Mobile devices are now the most commonly used tools to access the Internet. More and more users are now shifting away from computers, and instead, browse and shop using their mobile devices. The main reason is, of course, their convenience, privacy, and price.
The popularity of mobile phones will only continue to increase. May of 2015, Google announced that mobile searches had overtaken desktop searches for the first time. Therefore, optimizing your website will help you get more SEO traffic and will also help you with your conversion rate optimization.
We recommend that you implement these methods to improve your website performance on mobile devices.
Table of Contents
1. Test Your Site Using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tool
Before you dig any deeper, it’s smart to check how mobile-friendly your website already is. This will help you understand what kind of work it needs and what improvements you can make.
To do this, you can simply use your website on different devices of your own: smartphone or tablet, and see how it all looks and works. After doing that, you can go even farther by using a special testing tool.
Luckily, Google has created one you can use for free. The Mobile-Friendly Test tool will show you if your site is up to its standards for mobile pages. To test your website, you only need to enter its URL, and the process will normally perform in a few seconds, after which you’ll see the results.
If your site is mobile-friendly, you’ll see the message “Page is mobile-friendly.” Otherwise, the results will show you what elements need to be changed. If your site gets a positive result, but it still has trouble loading certain assets, you’ll see a page loading issue notification. In this case, you can deal with each issue one by one.
2. Use a Responsive Design
Responsive design means that no matter how big the visitor’s screen size is — be it a phone, watch, tablet, or a desktop – the site will fill the screen, change the layout accordingly, and show the content clearly. Responsive design also adjusts the font size so it’s large enough to read on a small device.
As a result, website visitors can access your whole site within their mobile devices without zooming in and out or side-scrolling.
In 2015, Google announced that it would reward websites built responsively for multi-device support. Since then, responsive development has become Google’s recommended approach for mobile web design.
Additionally, responsiveness saves you precious time when it comes to updating your website. It’s much easier to update one site than to work on its mobile version separately.
In terms of being SEO-friendly, responsive design destroys all other options. Here are some other advantages of having a responsive website.
- All of your content is on a single URL. You don’t need separate URLs or different HTML for each device
- Minimal SEO problems
- Extremely user-friendly
- No redirects (which cause technical SEO issues and can slow down your website)
3. Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Increasing trust in mobile devices has also increased expectations for instant results. When pages load slowly, the users abandon them quickly in search of the next-best content that can meet their needs faster. In response to this, Google announced the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, an open-source initiative designed to help publishers build light-weight web pages that optimally function on mobile search.
Publishers should enable AMP on their contents to deliver a high-quality experience for mobile users. These improvements can help achieve more favorable placement on mobile search results. Aside from being an excellent asset to SEO, it also supports mobile users to find and access the publisher’s content more instantly and effortlessly.
AMP-enabled content is likely to appear in the top section on mobile results pages as one of the first news items a searcher sees. If you are a WordPress user, a great place to start is with the AMP for WordPress plugin. But, if you’re running a custom-built site, adding AMP for the first time can be a little complicated.
In this case, AMP by Example comes in handy. This site explains everything possible to achieve with AMP. Each effect and component comes with a provided demo so you can see what it would look like.
4. Speed Up Your Site
Mobile Internet speed is usually slower than on desktop. Moreover, users are always impatient and tend to blame the website for loading slow. Therefore, if your site happens to take more than a few seconds to load, a user is likely to abandon it and never come back.
Due to hardware and connectivity limitations, mobile devices often aren’t as powerful as desktop computers. Hence, page loading speed is essential in mobile optimization. What loads quickly on a desktop version may not load as fast on a mobile device. Some useful steps to take for increasing your page speed are:
- Minimizing the number of redirects
- Optimizing images
- Taking advantage of browser caching
- Minifying your code
- Enabling compression
- Using CDNs (content delivery networks)
- Improving your server response time
While there isn’t a fixed web page size that everyone must meet, it’s evident that smaller web page size means faster loading times. Visual elements like photos, videos, illustrations, and icons are the biggest bandwidth consumers on web pages.
