How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Nowadays, more and more consumers are using mobile devices. For some time now, mobile traffic has surpassed that of the desktop when it comes to online activity. As a matter of fact, 52.2% of web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices.
That being said, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly these days will lose a lot of visibility, traffic, and exposure. Any business that wishes to succeed in today’s market will have to focus on consumers who prefer to browse the web by using a mobile device. However, customer satisfaction isn’t the only factor that will impact websites that aren’t mobile friendly.
The fact of the matter is that mobile-friendliness is also a ranking factor for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines, such as Google consider mobile-first indexing as a vital ranking signal. In other words, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly simply won’t rank well on search engines, regardless of their other efforts. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can optimize your website for mobile.
Test your website first
Before you proceed with optimizing your website for mobile, you should first take the time to test just how mobile-friendly your website is, to begin with. Google provides you with a free method, called “Mobile-Friendly Test Tool“. This will help you determine how mobile-friendly your website is without having to use multiple devices to test your theory manually. on
Still, you can opt for testing your website manually as well. The main reason is that manual testing using different devices to visit your website can give you insight on how your pages behave, how fast they load and so on. More importantly, this tool doesn’t just tell you if your pages are mobile-friendly or not. As a matter of fact, it will point you towards the issues at hand, as well as make recommendations on how to fix them. This may give you the right perspective on how to plan for your website optimization.
Implement a responsive design
Back in the day when mobile traffic was starting to make its way into the online world, many web owners decided to meet this new demand by creating two versions of their website, one for desktop users and the other for mobile ones. Although this method was effective at first, it soon became evident that it’s costly to maintain two versions of the same website and web owners had to prioritize which consumer base they’ll attend to.
Nowadays, those issues are in the past and you can simply implement a responsive design to meet the needs of all consumers. The way it works is that responsive design can adjust the content on your pages and match them with any screen size of any device your consumers might be using ranging from smartphones to smart watches and others. However, a responsive design needs to be implemented into the website architecture itself and it needs to be done so accordingly if you want to meet everyone’s expectations that is.
Improve website speed
Website speed is a vital factor for both search ranking and customer satisfaction, especially mobile user satisfaction. Fast loading pages are a portrait of a well-optimized website, whether for mobile or otherwise. This is especially true for mobile users as they tend to be pickier when it comes to page loading time than any other user.
As a matter of fact, it takes around 22 seconds to load an average mobile landing page properly while 53% of mobile users will leave the page if it takes more than 3 seconds for a page to load. That being said, you’ll have to work on improving the website speed for mobile if you want to avoid a high bounce rate.
Website speed depends on numerous factors, one being your hosting provider. Many businesses want to have their website locally hosted, so for example, if their business is based in Australia, they’ll choose an efficient web hosting from Australia. Hosting your website locally can ensure proper speed and uptime if you want to have a well-optimized website for mobile. Other things you can do to improve website speed is to optimize images, minify the code, reduce redirects and leverage browser caching, among other things.
Optimize your media
Another crucial factor that affects your website speed is the size of your pages. Visual elements such as images, videos, icons, and other files weigh down your website and have a great impact on loading time. According to a study, the typical download of the entire page measured in megabytes is 1.88 MB, even though it shouldn’t be more 500 KB. So, If you want to speed up your site and decrease loading time you need to optimize those elements and reduce their size as much as possible.
One of the ways to do that is to simply resize your images. There’s no need for 1980 x 1200 images on mobile devices, loading in the background for ages. There’s no reason to go above the 600-700px. Instead, offer links to full-size photos if needed. Resizing your images can shave off up to 80% of total image size.
You can also use some of the numerous compression tools for reducing file size. That will enable you to drastically reduce the size of your files while maintaining their initial quality.
Get rid of unnecessary elements
One of the most important elements of a mobile-friendly website is easily accessible content. In other words, your consumers must enjoy a seamless experience and browse through your content without any difficulties, issues and inconveniences.
In order to provide your consumers with such an experience, you must remove all unnecessary elements from your pages. Consider removing any flash elements for your pages and replace them with HTML5 ones. The main reason is that mobile devices cannot process flash elements and their users won’t be able to see any of that content. Last but not least, make your content finger-friendly. After all your mobile users navigate using their fingers, so make sure they can do so with ease.
Redesign your pop-ups
Pop-ups can easily annoy consumers and make them leave your pages for good. Google even implemented some pop-up penalties in order to prevent practices that frustrate mobile users and eliminate the usage of pop-ups that cover up too much of the site.
And while many people hate pop-ups with passion, they still remain an effective way of grabbing your visitor’s attention. So, if you want to keep them on your website and avoid getting penalized, make sure to optimize your pop-ups, especially for mobile users. There are three main things you should pay attention to.
First, make sure that your pop-ups don’t take too much space. Phone screens are pretty small as they are, so the last thing you should do is overflood them with pop-ups. Second, have a decently-sized, clearly visible button so your mobile users can easily dismiss the pop-up. Lastly, make your pop-ups as simple as possible, containing only the most necessary information.
Mobile-friendliness has become a vital factor for websites. Not only does it affect search ranking but it also affects customer experience and their overall satisfaction. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, it’s time to remedy that issue.
After all, it’s only natural to adapt your website to the needs of your consumers if you want to reach success in the future.