In an era dominated by mobile devices, optimizing your website for them is everything. With this mobile SEO guide, we’ll cover our best practices for optimizing mobile websites and a summary of this field itself. First, let’s clarify why mobile optimization is necessary and what aspects of web design go into making mobile responsive websites.
When it comes to ranking in Google, mobile optimization is especially important for your website because in 2018, Google moved to mobile-first indexing. This means that when Google crawls your website, it will always crawl the mobile version before the desktop version. If your webpages are not optimized or worse, not mobile-friendly, this could have a negative effect on your overall ranking in the SERP (search engine results page). Visit our blog to learn more about the mobile-first update from Google.
According to a study on Statista, about 52% of all internet traffic is now coming from smart phones. As the amount of traffic coming from mobile users is ever-growing, it’s important that web designers are taking this into account when creating mobile websites. In order to keep a user on your website, it’s not just important but necessary to have a mobile-friendly experience.
Responsive web design is a method of web development that allows web pages to render to fit on a variety of screen sizes and devices. This is done using CSS to determine which sections should be rendered where.
Mobile-first web design is a web development method that follows in the footsteps of Google, meaning the website design considers the mobile functionality first. For this method, web developers start designing for the smallest screen first and then work their way up to larger screens like tablets and desktops. When it comes to website design, this is your best bet as it will make for a seamless website experience.
But what if it’s too late to create a website using mobile-first design? That’s when mobile optimization comes in! Use the helpful tips below as a checklist to improve your overall user experience and mobile friendliness.
Page speed can be the main factor in determining whether a user stays on your website. If a page takes too long to load, users are more likely to leave the page without interacting with your website at all. A study by Section determined that longer load times have a direct correlation with higher bounce rates. There are a few common fixes that Google recommends:
When it comes to the navigation on your mobile website, it’s important to include the essentials. Search bars, cart buttons and hamburger buttons have become second nature to users and are expected to be easily accessible. We recommend placing these items on your top navigation so that users can browse your website with ease.
Text that appears to be short on desktop can be long and bothersome when viewed on mobile. To counter this, it’s recommended to only show the most important information and headlines to mobile users so that other aspects of the website are not pushed far below the fold. If needed, you can add a Read More button and collapse text. Google will not penalize users on mobile for this and will still crawl the full text.
When websites are designed responsively, images that look great on desktop can look too big or too small on mobile. This can have a negative impact on user experience if people have to pinch or zoom out on images to interact with your website. Avoid this by inspecting your website for any of these instances and correct any image sizing issues you find.
Not to repeat ourselves, but overlays and pop-ups that are small on desktop could be difficult for mobile users to navigate around. Prevent this by limiting use of overlays and pop-ups on mobile, as these can appear bigger and can even lead users away from your main website. If you need an overlay or pop-up on mobile, be sure to put a large exit button on the top right so users can easily close out of it.
Make sure that touch elements are spaced properly and large enough to click on easily. Touch elements that are too small or too close together can make it difficult for users to interact with your website effectively and of course, this means they’ll leave for a more user-friendly website.
Avoid using content that can’t be played on the mobile version of your website. For example, most mobile phones don’t support Flash Player and having elements that include this can take a toll on user experience.
The moral of the story? Optimizing for mobile can have a great impact on your website from a ranking standpoint and user standpoint. Following our tips above and keeping your user experience in mind will help you to have a successful and rewarding website. If you’re incorporating this into your holistic SEO marketing strategy, request our free e-commerce analysis and learn the fastest way to grow your business online.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat. There are tons of social media platforms out there and odds are that your clients have a mix of them. Basically, having a page on Facebook for your business doesn’t mean you can skip Instagram (but you can learn about sales on Instagram and Facebook alike with our webinar).
Social media presence is playing the long game in that the traffic you want on your website is going to start on your social media page. But it’s worth the work to get the brand awareness ahead of time, so your company is on their mind when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Create a community
Social media is a community onto itself, but having a network of clients on your website forum or in blog comments is a more focused group of people who are here just for your product or service. Not only does this help you stay in touch with clients, but it actually influences ranking. Comments show Google’s algorithm that people are reading your resources and engaging with them, boosting your SEO ranking.
Spring cleaning for your website
True, it’s not spring yet. But you should get started early on cleaning up your website for the new year. Go through your website and make sure all your pages have both meta titles and meta descriptions.
Find any underperforming zombie pages that aren’t drawing in traffic like they used to and take them down. Like the monster they’re named after, a few zombie pages aren’t a big deal — but a ton of them will pose a problem and it’s better to take care of them now. While you’re here, make sure your page speed is on-par. If a webpage doesn’t load within 3 seconds, it’s too slow and should be re-worked to get it up to speed.
New kinds of content & searches
You’ve got a great blog or podcast and an interactive tool on your website outlines how clients can benefit from your products or services. That’s fantastic! But you’re not done yet. The Internet is ever-changing, and you’ll want to pick up new content types as they come.
Videos are rising in popularity online, and they were already pretty popular. If you aren’t making videos yet, you absolutely should and make sure you optimize your videos for the best performance. Voice search is another new frontier to be aware of as you forge on into 2020 so you can rank as well there as you do in standard search queries.
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