In 2016, mobile traffic worldwide officially surpassed desktop traffic on the internet. Research has found that mobiles are now the top source of web traffic worldwide. Another fun fact about mobile-based internet use is that users who search for businesses using mobile search are highly motivated and eager to purchase.
It sounds great, right? This is great news for small business owners, unless your website has not been optimised for mobile devices.
Both search engines and people using mobile devices to find local businesses prefer mobile-friendly websites. If the website of a business is not mobile-friendly, customers will go to a competitor. A website’s mobile optimisation is a key ranking factor in the Google algorithm.
This means that you are missing out on a lot of potential customers if your website isn’t optimised for mobile traffic and has not implemented a responsive web design strategy.
What does it mean to be ‘mobile-friendly’?
A website that is mobile-friendly provides the same quality browsing experience as the desktop version. Your website’s optimisation for mobile devices comes down to simple navigation and content that helps people find what they are looking for.
Mobile users are regularly searching for information quickly and on the go, so you should keep simplicity and usability in mind for your mobile design. It should not be cluttered with unnecessary elements such as pop-up messages and animations.
When you search for ‘mobile-friendly’ websites, you’ll come across many terms (mobile-first design, mobile version design, responsive design or adaptive design). These terms refer to websites that function the same way on mobile as they do on desktop. Although these terms can be used to describe different methods of creating a mobile-friendly website, the end result is the same: a website that mobile users love to go to.
How do you know if your website is mobile-friendly?
The easiest way to check if your website is mobile friendly is to use the Mobile-Friendly Test by Google. You enter a URL from your website, and it will tell you if it is mobile-friendly or not. If it isn’t, it will tell you why so you can fix the problems.
Let’s look at some of the common reasons why websites are not mobile friendly and some hints as to the course of action you can take to resolve the issues.
Mobile and desktop websites should load quickly. Your website should be easy to navigate for users who want to learn more about your company and locate important information such as contact information and product information.
According to Google, over half of visitors will leave your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. You can reduce the loading time by checking the image sizes on your website. Resizing images can reduce their size by up to 80%. The ideal size for mobile devices is 600-700 pixels.
You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool by Google to test the performance of your web pages by entering a URL from your website. It will give you a page speed score for both the mobile and desktop versions of your website. It will also give you recommendations on how you can improve the speed of the web page.
Mobile optimisation must be done with a few user-friendly guidelines in mind. First, consider the size of your fonts and assets.
Your font size should be sufficient to allow people to read it comfortably without having to zoom in or squint. Your assets should be well spaced so that users can avoid clicking on the wrong link or button and ending up on an incorrect page.
Mobile devices have smaller screens, so display space is limited. Remember to consider the vertical orientation of your mobile website when designing it. Users don’t like scrolling side-to-side while reading content.
Distracting visual elements can be an issue on mobile screens. Mobile users will not be able to find the content they are looking for quickly if large visual assets such as images slow down their loading speed.
Clear and consistent navigation is important for desktop users, but it is even more crucial for mobile users. Mobile-friendly websites can predict your customers’ journey and present the next steps in an easy-to follow manner. Scroll-to-top widgets are a good option if you don’t know much about your customers’ journeys. However, seamless sticky headers can be helpful.
To sum up
It is important to understand how your website will look on different devices, including mobile phones and tablets. It is important to test the mobile optimisation of your website to determine if it is suitable for mobile devices. You should use the tools on your website that have been mentioned in this article, as they will help you identify and resolve any problems that are affecting the performance of your site on mobile devices. This will help you plan how to make your site mobile-friendly for future customers.