A mobile phone has become an indispensable tool for over seven billion people worldwide, allowing them to consume information on the go. It is crucial for businesses to optimize their websites to fit the small screens and provide a delightful experience for users’ thumbs.
Google, the search engine giant, rewards optimized websites with better mobile search rankings. The algorithm update known as Mobilegeddon, launched on April 21, 2015, prioritizes websites that display well on smartphones. Searchmetrics found that non-mobile friendly sites experienced an average loss of about 0.21 positions after the update.
If you want to know how mobile-friendly your site is, you can click here to test if you are delivering the experience your consumers are looking for.
If your website performs poorly in the test, it may not be optimized with Google’s officially recognized configurations, which include:
Responsive Web Design
Regardless of the mobile configuration you choose, here are some overarching takeaways that all marketers can use to build a user-friendly and SEO-optimized mobile experience:
Choose Fonts Wisely:
Ensure that the text on your mobile-friendly website can be read without zooming in. Google recommends a minimum font size of 12 pixels to ensure readability without straining the user’s eyes. Additionally, use clean and clear font styles to avoid disrupting the reading experience.
Touch-Friendly Navigation & CTAs Are Essential:
Make sure that your website’s links and buttons are easy to tap on mobile devices. Use a minimum size of 7mm x 7mm for primary tap targets and leave a minimum of 5mm space between tap targets. This will enhance navigation, improve user experience, and prevent frustration.
Simplify Code for Better Ranking:
Avoid slow loading times by compressing your website’s code and reorganizing CSS if it causes slowdowns. This not only improves user experience but also helps with search rankings. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your website’s speed score and identify areas for improvement.
Ensure Videos Load Properly:
Optimize videos for smartphones by using <iframe> embeds instead of <object> embeds. This ensures compatibility with a wider range of mobile devices and browsers. For animated content, Google recommends using HTML5, which can be created using Google Web Designer.
Prompt Google to Re-Crawl and Re-Index:
After optimizing your website for mobile, Google will automatically re-crawl and re-index it. To expedite the process, use the Fetch as Google tool to prompt Google to re-crawl and re-index your site. Alternatively, if your site has specific URLs that need to be processed, you can submit a sitemap, ensuring it includes the “lastmodtag” for pre-existing mobile pages.
Having learned about Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm, you can now leverage it to benefit your website. As customers prefer small screens, it is our responsibility as businesses to be where they want us to be, providing an optimal customer experience. Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a luxury but a necessity.