In the past year, mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary device used to navigate websites. Although there are a fair amount of responsive websites, there’s an even greater majority of sites that are built only for desktop. Google has recently mentioned that users are five times more likely to navigate away from a website if it is not mobile-friendly. If the site takes over three seconds to load then again, users are going to leave.
While ranking is still based on desktop sites, Google is introducing a mobile-first index. This means that mobile usability, speed, user experience, etc. will be the core focus for search engine visibility. Desktop will still be a factor but mobile is going to become much more important. For those of you who have been working on a mobile site, you’ll already have an advantage over the competition.
How to Deliver Mobile-Friendly Content
Mobile content is presented through a responsive web design, dynamic content and separate URLs on a mobile-site. Unless you’re really against it, use a responsive site as Google highly recommends this option.
Optimizing for Mobile
Google utilizes several tools when testing for mobile usability. Additionally, the Search Console can provide mobile details on a page-by-page level.
The Search Console looks at the following:
- Flash – Mobile browsers typically don’t render Flash so it’s advised to use modern technology.
- Small Font – If users have to pinch the screen to zoom in and see the font, it’s time to adjust your font size.
- Tap Elements too Close – It’s common to experience difficulty when tapping an image without clicking the neighboring element. However, this should be fixed so users aren’t navigating away from the site.
- Fixed-Width Viewpoint – Mobile design is circumvented with fixed-width pages.
Use the following mobile optimization sites to make sure you are mobile compliant:
Below is a handy checklist to ensure your website ranks high on Google.
- Responsive design
- Page & hosting speed
- Calls-to-action are visible
- Don’t make promotions the highlight
- Short & clean menu
- Site search stays visible
- Make site searches relevant
- Use a visual calendar for selecting dates
- Create efficient forms
- Have users stay in a single browser window
- Make sure users don’t need to pinch to zoom
- If you have a commerce site, allow users to make purchases as guests