Over the last few years, mobile devices have grown to take up a major portion of internet usage around the world. In October 2016, mobile traffic officially surpassed desktop traffic on the internet. In addition to this, there have been numerous predictions that claim that mobile internet usage will account for 80% or more by the end of 2020. In the past, having a mobile-friendly website was only a partial consideration. Now that the number of users on mobile devices continues to grow, maintaining a mobile-friendly website has become all more important.
Mobile-Friendly Websites & SEO
Google has been shifting towards mobile usability for years, most recently with the launch of Google’s mobile-first index which started in March of 2018. What does this mean? Now, your website is going to take its ranking signals from the mobile version of your site, not the desktop version. This can potentially affect your rankings on Google depending on whether or not your site IS mobile-friendly. Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive should be one of the primary focus for anyone building a website or maintaining an existing one.
Why Mobile-Friendly Content is Important
Due to the growth in mobile searches over the last few years, it is now more important than ever to make sure that not only is your website mobile-friendly and responsive, but that your content is equally written with a mobile-lens mindset. This means, taking into account how the page looks on mobile devices.
The following items should be considered closely when finalizing content on your website:
- Headers (can users clearly see the different sections of the page?)
- Text (be concise and purposeful, ensure the text is clear and easy to read to help users navigate your site’s information quicker and easier)
- CTAs (keep your calls-to-action prominent on mobile by using easy to read callouts or button images)
See how the following eCommerce websites approach their mobile-friendly design by considering these important items. Neuro XPF offers CBD products geared towards athletes and those who are suffering from physical pain such as sore muscles. The content on the product pages is short and to the point, allowing the main focus to be on the ingredients. While Freedah Luxury, on the other hand, offers makeup accessories and prefers to engage potential customers with long descriptive content. They believe that customers are more likely to convert if provided detailed information about their products and their functions.
While ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is extremely important from an SEO standpoint, it is also equally (or potentially more important) for getting users to convert. Regardless of conversion type: lead generation or transactions on your eCommerce site, having a mobile-friendly experience to promote conversions is crucial.
How Do You Know If Your Website is Mobile-Friendly?
In order to determine if your website is mobile-friendly, use one of the following tools provided below.
- Mobile-Friendly Test – Google Search Console
- Test My Site – Think with Google
- Page Speed Insights – Google Developers
Always Consider Page Speed (Especially Now That It’s a Ranking Factor!)
While having a mobile-friendly website is a big piece of the puzzle, it is not the only thing to consider after successfully doing so. Another important factor to consider when building a new website or optimizing your existing site is page speed. As of July 2018, page speed is now a ranking factor. Before this, page speed was only a ranking factor on desktop searches.
Now that page speed is a ranking factor, it is extremely important that webmasters consider these metrics moving forward. In order to determine whether or not your website needs work in this department, we recommend using Page Speed Insights by Google Developers.
With Google’s PageSpeed Insights, you’ll get more information about what is causing your website to be slow. Oftentimes, the most frequently recommended optimizations to address are the following:
- Image Optimizations (serving images in next-gen formats and properly sizing images/compression)
- Removing Unused CSS
- Enabling Text Compression
- Reducing Redirects
- Leveraging Browser Caching
We recommend you test your own website now, and start digging on these items so that you can improve your page load speed today.
Using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Now that we’ve touched on the importance of mobile-friendly websites and page speed, we’ll also touch on AMP pages and how these can assist with mobile-friendly content and page speed.
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages are a lightweight HTML page that has been stripped down. Some people refer to this as “diet HTML”. Mobile usability is dramatically improved when using AMP as content loads faster and is easier to read. Using AMP will make your customers even happier when interacting with your website on a mobile device.
Another reason AMP pages have grown in popularity is due to the speed update. Because AMP is using diet HTML code and pages load extremely fast as a result, they can help you bypass technical issues that may be impacting your website page load speed.
Here are some of the most popular AMP plugins for WordPress & Shopify:
- AMP by AMP Project Contributors
- AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages by Ahmed Kaludi, Mohammed Kaludi
- AMP by Shop Sheriff
- AMP by Ampify Me
- Fire AMP by MLveda
For more information on AMP, read Google’s official resource center.
About the Author
Sandy Le is the Lead SEO Strategist at New Dimension Marketing & Research, a digital marketing agency located in San Diego, CA. She specializes in local SEO and dedicates herself wholeheartedly to helping small businesses boost their visibility and increase traffic. She is an advocate of educating clients about the SEO process even if it may seem daunting as she believes it is necessary in order to thrive in the modern age of marketing.