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The Beginner's Guide to Mobile-Optimization

January 24, 2019By Dan Alexander

Topics: Website Design & Development, Search Marketing

Do you know how your website looks and functions on your smartphone? You should-- mobile site visits now account for 2/3 of all web traffic. Having your website display and behave properly on all device sizes is no longer optional, it's mandatory. If your site isn't accommodating the majority of your visitors, you've got a problem.

With this in mind, it’s surprising to know that at least 50% of all B2B companies have a website that is not mobile-friendly.

Why is Mobile-Optimization Important?

Mobile Use Continues to Grow

In just two years smartphone internet use grew by 78%, a trend that has recently propelled mobile usage over desktop usage. Seeing that a majority of your users are on mobile devices, and knowing the importance of a positive user experience, it's only common sense to optimize your site for mobile. 

Mobile-First Indexing

At the end of 2017 Google implemented mobile-first indexing. As Google put it:

Mobile-first indexing means that we'll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for."

Google is weighing the needs of their mobile users over their desktop users, so if you want your website to show up on the first page of a Google search query, then your website better be optimized for mobile.

Your Competition is Thinking Mobile

Chances are your competition's website is already mobile-optimized. That, coupled with the fact that almost half of all visitors will leave a mobile website if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds, means you need a mobile-optimized website to stay competitive in today's mobile-first world.

How Do I Optimize My Website for Mobile?

Responsive Web Design

"Responsiveness" might sound like a marketing buzzword, but it’s a critical term to be familiar with. Simply put, it's the way your website "responds" to different screen sizes. On a responsive website, content is displayed via a fluid layout that adjusts to fit the device it’s being viewed on. From a web development perspective, responsive web design combines flexible grid layouts (our favorite being bootstrap) and media queries (screen resolution breakpoints where design changes occur).

Responisve DesignMany popular website management systems like WordPress have responsive layouts and themes available, however, mobile optimizing a current desktop-only website will most likely require professional web development assistance.

Use Google's free mobile-friendly test tool to find out if your website is up to par with mobile website standards.

Note: There are many other factors on mobile pages that Google takes into consideration apart from your page's general layout. Having a clear conversion path, or using non-obstructive pop-ups are two examples of elements that will improve your position on the search engine's results page (SERP).

Increased Page Speed

How fast your page content loads is a huge factor in Google's ranking algorithm. Slow-loading content is not only severely penalized by Google, but also a leading contributor to higher bounce rates (user's leaving your site). There are several ways to speed up your site's load time, including:

  • Compress your Images and Videos
  • Implement and Enable Caching
  • Minify Your Assets (HTML, CSS, JS files)
  • Utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If these suggestions above are a bit over your head, don't hesitate to contact the experts! If you want the fastest possible experience for your users, you'll have to leverage accelerated mobile pages.

Want to test your mobile page speed? Thankfully, and not surprisingly, Google has a free tool for that too.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated mobile pages are an open-sourced project lead by industry leaders like Twitter and Google with the purpose of creating a better mobile experience for all. When applied to your site, a lightweight version of your webpages will be displayed to viewers. Any non-essential styling elements will be stripped away in order to give users an experience purely devoted to readability and speed (great for blogs). You can learn more about the AMP project here.

Mobile Optimization IS Possible!

With the number of mobile users ever growing, and Google's increased attention to mobile-first indexing, there is no better time to focus on optimizing your business's existing website for mobile.

In some cases there may even be a need for a new website, built with a modern mobile-first approach. Whatever you decide, the first step should be consulting professional assistance to help guide your mobile-optimization project.

 

Need a mobile-optimized website? Learn how we can help you perfect your website for any screen size or device type.

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