Key Factors When Considering Mobile Friendly Web Design

The world is turning to mobile devices when searching online. In a 2018, survey it was found that a massive 57% of all searches were carried out on mobile devices in the United States.

Firstly, you need to assess whether your website is mobile-friendly. To do this, check out Google's mobile friendliness test. This is a minimum requirement, and if your site does not pass this test, the mobile version is definitely bad. Google console will also give advice on improvements to be made to your website, regarding mobile friendliness. 

If you are website did not pass the test, this article may help you understand the important to have a mobile-friendly website for your business. 

Mobile-first Index

Google has shifted to the mobile-first index system which means that search engines will now give priority to mobile friendly sites over desktop oriented sites in their search results. Desktop oriented sites will still be crawled and indexed, but they will not be viewed as favourably as they once were on the search engine pages.

The switch to a mobile-first index will highlight mobile friendly results for users and downgrade sites that are not optimised for mobile devices. This will result in less clicks and less traffic for the outdated desktop orientation sites.

Unlike a single index, which assigned the ranking position based on how the website renders on a desktop, the mobile index crawls the content on the mobile version and assesses the relevance to specific search queries based on the number of mobile-friendly aspects built into web pages.

 

The mobile-first index is a game changer and make it essential to have a mobile-friendly version of your website, but there are other things are also important such as site speed.

Site Load Speed

Mobile users are people, generally on the go. This makes the need and desire for a fast loading website very important. If your website is loading slowly, users will not wait. They will click away from your site and find an alternative site (your competitor site) which gives a better user experience. It is estimated that over half of mobile site visitors will leave a site, if it has not loaded within three seconds.
Websites such as Pingdom tools and  Gtmetrix are good for determining how fast your website loads and for identifying bottlenecks. Next we will look at better conversion rates for mobile devices.

Increased Conversions

When it comes to conversions, the maths is compelling. Mobile users mean more conversions, or more accurately, mobile users convert over 60% more than desktop users. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are disregarding a large segment of the market which is over 60% more likely to make a purchase or contact your business. 

Another reason for having a mobile friendly website is user experience. People will expect websites to be mobile friendly, and will not engage if these websites do not provide a good user experience (UX).

Better  User Experience

Google is improving at understanding the human experience. When people access pages on mobile devices with smaller screens, the user experience and each element of design with count greatly. Good user experience means faster page loading, navigation that makes sense and a site that encourages users to convert.

Smart phones have considerably lesser space than desktops to display search engine results pages (SERP). Since nearly 60% of search traffic comes from mobile devices, it is essential that your meta titles and meta descriptions are clear and concise. This will help users have a better user experience and enable them to make an instant decision. 

 

Another thing to consider is the behaviour of users of social media and how to use social signals to benefit your website.

Leveraging Social Media

Around 80% of social media time is spent on smartphones and tablets. You could use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to market your goods and services as they are great services to create viral marketing campaigns. However, while social media marketing may lead social media users to your site, conversions will be poor if the site is not mobile friendly.  

Responsive Design

There are generally three ways to optimise a website for different devices. Firstly, there is responsive web design which uses the same URL and serves the same HTML to all devices, but uses CSS to render how the content will look for each device. Secondly, there is dynamic serving, which uses the same URL, different HTML and CSS for each device. The last method is when the website has a different URL than the mobile version. Google recommends the responsive web design method.

If you don't have a mobile-friendly site, there are some WordPress themes which are fully responsive. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, contact your Webmaster or drop me a line.

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Michael Francis Collins

Michael Francis Collins has a bachelor's degree in Information Technology and a Master's degree in Internet Systems from Dublin City University (DCU). He has a background in electronics and computer systems having previously worked for Compaq, Apple and Dell. He has been in business designing, building and optimising websites since 2003 using the Wordpress platform.
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