How to optimise your site for mobile devices

How to optimise your site for mobile devices

Posted February 11, 2021 by Lee

If your website has not been optimised for mobile use yet, this needs to be the next task on your to-do list.

This is because most people access the Internet using their mobile phone today, as opposed to their desktop computer or another device. This is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. However, a lot of business owners have not optimised their site for mobile use, resulting in that incredibly frustrating experience whereby the images are too big for the page, elements don’t work, and you have to scroll for hours on end.

Recognising the need for mobile optimisation

There is only one place to begin, and this is by recognising why mobile optimisation is so important. We live in a world whereby convenience is at the core of everything that we do. We’re always on-the-go, and we want to achieve tasks in the shortest possible time. Mobile Internet fits in with that perfectly.

People can access mobile Internet no matter where they are, and it is incredibly convenient. Let’s say you’ve got a business meeting and you’re taking the train. All you need to do is take out your mobile phone to find out what train to get. The same goes if you want to quickly check your bank balance or figure out whether a store has a product in stock that you’re interested in.

Of course, it is all well and good us telling you that mobile Internet is on the rise, but you want the hard facts to back this up. Well, during the third quarter of 2020, 50.81 of worldwide Internet usage was conducted via smartphone. Plus, did you know that over three billion people have a smartphone?

An overview of the benefits of creating a mobile friendly website

So, as mentioned, recognising the need for a mobile friendly website is imperative. Here are the benefits that you will gain by creating a site that is optimised for mobile use:

  • Google prioritises websites that are mobile-friendly. The Google algorithm has been amended in recent years and there has been the inclusion of an index that is mobile-first. This means that prioritising the mobile version of your site can make a massive difference when it comes to ranking effectively.
  • A mobile website will help to ensure your brand stays relevant. Sites that are mobile optimised will become the norm. If you do not have a mobile optimised website, you run the risk of your brand being viewed as outdated and out-of-touch.
  • You will also be able to create connections and loyal relationships with your target audience if you design a site for mobile use. Anyone who is using your site on their smartphone is going to have a positive user experience. Therefore, they will be more likely to visit the other pages on your website and to return to your site in the future.
  • You also need to recognise that smartphones are a massive part of search today. Approximately every six in ten search queries come from mobile devices. This is because of the convenience and speed associated with mobile phone use. Therefore, you need to ensure that your website is satisfying the users that are conducting mobile searches and reaching your website in this way.
  • A mobile optimised site enables you to speak to different customers at all times. You are catering to more consumer kinds if you optimise your site for mobile use. For example, if an individual is searching the web while chilling on their phone, you can reach them.
  • Finally, another benefit associated with mobile friendly websites is that they can help you to rank for local SEO searches. This is imperative if your company has a physical presence, as you will want to make sure that your company stands out from the competition in your local area.

When you take all of these points into account, it is not hard to see why it makes sense to optimise your website for mobile use. The benefits are extensive!

Mobile optimisation requires a different approach

One thing a lot of people do not realise is that mobile optimisation is not the same as website optimisation. Therefore, while you need to make sure that your website works on a smaller device, you also need to ensure that it is search engine optimised as well.

For your site to feature highly on Google and the other major search engines, you need to factor in mobile use to your SEO strategy.

In fact, Google has stated that they will use the mobile version of a website first when determining its ranking. This is yet another reason why it makes sense to have a mobile optimised website.

People use different search terms when they use their mobile devices. Plus, voice search is very popular with mobile users, which brings long-tail keywords into the equation. Aside from this, the Meta Title and Meta Description length will be shorter on a mobile device, so these are all factors that need to be taken into account.

Usability is of huge importance when optimising your phone for mobile use

Not only do you need to consider the fact that SEO differs when it comes to mobile use, but, of course, the usability of your site is imperative. This takes on even greater importance when it comes to mobile Internet.

This is logical when you consider the fact that smartphones have a much smaller screen when compared to other Internet devices. No one wants to scroll for hours on end, but this is what can end up happening if you do not correctly optimise your website for mobile use.

The different ways that you can optimise your site for mobile use

There are a number of different ways that your site can be optimised for mobile use. We’re going to take a look at some of the different things that you can do to make sure your website works effectively on mobile devices:

Mobile-first

We always encourage people building websites today to think about designing a mobile-first website. This basically means that you are designing your website for mobile use, rather than designing it for desktop use. The statistics that we mentioned show that more people are accessing the internet via their mobile phone, and this is a trend that is only growing. Therefore, designing your website for mobile phone use can actually make a lot of sense.

Determine your users

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of business owners make is trying to become a jack-of-all-trades with their mobile site. No one looks for a jack-of-all-trades. Think about it: when you are looking for a specific product or service, you want someone who is a specialist in the area in question. You do not want a general website that offers everything, do you? This is why it is imperative for you to take some time to get to know your users. You need to figure out your typical user. Once you have done this, you can understand what makes them tick and you can provide a website that delivers on this front.

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

One option is to enable Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) markup. Google integrated AMP into their mobile search results a few years ago. For those who are unaware, this is a specific markup in HTML code. This concentrates on boosting load times for web pages and enhancing the design of the site on mobile devices. If you implement AMP onto your site, this is going to give you huge SEO benefits for your business. This is because AMP tends to rank highly and you can also utilise this to enhance the loading speeds and appearance of your content.

Using responsive HTML code

Having a website that is responsive is the fold standard when it comes to any contemporary website today. Responsive HTML code enables your site to change in accordance with the device’s orientation and the size of the screen. Responsive websites are cleaner, sleeker, and more powerful. You can also make a few tweaks via HTML to make sure that all of the text and images on your site are displayed in the exact manner you want them to be. You can determine how your site appears on mobile devices versus desktop devices as well.

Functionality needs to be at the core of your site

Functionality refers to what you provide your visitors with so that they can get things done on your website, such as purchase a product, and get it done quickly. Based on your website’s purpose, there are different things that can help users to perform the intended functions quickly and effectively. This could be the likes of currency converters, product reviews, product search, or nearest store locations.

Create layouts that are fluid

There are quite simply too many possible screen sizes out there, so it is impossible to pick and choose what sort of phones you are going to design for. Instead, you need to put together a layout that will adapt as seamlessly as possible to all of the possible phone sizes. That is why a fluid layout is a must. Rather than being based on definite measurements like pixels, fluid layouts are based on percentages. They have become a standard choice amongst experienced website professionals today. They can be challenging, however, they ensure that as many people as possible are able to see your website, and this reason alone is well worth it.

Design for touch

Aside from the suggestions and steps that have been discussed so far, you need to make sure that your website is designed for touch. It is helpful to consider the fact that most mobile users will use their fingers, rather than those precision-friendly mobile phone pens. Therefore, you need to make certain that your design is easy to navigate for people of all finger shapes and sizes. Think about when you’re using a mobile phone now. You don’t want to fiddle around with the screen, zooming in and out, trying to select the right part of the screen. It can be incredibly frustrating and it could result in a customer abandoning your website and looking elsewhere instead, which is the last thing that anyone wants.

Compress the images on your website

A final vital step to take when it comes to optimising your website for mobile use is by compressing the images. Images are critical for pretty much any of the content that is placed on your site. They make it easy for people to make big chunks or text and they also make the website more visually appealing. However, if you have a lot of images on your site, it can take up a lot of bandwidth and space, and this is why it is imperative to compress the images on your website so that they do not interfere with the usability of your mobile site.

Categories: Web Design

About The Author

Lee is a Website Developer at Unlimited Web Hosting UK Limited.

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