Here are more ways for you to save some extra KBs of your visual content?
- Resize your images. Resizing can trim up to 80% of the total image size, depending on your required size. Full-size photos should be provided as alternative links when needed. For mobile devices, though, it’s pointless to go above the 600-700px range at most.
- Reduce file size with compression. Image compression is the method of reducing the number of colors in an image. Your photos don’t lose their natural quality but can have their file size reduced considerably.
- Explore alternative file formats. Everyone is aware of the image standards on the web: PNG and JPEG file formats. However, the latest tech in digital image delivery trusts WebP and SVG file formats. SVG’s, for example, can automatically scale to screen-size, reducing the number of resources required to load particular visual components.
These are the coding elements or kinds of content that you may be tempted to block from Google search crawlers or disable for your users, to guarantee a decent mobile experience. You need to keep all these elements present and accessible to Googlebot. Otherwise, you’ll have indexation issues.
GoogleBot wants to be able to see the same content that users do. So, don’t hide it. These elements are also important in helping Google know if you have a responsive site or a different mobile solution.
6. Avoid pop-ups
Some pop-ups can be helpful, like prompts to sign up for an email newsletter, but you may want to disable them on mobile devices. It’s hard to close them with a finger, and there’s also the possibility that you’ll miss-press and end-up loading a new page you didn’t intend.
Not surprisingly, pop-ups cause visitors to close the window instantly.
Don’t put your users through this experience unless you have to.
If you choose to keep a pop-up on your mobile site, then make sure to follow these guidelines.
- Pop-ups must be nonobstructive. On mobile devices, pop-ups should only cover a small part of the screen
- Pop-ups must be easy to close. Users should be able to easily remove the pop-up, normally via a visible, accurately-sized button
- Pop-ups containing relevant information are excepted. The above guidelines do not refer to age verification forms, login dialogs, or other pop-ups that present essential information such as cookie warnings
Once you’re done with optimizing your content for mobile users, you can turn to driving more traffic to your website. Two of the most effective channels to trust here are social media marketing and text blast.
Millions of people actively use social media every day, all over the world. Therefore, it’s a clever idea to use social media marketing to make your mobile website traffic skyrocket.
Promote your website on social media profiles. If you want to expand your number of potential customers, you need to take an action to spread the word about you. Make sure all of your social media accounts include mobile URLs so that users can click and bookmark for later visits.
SMS marketing is commonly used to drive foot traffic. But thanks to the progress with mobile technologies, online brands can also use text messaging services to increase traffic to your website as well.
Nowadays, mobile technologies provide marketers with more flexibility. The least you can do to increase traffic through SMS marketing is including a link to your website. It will also give you more scope to benefit from-payments and boost income.
As the SMS space is limited to 160 characters, you may not have enough room for a sales pitch. Instead, you can add links to drive traffic to your website. Use texting to raise interest and compel customers to follow the link.
Another reason to insert a link in an SMS message is to attract customers to your social media campaign. If you are running a contest or want to ask customers to like your page, a link gives them quick one-tap access without having to leave the text and open their browser.
Optimizing for mobile devices will play an essential role in ensuring that your site has its search rankings going into 2020 now that Google is indexing sites depending on the mobile version first. It will also help future-proof your website because more and more Internet users will be on mobile devices.
The abovementioned tips will help you catch the attention of mobile users and encourage them to come back to your website once again. This is an excellent place to start. Take those steps, and you will enjoy the constant growth of mobile traffic to your website.
Saten Aghajanyan has been working at Dexatel OU as a sales manager for over a year and is now a part of the newly-formed marketing team representing their recently-launched product SendSMS, which provides wholesale SMS services. Currently, she works as a digital marketer helping develop the brand name while simultaneously giving people full information about mobile marketing, especially SMS marketing. Before working at Dexatel, she volunteered for different organizations and large events.