Mobile optimisation is an essential element of a successful digital marketing campaign. According to Statista.com, a whopping 48% of people in the UK use their mobile device to access the internet. This means that without the right optimisation strategy in place, you could be missing out on almost 50% of your share of the market. If your website doesn’t fully cater to mobile users yet, we’d like to help you.
Mobile optimisation ensures that your website reaches a larger audience and that your customers have an enhanced user experience. Mobile optimisation combined with mobile friendly SEO can ensure improved search engine rankings too. Google’s “Mobile-First indexing” could affect your website’s visibility, it it’s not sufficiently optimised.
Before we get started, you might want to know what Google Mobile-First indexing is. According to information on Google’s developer’s guide, Google Mobile-First indexing means that Google will first and foremost, use the mobile version of content in its search results.
What is Mobile Optimisation?
Even with the digital age upon us, some websites still aren’t mobile friendly. What is a mobile friendly design? A mobile friendly website is designed to cater to users that browse the internet using a smartphone, tablet, or iPad. The optimisation process is to ensure that browsers have a seamless user experience. Therefore, mobile-friendly websites have the following features:
- A responsive design.
- Site structure that displays correctly on a variety of different screen sizes.
- Loading/page speed that’s quick (mobile customers want instant access to info and products).
Why is Mobile Optimisation Important for SEO?
Getting more visitors to your website and ensuring that they enjoy the experience is the very reason why mobile optimisation is so important. The fact that a mobile design can boost your website visitors by at least 48% should be reason enough to optimise your website for mobile. Google’s Mobile-First indexing policy is changing how much importance website owners and developers put on mobile optimisation.
Below are just a few of the other reasons why mobile optimisation is important:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Competitive advantage
- Improved brand identity
- Faster download speed
- Quickly engage with customers
- Enhanced SEO performance
How do I Optimise my Website for Mobile?
The advantages of a mobile-friendly, responsive design are fairly obvious, but what are the practicalities involved? How do you put mobile optimisation into action? With a bit of strategic planning and attention to detail, you can optimise your website for mobile users and start reaping the rewards.
To ensure that your website is suitable for Google’s mobile-first indexing and also to ensure that it performs well on all devices, consider the following 9 pointers:
1. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
A great starting point is understanding just how mobile friendly your website is (or isn’t). Ascertaining the mobile-friendly status of your website will help you to see which areas need the most work. Google has made it simple for website owners and developers to test their websites with the Google Mobile Friendly test tool. It’s completely free to use and provides comprehensive results that can truly help you enhance the best features of your website and brand. Another route to take is to access your website from a variety of different devices. This is a great way to see how the website looks, how quick the pages load, and if all features are easy to access.
2. Use a Responsive Website Design Theme/Template
If you are using a template or ready-made theme for your website, you might be tempted to choose one that looks good, but that could negatively impact on performance in the end.
Choose a template that is SEO optimised, includes secure editing settings, and is responsive. It should never be a case of mobile optimised vs responsive website design. A highly successful website should be a combination of the two. Not sure what a responsive design feature is? Responsive designs will automatically detect what device and screen size is being used to view the site and will change the display/appearance accordingly.
3. Ensure Your Website’s Pop-ups aren’t Disruptive
On a PC screen, a pop-up can grab the attention and provide quick information effectively. On a mobile device, the screen size can render a pop-up rather annoying and disruptive. To ensure that your pop-ups aren’t disruptive, design them to only cover a fraction of the screen. They should be easy to close (if the “close” button isn’t easily visible, browsers will quickly become irritated), and they should be used sparingly. Bombarding a browser with pop-ups is the quickest way to send them in the direction of a competitor’s website.
4. Test Your Website’s Mobile Load Time
The speed of your site will impact directly on your business’ bottom line. Before you can create a strategy for speeding up your website, you will need to know how it is currently performing. The Google Mobile Speed Test tool is free to use and can help you to determine if your website is performing well. It’s simple to use and presents immediate, comprehensive results that will help you decide what course of action to take. Speeding up a website’s load time involves caching, compressing images, minifying code, and ensuring that the most up-to-date software is being used.
5. Ensure Page Speed and Consistent Up Time
How long a customer waits for your website pages to load will directly impact on your website’s overall performance (and the user experience). Speed is an imperative feature if you want a website that fits in with Google’s Mobile-First indexing strategy. While your design can affect speed, it is your chosen web host that will have the most impact on how speedily your pages load. Choose a hosting package that guarantees zero or minimal downtime.
6. Stop Blocking Potentially Helpful Elements
7. Implement effective Mobile SEO Techniques
Mobile users want to get quick and easy results when searching for a product or service. On mobile devices, the search engine result pages have minimal space available on-screen. It’s important to keep titles and descriptions concise yet highly relevant and descriptive. The result is a higher click-through rate.
8. Ensure Your Mobile Friendly Text is Localised
Mobile browsers use internet on the move and as such, they want to get relevant search results quickly. By localising your content, you can ensure that mobile browsers in your area have instant access to your website pages. To increase mobile visibility through localising content you can implement the following:
- City/area name in the title tag and alt tags.
- Include the city/area name in the meta description.
- City/area name in the H1 heading and early on in the first paragraph.
- Weave the city/area name throughout the content (avoid keyword stuffing).
- Include a clear call to action that mentions the area/city.
9. Avoid Using Flash Design
A truly mobile-friendly website won’t include flash design features. Flash can be tempting as it’s aesthetically appealing and eye-catching, but it can slow down load speeds, negatively impact on SEO, and many mobile phones won’t be able to display the content. That’s not a risk you should be willing to take.
Follow these 9 crucial steps/tips to optimising your website for mobile and soon you will start to notice an improvement in your online visibility. If you need a helping hand, a professional SEO services agency will be able to assist you.