Top 5 Tips To Optimize Your Site For Mobile
This past April was a defining month for mobile content as Google laid the smack down with a mobile-centric algorithmic change to how it views sites that are mobile-friendly which means you absolutely must read our top 5 tips to optimize your site for mobile.
A few months have passed since that fateful day and now we have been able to statistically see how much of an impact this change has made on numerous sites, and based on our research the results are not good.
For those sites who think that standing pat regardless of what Google does, you are opening the door to being passed over when someone searches for anything related to your business from their mobile device, which happens about half of the time these days.
This Google algorithm update, aptly nicknamed “mobilegeddon” makes mobile-friendliness more important in regards to how Google delivers mobile results. As it stands today about 50 percent of all people search for things from a mobile device so Google’s attention to this user base is very understandable.
What that means for businesses is that those brands that have not launched either a dedicated m.dot website or don’t have a responsive site have probably been the victim of falling rankings.
In some cases retailers have lost as much as 25% in their search traffic!
So what that means is if your site isn’t responsive or you don’t have a dedicated mobile site, then you need to read these tips and consider implementing some or all of them immediately or deal with falling rankings until you do.
5 Tips for Optimization
First you absolutely must utilize the free Mobile Friendly test from Google. This step will let you know how your site is considered by Google. Next, if you site is not mobile friendly, then you need to read these tips:
- Simplify the Site – This is a bit of a broad statement but what we mean is to simplify in both navigation style and content. For content using bullet points, lists and segmented content make reading much easier. With a shorter attention span and smaller screen the site needs to cater to the user and not the other way around. On that same note using fewer layers of navigation, simple icons, and easily accessible “home” and “back” buttons along with fonts that work well on smaller devices. Last but not least, carefully consider how a mobile user will be able to interact with flash, frames and tables, if at all, from a mobile device.
- Include Local Information – Location and contact information are critical for mobile success. While current customers might be familiar with how to get in contact with you, new customers might need to talk to you or want to visit a physical location. In addition, having local information accessible to crawling will help mobile local users find you more easily.
- Clarify Calls to Action – A call to action on a standard website might be very apparent but when you shrink the site down to mobile size it can easily get lost in the shuffle. For mobile, the goal should be to solve one goal with the site and your call-to-action so make sure there is a simple path to follow with the CTA to allow users to navigate right to where they need to be so they can complete that goal!
- Streamline Checkouts – The checkout process on a standard website is usually pretty easy to navigate even with the standard amount of excessive information that is used. For mobile users you need to really trim the fat or you are going to have very low customer satisfaction. The entire purchase process should only take a few steps and allow the user to get on with their life.
- Avoid Error Pages – Error pages are a general bane for all types of users but for mobile users the annoyance factor is much higher. In general navigation via mobile is slower and more difficult so getting sent to a Page Not Found is a sure fire way to alienate a user because they are trying to use your site via a mobile device.
The bottom line is that there are about 2 billion mobile users worldwide, give or take a million. So it makes perfect sense that adhering to the wants of the world’s largest search engine is a smart idea. By following our top 5 tips to optimize your site for mobile you can make sure that your site still gets top results from Google even if the site isn’t a responsive or an m.dot website.