Why Mobile-Friendly Websites are Important for SEO

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Over the last few years, mobile devices have become a major portion of internet usage worldwide. 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 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 will take its ranking signals from the mobile version of your site, not the desktop version. This can affect your rankings on Google depending on whether or not your site IS mobile-friendly. Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and responsive should be a 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 ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive and 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 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 for athletes and those 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 customers are more likely to convert if they provide detailed information about their products and functions.

While ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is extremely important from an SEO standpoint, it is 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?

Use one of the following tools to determine if your website is mobile-friendly.

  • 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. Page speed is another important factor to consider when building a new website or optimizing your existing site. 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, web admins must consider these metrics moving forward. 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. Often, 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
  • Removing Render-Blocking JavaScript
  • Minifying JavaScript
  • Enabling Text Compression
  • Reducing Redirects
  • Leveraging Browser Caching

We recommend you test your website now and start digging into these items to 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 is 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 the speed of updates. 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:

WordPress

  • AMP by AMP Project Contributors
  • AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages by Ahmed Kaludi, Mohammed Kaludi

Shopify

  • AMP by Shop Sheriff
  • AMP by Amplify 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 San Diego, CA, digital marketing agency. She specializes in local SEO and dedicates herself wholeheartedly to helping small businesses boost their visibility and increase traffic. She advocates educating clients about the SEO process, even if it may seem daunting, as she believes it is necessary to thrive in the modern age of marketing.

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