How do you achieve a mobile-friendly website status?
Starting on April 21st Google has preemptively announced that any websites that are not using a mobile-friendly design will be penalized by having the site’s SEO rankings lowered on Google. And vice versa, so anyone with a mobile friendly website will be rewarded with improved rankings. You have probably already noticed the mobile-friendly label on search results indicating companies that already have websites optimized for mobile.
Think about how annoying it is to pinch your tiny phone screen to zoom on a non-mobile friendly website or accidentally clicking the wrong menu button because the words are so small. Surfing the web is supposed to be easy and smooth to find what you are looking for on any website.
If you work with a web developer you can easily have them update your robots.txt file, but this may not solve all the problems. Most likely you will need a whole website redesign based around responsive web design. This of course will take more money and more time, but in the end this is the only way to go and it will be well worth the effort and cost.
Google’s mobile friendly annotation will be added to the algorithm as a ranking factor, meaning search results will be reordered based on the relative mobile friendliness of the website.
Check to see if your website is mobile friendly.
18 Mobile-Friendly Ways to Update Your Website for Increased SEO Rankings
Home page and site navigation
A desktop home page often serves many purposes, but the mobile home page should focus
on connecting users to the content they are looking for.
- 1. Call to actions – If there are multiple calls to action organize them all up front and not just a simple learn more button. Get a Quote, Login, Make Payment, etc.
- 2. Mobile menus – Your desktop menu can have everything laid out, but on mobile who has the patience to scroll through a long list of options. Figure out a way to present the fewest menu items possible.
- 3. Make it easy to get back to the home page – People automatically know that clicking on a websites logo will take you back to the home page and if it doesn’t, this can be quite frustrating to the user.
- 4. Don’t let promotions steal the show – Never make someone have to ‘x’ out of an ad before even seeing your home page or menu navigation.
Site search is important for helping mobile viewers to find what they’re looking for in hurry.
- 5. Make site search visible – By placing site search at the top of the home page and not hiding it behind a menu allows users to immediately search for what they are looking for.
- 6. Ensure site search results are relevant – Use features like autocomplete and suggested search terms to provide the most related information. Guide users to better site search results by letting mobile searches include selecting different options to narrow down the search.
Commerce and conversions
The customer experience is all about letting the user make conversion decisions at their own pace. Let them easily navigate around, save and delete items, or switch devices.
- 7. Allow users to browse the site without signing in – You may need to get their information at some point in the process, but sites that ask you to create an account before viewing products have a high bounce rate. Ideally you would also allow your users to purchase as a guest for those that are just not interested in creating a profile.
- 8. Easy check out process – Let your registered users have their information pre-fill and offer multiple options on ways to check out to give people options that make them feel secure.
- 9. Click to call – Isn’t it just the worst when you are doing business with a website that gives you no way to contact them? Make it easy to easily click your phone number and make the call directly without ever leaving the website.
- 10. Changing devices – Make it east to finish on another device by saving your information or sharing it by social or email.
Whether your users are making a purchase, getting a free quote or joining your email list, conversions should be as seamless as possible.
- 11. Streamline information entry – Choose the simplest input method for the information you need to continue. This includes providing a visual calendar for date selection on booking systems or scheduling appointments or booking travel dates.
- 12. Design efficient forms – Avoid repeated entries on forms and making sure the user knows how far along they are in the process, while also making it easy to return to a previous section at any time.
Usability and form factor
Mobile users will notice the small things that enhance their experience.
- 13. Optimize site to display according to screen size – On your phone you will probably want to see everything in a single column, on a tablet two columns would work and on your desktop it could be as many as four column sections.
- 14. Never pinch to zoom again – Don’t under any circumstances make someone pinch to zoom or have to scroll to the right or left to see all the information. Your web designer should be using CSS media queries to apply different staying for small and large screens.
- 15. Enlarging images – Customers want to see what they are buying so give them options. Let them zoom in on an image to see more detail or have other picture options that are still on the same page.
- 16. Which orientation is best for this content – If your videos are easier to view in landscape prompt the users to switch the phone with an overlay or call to action. If they ignore this suggestion, make sure the content is still viewable from both angles.
- 17. Stay in a single browser – Avoid calls to action that take customer to a new window. Always keep users in the same window.
- 18. Never say ‘full-site’ – If you decide to provide a link on the site that shows a separate desktop experience refrain from using the term ‘full site’ as this confuses people ingot eh thinking the desktop version has more information when it really just displays it in a more convenient way for desktop.