With the increasing number of users accessing the web via their mobile devices and Google’s update to mobile-first indexing, it’s more important than ever that your website is mobile-friendly.
When your website is not easily accessible on mobile devices you can be turning away users without even realizing it which can be detrimental to your business’s growth. Optimizing a website for mobile requires evaluating elements of the site’s structure, design, and speed to account for the various screen sizes and load times.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for optimizing your website for mobile.
Design for Ease of Use
When updating your website design for mobile, the simpler the better. Use the desktop version of your site as a starting point, and remove any elements that are not essential for users to make a conversion.
Overcrowding the small screen space can be confusing and frustrating to users, so also stay away from pop-ups as they are difficult to use and can increase bounce rates. You should use HTML5 to create any special design components to ensure your website format displays properly every time.
Last but not least, be cognizant of how your website will work on a touch screen. Avoid accidental clicks by sizing and placing buttons in locations that will not hinder user experience.
Baywood Hotels recently updated its website design to be user-friendly on all screen sizes with the help of TechArk’s web design team. This was accomplished by replacing any nonessential content with images to encourage users to engage with the site to learn more.
Optimize Your Metadata
With the limited amount of screen space, remember quality is better than quantity. Keep your metadata including structured data, titles, and descriptions as brief as possible without losing pertinent information.
Pay Attention to Your Page Load Speed
A slow loading website can be a major user deterrent no matter the screen size, but page speed is especially important for mobile sites. One trick to increasing your website’s page speed is leveraging browser caching for returning users.
You can also increase page speed by using optimized images, simplifying the code, and avoiding unnecessary server requests. TechArk recently revamped our website with the goal of improving our own site’s page speed. Because of this optimization we were able to improve our page speed score by 15 points according to the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.
Consider Your Site Configuration
When creating a mobile version of your website you have several different options on how to configure your site including responsive design, dynamic serving, or using a separate URL for mobile. For the purpose of this article, we will only touch on responsive design as this is the method Google prefers.
A website that is responsively designed presents the same content and design for each user’s screen size. The layout of a responsive website will change based on the resolution, orientation, and width of the screen to make it look like the site was designed specifically for that device.
Responsive design allows a business to use only one URL per page and avoids redirects and duplicate content. Though putting responsive design principles into effect can be a little more work and require a redesign of your website, ultimately it is the most effective way of ensuring your website looks great for all users. A great example of a brand taking a mobile-first approach to their web design is Retail Alliance. We helped them accomplish their goals of updating their website design and reconfiguring their website to be easily viewable on all devices.
How your website appears on mobile devices is a major factor that can be driving users to or away from your business. Implementing these best practices will aid you in easily optimizing any website for mobile devices. With your website now optimized for mobile your business is sure to see continued growth!