Sharing content from desktop to mobile needs a mobile-friendly design. Without it, there’s a possibility that links shared from social media, images, and certain contents from a website would be cut off.
What Is Mobile Friendliness?
A mobile friendliness means your website is optimized for both mobile and desktop users while usually mobile users come first.
In general, mobile friendly websites are those that are designed to work properly even on small screens like a smartphone, tablets, and other smart handheld devices. Because with standard desktop web design, it isn’t going to flow beautifully on those devices. Unlike with a site that’s optimized for mobile, this wouldn’t be a problem at all. It follows design principles like:
- Large and easy-to-read text
- Navigation intended for mobile
- Touch-friendly page elements and buttons
- Quicker downloads
Aside from what’s mentioned above, there are two other ways to achieve a mobile friendly website:
- Use a responsive or mobile-first web design
- Create separate website that is typically hosted on mobile subdomain. This is often optimized for smart devices and is redirecting users to that page
In terms of mobile search results, mobile friendly websites are capable of outranking sites that are not.
This is because a mobile-friendly website operates in the same way as with any other devices it’s viewed. This means that everything that is available on the desktop version will be available as well in other devices be it a smartphone, tablet, and whatnot. Vital features of a mobile-friendly website include but not limited to:
- Clean navigation
- Images are smaller
- Content is static
- Doesn’t depend on mobile operating system to function
What Is a Mobile Friendly Website?
Basically, there’s a simple definition for mobile friendly website. These are websites that function perfectly on mobile devices similar to a tablet or smartphone.
Having a mobile friendly website means that your main page shrinks down to a size fit enough to be viewed on a mobile device. Consider it as a mini version of your site and everything remains the same. Except this time they’re viewed on a smaller screen. It may feel different to your user’s experience at first. There’ll be a lot of zooming, pinching, and scrolling. But the point is, your website displays well, it functions properly and it is accessible.
Nowadays, majority of people are doing mobile searches. It just become necessary to deliver optimized and the best user experience not just on desktop, but on mobile as well.
Is Mobile Friendliness Important For SEO?
A lot of SEO experts agree that mobile-friendly websites are getting a rank boost benefit compared to sites that are just desktop optimized.
It’s worth noting that mobile friendliness is an SEO ranking signal for both Bing and Google’s algorithms. If you want to excel in mobile search results, see to it that your website’s design is “mobile-friendly”. Websites that are designed this way are likely to outrank non-mobile friendly sites. Therefore, if your page heavily relies on mobile targeted traffic, it will be critical you do mobile friendly SEO.
Most People Browser Internet Via Mobile Device
Believe it or not, 55% of all web traffic comes from mobile. A device that “views” your site differently than when opened from a desktop.
Do this wrong and there’s a real potential of losing more than 50 percent of your site visitors. Worse case scenario, you will not even be able to recover some of them. It brings a new degree to the importance of having a mobile-friendly site.
Most Purchases Happen On Mobile
With over 50% of people searching from their mobile devices, it is relative that half of internet shopping is done from mobile. If your site is still not optimized for mobile viewing, just think of what you’re losing. If you keep disregarding this, sooner or later you’ll be out of business.
Google Uses Mobile-First Indexing
Historically, Google used the desktop version of a page’s content. This is used to determine the page’s relevance to the search query of end user.
Today, users primarily use their mobile devices to access Google. Thus, mobile-first indexing was introduced. Here Google uses the mobile version of the content for ranking and indexing purposes. For your site to fully take advantage of mobile-first indexing, see to it that Google will be able to access and render the resources and content of your mobile page.
- Similar meta robot tags on desktop and mobile site – If you’ve used the nofollow or noindex tags, there is a chance that Google might not be able to index and crawl your page. This is regardless if your page is enabled for mobile-first indexing.
- Avoid lazy-loading primary content – Google will not be loading content that needs user interaction. This can be anything from clicking, typing or swiping before loading the homepage.
- Allow Google to crawl on your resources – tags are resources that use distinct URLs on their mobile site. Use the disallow directive. This will ensure that Google will keep crawling your URLs.
How To Check If Your Website Is Mobile Friendly?
Perhaps you are wondering how you’d know whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. Here are two ways to check it.
Check Directly with Your Browser
Using your desktop browser, you can know right away whether or not the site is mobile-friendly. Here are the steps:
- Minimize your browser window
- Shrink the window to the smallest possible size
- If it’s a mobile-friendly site, then it should show all contents in the window, and nothing will be cutoff.
Please do know that this isn’t 100% accurate. Though it is a nice reference in knowing if the site is mobile-friendly or not.
Check the Page Directly with Your Mobile Device
You can use your mobile phone to inspect if the page is mobile-friendly or not as well. Here are the steps:
- Open a website
- See if any of the content is cutoff from the browser. Observe if the navigation menu doesn’t shrink. Check if you’ve got to scroll from left to right before seeing the entire content
How To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly?
