A mobile-friendly website is essential to attract visitors to your site, but you have to ensure that it is optimised for Google search, through SEO, user experience, speed and design.
We list some tips of things to consider to make sure your mobile website is optimised.
Read next: Best mobile app building platforms and tools
Use accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
Since Google officially integrated accelerated mobile pages (AMP) into its mobile search algorithm in 2016, it has become important for businesses to ensure that AMP is used for search.
AMP links are what appear at the top of Google search when a relevant search term is made. Once clicked, the page loads instantly without the need for any redirection.
The top components when building AMP pages include AMP HTML, AMP JS and AMP Cache. Each component improves the performance of the AMP page for faster loading.
Pop-ups are one of the main causes of a lack of website visitors. Their quantity can easily lead people to leave the site before they even get to what they’re looking for.
It can also impact the site ranking hugely, as pop-ups could provide a negative user experience.
Google has some specific pop-ups it deems as intrusive, which means that if your site includes pop-ups under this category it will either not appear in Google search or get ranked extremely low.
So if you have to use pop-ups, it’s a good idea to consider the mobile and Google-friendly ones.
Create a seamless experience
User experience is particularly important for mobile web optimisation. This will ensure that users are drawn in by engaging content, whilst subscribing to things like newsletters and email marketing lists.
It is a good idea to start by making improvements to the bounce rate. This is what predicts how likely people are to bounce off the site after just viewing one page.
As the aim is to keep people on the site, it is essential that the overall site has enough SEO content that will attract users and therefore boost your search ranking.
Do a speed test
The mobile web is still inherently slow, whatever the claims of carriers and handset manufacturers. Make sure images are optimised for mobile and cut unnecessary text. Mobile screens are small and mobile users want to scroll quickly, so don't hinder their progress with clutter.
Consider doing a speed test in order to identify if there are any speed issues that may put off visitors. Speed is a big factor, especially for mobile web users and if it is slow, consider image sizing and caching to serve pages more quickly.
Be responsive: Use a responsive framework
Responsive frameworks lay out website elements in a grid that shifts to suit different screen sizes. They offer a common approach to Web development that allows you to create a similar experience for the user regardless of how they access the site. Customers get a better user experience across devices, and you get consolidation of your websites so you do not need a separate mobile URL. Try frameworks like Bootstrap, which is open source, well-documented and easy to use.
Deliver one-handed navigation - drop the pinching
Think finger or thumb. Users need to be able to navigate your site with their 'phone hand'. If you have to pinch to zoom, your content is probably not optimised for that device. Make sure your buttons are big enough even for 'fat fingered' users. Don't just resize the screen using CSS media queries.
Keep it clean
Mobile friendly designs cut to the chase. Design is clean and simple. Bells and whistles are stripped back. Images are small for quick loading and content is stripped back. Your site has to deliver what your customers want, and in a few seconds. If it is adaptive you can combine a familar look and feel with additional content on larger devices.
Simplify your forms
Make sure forms are designed for mobile. Request the minimum amount of information. Only ask for what you absolutely need. Pre-populate forms if possible - via GPS info for example. Remember some information is better than none at all.
Businesses can use geolocation to give directions, allow visitors to check in-store availability at the nearest store location, offer targeted promotions, offer online shoppers prices in their local currency and connect to social communities. Don't ignore the potential.
Test, test, test
Test to ensure your content can be properly viewed on different devices, platforms and operating systems. There are dozens of mobile testing tools on the market to get started with, then try and get your organisation's staff to test your beta site on their own devices. Using employees own devices and network conections invariably highlights issues that your own testing doesn't pick up.