July 26, 2017
In 2016, mobile finally surpassed desktop to become the top device people use to access the Internet. It had been a long time coming. As early as 2015, Google revealed that searches done on mobile exceeded those done on other devices.
There’s no doubt that mobile-first has arrived. Nonetheless, as much as mobile responsiveness has been around for a long time, most sites tend not to do well when it comes to usability because most business sites are still made for desktop and then adjusted downward to fit the mobile platform. This will no longer be sustainable in the mobile-first era we are entering.
Here, we look at how you can optimize your website for mobile users.
What mobile users and Google want
A look at promotional material from Google’s reveals three facts that attest to the significance of mobile optimization:
- More Internet users today are performing online searches on mobile than desktop computers.
- Internet users are five times more likely to leave your website if it’s not optimized for mobile.
- More thanr 50 percent of Internet users using mobile phones will leave a website if the loading time exceeds three seconds.
Taking into account that many mobile data networks are unreliable, it is clear that for your site to be successful, it needs to be lean and adapted to mobile devices.
Seeing as more searches are being done on mobile than on desktop, it’s no surprise that Google is moving toward mobile-first indexing. It is, however, yet to be fully implemented, meaning ranking is still mainly centered on your site’s desktop version.
Top firms such as cospringsseo.com know that when it does happen, the primary drivers of your visibility on search engines will be your mobile site content, speed, links, user experience, etc. Desktop will still factor into your results but mobile elements will be the most important.
This should come as good news for businesses that invest time and effort into the mobile versions of their sites because it’s an opportunity for them to gain an edge over their competitors. It is, therefore, important that you work with your SEO firm to adapt your mobile website accordingly.
Adopting a mobile-friendly approach
The first step to leveraging mobile-first indexing is creating content that is mobile-friendly. There are three approaches that you can employ in this regard: separate mobile site URLs, dynamic content and responsive Web design.
Google recommends using responsive website design to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. It has been in use for a while now. Important to note is that there are still a number of sites that have long adopted mobile responsiveness but still fail their users when it comes to providing a good user experience. Responsive Web design, therefore, plays a minimal role in making websites mobile-friendly.
Page speed is a significant factor on both desktop and mobile devices, but it is especially significant on mobile when Internet users are looking for answers to their questions online. Pages take considerably less time to load on a Wi-Fi network than they do on mobile data networks. And even with 4G, mobile data networks are not entirely reliable.
There are a number of recommended ways of improving page speed on mobile. Google’s PageSpeed insights tool helps webmasters in this endeavor by making it possible for them to test the speed of their pages and offering some tips on how to make improvements.
The following are some of the fixes that are suggested by Google’s testmysite.withgoogle.com.
- Enable compression
- Optimize images
- Minify CSS
- Leverage browser caching
- Avoid landing page redirects
For WordPress sites, performing such tasks is not too difficult because there are plugins that take care of most of these issues without you having to spend a lot of resources. It is possible for you to reduce page speed to Google’s recommended three seconds by implementing the improvements suggested by the PageSpeed insights tools and using a faster hosting service.
The point is that you can obtain clear insights on page loading time for the purpose of determining what improvements you need to make. You will definitely have to make some adjustments to your content management system. However, in many cases, you’ll find that 20 percent of the effort can get you 80 percent of the results.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) also play an important role in mobile optimization. It is aimed at making sites that are usually clunky and slow load nearly instant. The sooner you adopt AMP for the appropriate pages on your site, the faster you can gain a lead on your competitors.
There’s no doubt that mobile search is finally finding its way to the top of SEO, with more Internet users performing searches on mobile than on desktop. To benefit from this shift in the SEO world, have a qualified and experienced SEO firm help you build a mobile site that will give you enviable rankings.
Rachel J. Hessler has worked as a digital marketer in the SEO industry for 13 years. Rachel has written numerous articles and blog posts on topics related to modern SEO. Learn more about mobile optimization at cospringsseo.com.