If you don’t have experience in this field, it is highly recommended to leave it to the experts. Generally, they’ll inform you that a few things must be tweaked on the site. These improvements are what would make it mobile friendly. A few of these are:
- Loading Time
- Responsive Design
- Optimized Images
- Clean Navigation
- Improve Tap Targets
- Minify Code
- Optimized Meta Tags (Title, Description)
- Separate Mobile Page
- Reduce Redirects
- Structured Data
- Consider AMP*
- Browser Caching
Attention span of web visitors today are just mere 7 seconds. Fact is, about 50% of mobile traffic leaves the site if it takes too long to load. Three seconds to be specific. End-users demand fast load time. When dealing with high load time, they just opt to leave the site.
Have assurance that your site can support the latest smartphones with a responsive design. Screen sizes and shapes evolve. There’s no telling how it is going to look like in the future.
Responsive websites are adaptable. They can alter to fit any screen size, just like water. It’s because responsive websites can easily adapt to new standards. And as screens become more varied, they will continue to give the best experience.
Image optimization improves the website’s load time while boosting its SEO ranking. Another way of optimizing image load time is through lazy loading. This waits the image to load until such time they’re needed on the screen. This way, loading of other images are deferred until they’re actually needed.
A clean mobile website navigation experience is something that should make it simple for users to be where they need be. This is achievable in 7 steps.
- Keep the navigation simple
- List all the important pages in your homepage
- Integrate search as part of the navigation
- Ensure that navigation is intuitive
- See to it that contrast and fonts are cohesive
- Design specifically for touch mobile experience
- Design mobile website for multiscreen users
Improve Tap Targets
Tap targets are anything from links, buttons, ads, and the likes. These are elements on your website where end users can interact when using a touchscreen device.
The size of tap targets is determined when buttons or links crowd the window. On smaller screens, tap targets are scaled down. This gives extra challenge in selecting the correct button. You have to space out buttons and make them big enough.
This way, users can select the correct button without their finger pads touching other elements.
“Minify” is a programming jargon. This defines the process of tidying up unnecessary characters from the source code. These characters can be anything from:
- Line breaks
- Block delimiters
Optimize Meta Tags (Title, Description)
Meta tags provide relevant data about your website to web visitors and search engines when it shows in SERP or Search Engine Results Pages. These tags are optimizable to emphasize vital elements of your content. Making your site to truly stand out. Just make sure that your meta titles are around 50 to 60 characters. This give users a quick overview of what your site or content is about in one glance.
Two important aspects of your mobile friendly SEO would be the meta description and meta title. Always remember that users are looking for information fast. They’ll be using the meta title and description in determining whether your website is worth their time or not.
Separate Mobile Page
Mobile-specific websites are often significantly different from their desktop counterparts. They’re usually created specifically for mobile devices.
Since mobile websites often have limited content, they display a certain subset of the information available on their desktop counterparts. Mobile websites typically exclude most of the extra information in favor of showing only the vital information that has been determined as appropriate for mobile devices. This is why you’d find that mobile-dedicate pages have no video, has less text, simplified navigation, different pages compared to its desktop version and has smaller images.
Though a separate mobile website has one distinct advantage. Developers and designers have complete freedom in meeting mobile user’s preferences. Thus, delivering optimal user experience to its mobile users.
Redirects are rather tricky. They are sending traffic to the right sections of your site but also, the same process causes the page to load slowly. In an effort to reduce redirects and have an optimized website, do the following:
- Overlapping links – it’s never a good practice to link pages with redirects on it. This only lead to overlapping redirects. Thus, causing frustrated website visitors.
- Know when to use plugins – there are instances in which plugins could lead to unwanted redirect. Be sure to clear any plugins that you do not need.
- Scan regularly – make it a habit to scan your site for old redirects. There might be some sections of your website that may have been deleted and lead to nothing. Especially after you switch a hosting provider or when you made big content changes to your page.
Use Structured Data
Structured data has several benefits and some of it are shown below:
- Machine learning algorithms love it – the most notable benefit of a structured data is on how easy it could be used by machine learning. Organized and specific nature of structured data promotes easy data querying and manipulation.
- Preferred by business users – another known benefit of using structured data is it can be used even by newbie. It’s not mandatory to have deep understanding of various data types or data relationships.
To provide mobile users with lightning load times is the primary goal of AMP. As mentioned earlier, if a website is taking too long to load, it drives users away. The function of AMP is designed to address this problem by boosting website load times specially on mobile devices.
Caching is a nice practice to speed up browsing. Once an asset of the website has been downloaded, it lives on the system for a while. Retrieving these files from your computer’s hard drive is always faster than getting them again from a remote server. This is regardless of your internet speed.
Conclusion: Is Mobile Optimization Important For SEO?
With all these said, we can come to a conclusion that mobile optimization does a great deal for your SEO efforts. Simply speaking, it overhauls your mobile SEO practices and taking it to a whole new level. If done right, you can have an edge against your competition and be the leader in your niche.