? In fact, you may have given up before making a purchase. This is an example of why it’s so important to make a website mobile-friendly. Websites must adapt as consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to get online. Mobile-friendliness not only keeps customers coming back to your site but also impacts your search rankings.
Optimizing Websites for Mobile
A mobile-friendly website is considered responsive. It recognizes the device a viewer is using and adapts the layout accordingly. For instance, when someone goes to your website on their phone, it should be in a single column display, while on their desktop, they will see it as a three-column layout.
A responsive, mobile-friendly site accommodates the sizes of images, the layout, resolution, user access, and scripting abilities. In other words, a user should not notice any real difference in usability between accessing your site on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
If your site is not yet mobile-friendly, consider making changes ASAP. There are several significant advantages to doing so:
The Future Is Mobile
More and more people use their devices to access websites. As tech gets more mobile and companies create new devices, your site must adapt so that more people can use it.
Positive User Experience Because people are more frequently using devices to get online, they have begun to expect a certain level of usability. If they don’t get a good user experience, they’ll go elsewhere if the site is too difficult to use.
Mobile-friendly Pages Rank Higher
According to Google, mobile-friendliness is a factor in search page rank. Google says that users should get the information they’re seeking, regardless of device, so a mobile-friendly site gets a leg up in ranking. Optimizing your website in the age of digital technology not only gets you brownie points from Google, but it’s also a sure way to earn the interest and trust of your visitors and potential customers. This is especially crucial if you are running Google PPC ads or trying to drive people to your website. When users drop by your website and find it’s not mobile-optimized, they are likely to hit the back button. This will increase your bounce rate and hurt your chance to rank higher, as Google doesn’t favor high bounce rates. However, if your website is optimized for mobile use, users who are using their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices will stay longer on your site, explore your pages, and try to find what they are looking for.
Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly Enough?
If you have never taken steps to make your website more responsive or mobile-friendly, you probably have work to do. You can also check it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This will give you an idea of where you stand.
The first thing to do in making your site better for mobile devices is to create a separate site for mobile devices and use responsive web design. Creating a separate mobile site is usually cheaper and more straightforward. They tend to deliver the best user experience for mobile devices and load quickly.
Responsive web design is more complicated and may cost more. Google will crawl your site more efficiently because there is only one site. This means your pages get indexed more accurately. A downside is that you may not get the same level of user experience across all devices as you would with a separate site.
Once you have your strategy, consider all the factors users demand in a mobile-friendly website:
- Readable text in a larger font
- A layout that fits the screen to prevent the need to scroll left or right to find information
- Simplified menus, so users don’t have to zoom in or click on tiny links
- Shorter forms for collecting information
- Disabled autocorrect on forms, which only slows down the process of filling it in
- Minimal or no pop-up ads that block text
- Quick page loading times so that users don’t give up on your pages
- Usable button sizes that don’t make it impossible to click on a link
- In other words, people simply want an easy, positive user experience.
They don’t want to get bogged down in scrolling and zooming. Make your site fit the device screen and make it simpler and easier to use.
Although mobile-friendliness is important for page rank, good content still reigns supreme. Use Site Explorer from Ahrefs as a tool for upping your SEO game and page rank. It helps you analyze the competition to improve your keyword choice and usage, content relevance, and, ultimately, search page rank.
Mobile Search is the Future
According to Google, 66% of people use their phones to access the internet daily, and 61% only look at the first page of search results. You must create a website that people can use on devices that still rank high.