The increased use of handheld devices has made businesses make subtle changes in their online strategies. The increase in the use of smartphones is because of their ease of use and convenience. However, websites are known to be desktop friendly. To be rendered correctly on handheld devices, developers must optimize them for mobile devices.
The website is the primary mode of communication with the audience and brings it prospects. Hence, businesses are optimizing their website for mobile devices. Using a mobile optimized website can help improve the number of visitors as there is an improvement in SEO rank. Moreover, it also provides a better user experience that leads to more conversions.
Understanding the mobile-first indexing of Google
User behavior is changing with more users accessing the internet through their handheld devices. Search engines like Google are also considering mobile responsiveness as an essential search engine ranking parameter. It is in line with their mission to make their users have a better experience while surfing. With this parameter in place, Google mainly uses the mobile version of any website for ranking during a keyword search.
Earlier, Google used the desktop version of websites for ranking purposes. However, as Google tries to address the needs of mobile users, it is phasing out the use of desktop websites during indexing. As businesses have traditionally focussed on desktop website versions, it becomes necessary for them to have a responsive website.
Benefits of a mobile-optimized website
Studies show that users do online searches through a handheld device. Google understood this and came up with the mobile-first update in 2018. We see that a mobile optimized website ensures a higher ranking than the websites with a desktop version. Optimizing the website for handheld devices can help gather SEO brownie points. Let us discuss some of the advantages of optimizing your website for mobile devices.
Assured additional traffic
As the website gains in ranking, you can have additional website visitors. Visitors mainly click on websites among the top URLs during a keyword search. Studies show that the first five results during a keyword search cover 67.60% of all clicks on Google. (Source: Smart Insights) It decreases as the rank goes down, with barely anyone moving to the websites ranking on the second page. It becomes essential for businesses to adopt a mobile-first strategy if they expect more visitors to their websites.
A mobile-friendly website is bound to be higher during keyword search results. It becomes an essential hook that will bring more visitors. Once the visitors are on the website, you can keep them on the site by providing them with content addressing their pain points. Moreover, your site has already reached out to the mobile audience, and it can also add to your conversions.
Faster web pages
The visitors will not stay on the website if they load slowly. They will bounce off from the website and move to the competitors. A mobile optimized website will load faster as the images are optimized and because of fluid grids. Other modern techniques like responsive image display and caching can help to improve page loads further. It will lead to lower bounce rates, and the visitors stay on the website longer.
Better browsing experience
With a mobile-optimized website, the pages will load faster, and the user finds it easier to browse through the website. The content will match the screen size, and the visitor need not zoom and pinch too much. They will also not have issues in filling out forms, accessing menus, and clicking on CTA buttons. A better user experience can also lead to better word-of-mouth referrals.
How can you have a mobile-optimized website?
Optimize the images and illustrations
The images must constantly be optimized, even for the desktop website. The heavy images will take time to load, which will increase page load time. It could lead to an increase in visitors abandoning your website. You must resize the images and reduce the file size by compressing them. You can use alternative formats to reduce the resources required to load various visuals on the mobile site.
When you are optimizing for handheld devices, you must consider the long-term effects your activities might take. You can eliminate some of the heavier background designs for your mobile site. It will affect the user experience and save on the bandwidth needed to load the web pages faster.
Having a responsive web design
The smartphone screen size isn’t the same across all models. However, the website design must allow optimal viewing across all devices. A responsive web design is a strategic approach that web admins are using. It means the website will automatically adjust to the screen where it would show. You can check out different web design and development services online.
With this feature, developers can design websites that will work optimally across various devices. The site will optimally fit into the device screen used by the visitor to view the website. It adds to the SEO brownie points as it provides a better user experience.
Optimize the navigation workflow
The handheld screens are smaller than the desktop screens. The website workflows must be optimized, keeping this in mind. The navigational workflow must be simple, leading to an increase in visitors to the website.
It is essential to use icons that users widely recognize. For example, the hamburger icon can help visitors understand where they can have the complete website flow. It is also essential to have the search bar at the right place and of the optimal size. The menus must be easily viewable with features that enhance navigation across the website.
Use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
The AMP feature allows the creation of websites with fast pages, a sleek design, and high performance. It provides only the essential components that ensure the website pages load faster. It also considers the readability of the text.
Using lazy loading and a CDN
You will often find that the web pages load all at once, and you are served the entire content on the page together. The whole page gets downloaded, but the visitor can only see the content above the fold and scroll down to read further. With the lazy loading mechanism, the content that is visible at the viewport is only loaded.
You can also use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to transfer the needed content types readily. Using a CDN can reduce bandwidth costs and increase content availability while reducing page load speed.
Most internet users use their mobile phones to search for information online. The number of mobile users is increasing exponentially, which requires businesses to have a mobile-optimized website design. It will lead to more prospects in their pipeline and more conversions. It can also help them gain SEO brownie points and stay ahead of their competition.
You must now be wondering how do I make my website mobile optimized. Be in touch with a reputed website development agency that can help you. They will assess your website and suggest appropriate steps to have a mobile-optimized website. You can also discuss this with our experts who would be happy to help.