The Future is Mobile. No, it’s the NOW!
For any business, it is critical your website is optimized. In otherwords, is your website optimized for visitors who access your website, through a mobile device? Why? If it’s not, they will simply leave!
Every year people spend more and more time on their mobile devices and tablets, but many websites still aren’t designed to account for different screen sizes and load times. Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed and more, to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.
As I sit at my nearly new desktop PC, it must be remembered that India has a ‘mobile first’ online population and many emerging digital markets have skipped the desktop internet phase entirely. The technology landscape is changing with every passing year and it is quite clear that more people than ever are online and the numbers of such people will only increase. I believe the rate of online access due to ‘mobile first’, the way that people are accessing the internet, will exponentially increase year on year. The latest figures from https://internetworldstats.com/stats.htm show that 58.8% or 4.53 billion people access the web.
Over the past decade or so mobile traffic has shot up but was about 50% for 2018 and 2019. You may think this is the new normal and that mobile useage has plateaued but with the advent of 5G, I predict the percentage of mobile first will increase. The advent of 5G allows greater speeds for accessing data. The future of search is mobile first friendly.
Today, 60% of Google searches are done via smartphones. Five years ago, the figure was nearly half that at 34%.
Our mobiles are an integral feature and fit for our daily routines and lives. They are the umbilical cord to our friends, family, social connections and business. They are the first thing we check after they wake us and are now the ‘Go To’, when we need a question answering.
So the primary way people access the internet is by mobile and this trend will only continue – the ‘new normal’. With the advent of 5G, I have no doubt my prediction will be right and would welcome to debate the contra arguments.
Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_web regarding the mobile web and how this is being termed web 3.0.
I do take the liberty of using the term ‘mobile’ as a catch all to include tablets and notebooks. It is imperative as a business that your website is fully optimized and therefore will keep visitors engaged, want more from your site and fully satisfied. Don’t forget that there are many other websites and pages out there on the world wide web that will probably be offering what you do. Therefore, you need to ensure that your visitor’s journey is optimal.
I could have written the best Eleven Ways to optimize your website but thought there is such a need to ‘Get Mobile Friendly’, that the Three Best Ways would be so easily achievable by all, novice to expert alike.
So, to help you optimize your website for mobile access, here are the Three Best Ways:
Mobile visitors want a site designed to load quickly and a site designed to allow them to find what they’re looking for quickly. Their visit needs to be the same smooth journey, whether they are subscribing to an offer, membership, newsletter, or making purchases. They want a site that makes sense to them visually and they want a site that makes sense to them logically.
Having a responsive web design is the gold standard for any modern website looking to maintain and improve its search engine rankings. What follows may on first reading appear too complicated and only for those in the know re SEO, coding, web design etc. but do read on as the answer is simplicity itself!
Having responsive HTML code in the form of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), allows your website to adapt accordingly to the various screen sizes and orientation of any device that is viewing the content, whether it’s from a laptop or a mobile phone. It’s easy enough to accomplish this with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). You can easily position a CSS based background behind your primary screen. You can also place a header, sidebars, or secondary navigation system behind your primary system by using the background property. The best design option is, again, your best option if you’re accessing your website via mobile, to keep it simple. A lot of sites have been designed to load on a mobile device within a few seconds or less. But, a simple design also takes away the chance of losing visitors because using a complex design they will probably not be ableto access parts of your site.
By making simple HTML tweaks, you can ensure that every image and text on your website is displayed exactly how you want it to be.
You can dictate how your website looks on desktop versus a mobile device too. For instance, you might want a landscape orientation on the desktop and a portrait orientation on smartphones.
Responsive coding lets you personalise each device user’s experience while also cutting down on the required HTML code.
This all may sound rather technical, however choosing a responsive web design is relatively easy to do. Most website management systems, such as WordPress will allow you to install a responsive theme. Simply download the one you want, and you’re good to go.
Secondly, keep your content small and simple. Keep your text to a maximum of 80 characters. This is because, studies show that people tend to scan text and images instead of reading them line-by-line.
Keep in mind too that a mobile device is a secondary screen, not a primary one. The screen on which you present your site is the primary monitor; you need to present your content there first and then present it in a mobile friendly manner.
2. Enable Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
In 2016, Google took the initiative to boost the individual user experience on mobile phones, as a criteria for SEO and therefore Google ranking. Therefore, they integrated AMP right into its very own mobile search results, a particular markup in HTML code. This concentrates on boosting the style and also raising loading times for websites on mobile phones.
Your business will acquire significant advantages in your SEO if you carry out AMP markup on your website over your competitors who do not.
Never forget that search results with AMP are ranked highly, in some cases even above paid advertisements within the search results page.
You can utilize the AMP to improve your web content loading speeds and visual appearance. This ensures optimal user experience.
Just one of the means Google’s AMP markup can improve your content’s look is with the AMP material slide carousel. Customers will have the ability to view even more material from your web site compared to a simple search engine result.
Each time you publish an article to your blog site, it will produce a brand new entry on the carousel. This enables you to squeeze a lot of content into a single search result and improve your reach significantly.
There are additionally carousels designed to reveal feeds from your social media sites websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When deployed in tandem with AMP carousel, you will certainly be able to pack even more content with two or more scrolling search engine results.
AMP is developed to decrease mobile web pages to its bare minimum, removing all the unnecessary bells and whistles, therefore enabling quicker browsing on a limited rate mobile network.
With this push for AMP content, more web sites designers are required to develop simpler website design with much shorter load times.
To begin executing AMP, you’ll need to integrate 3 elements into your web site’s framework.
i) AMP HTML – This is a kind of upgraded HTML that utilizes custom-made AMP-related commands to enable even more dynamic mobile material.
iii) AMP CDN – A content delivery network held by Google that takes care of cached content.
When you optimise your website for AMP, it’s like developing two websites at the same time– one for mobile phones, one for everything else.
3. Load Time
Loading speeds are imperative to your user experience, whether on desktops or mobiles. Slow page loading can cause high bounce rates and will affect your ability to rank highly.
Therefore, to rank highly for search queries on mobile, you’ll need a fast website that even users on slow cell networks can use.
There are many ways to achieve improved speed, such as compressing your images, cutting down on the number of redirects a page has, and optimising your website’s code.
They may take a bit of time to action, but once you’ve worked through them, you’ll be saving a lot of headaches for yourself and your site visitors. There are many Google tools that will help you, so let Google be your friend.
Images are essential for almost any content you place on your website. Compressing images will increase loading speed. They help to make large chunks of text easy to read and scan, contexualising your content and increasing accessibility.
Images are also highly shareable on social media, such as infographics. Visual content should be one of your primary concerns . When you have lots of images on your website, you will soon realise they occupy a lot of space and bandwidth on your web server. When this happens, your website will load more slowly. This in turn will negatively affect the experience for your mobile users, especially those on slower mobile networks.
To solve this, ensure you compress all your images before you upload them.
When you compress your images, you need to determine which file format is the best for your website needs. Some of the most common image file formats you can use are JPG, PNG, and GIF.
PNG is usually the most recommended file format for images. Thanks to its ability to reduce file sizes by up to 95% with barely any loss in quality.
How can I improve Mobile Optimization?
With the Best Three Ways, you will improve your optimization and therefore enhance your user experience. Google will ‘like’ your website and reward you with better rankings, therefore more eyeballs and for business – better monetization. Yes, there are even more ways to improve your website but I didn’t want you to be overwhelmed and swamped. I therefore want your user experience to be the best it can be, just like those who will visit your website in the future.
For now, grab my SEO Mastery freebie below and enjoy!