A website that has a responsive design for viewing on a mobile does not necessarily mean it is ‘mobile optimised’. Optimising for mobile is about much more than just ensuring it has a responsive design. True optimisation actually means considering the mobile user’s experience, and doing more to make that experience a great one.
We would hope, first of all, that if you have a website, that it is at least optimised for mobile in its design, and that is a good place to start. There should be no having to ‘pinch and zoom’ to see content and fill in forms, or having content your browsers can only see part of. There is no doubt that you are way behind if you don’t at least have mobile responsive design, since this is how most people surf the net, especially on the move. In the last quarter of 2019, the percentage of online traffic via a mobile was at a whopping 53%. Google also has a ‘mobile first’ factor in its search results, so you will fall behind significantly in search results if you don’t have responsive design to make you at least this much mobile-friendly.
Google has a test that you can run your website through that will tell you if your site passes or fails in mobile-friendliness. But passing the test isn’t the end of the issue. Even if you have a good mobile design that’s highly responsive for mobile, if the experience for the browser is hampered by ‘friction’, either real or perceived, then that browser will not convert and will not revisit or recommend you.
So, what can you do to make sure your mobile optimisation extends beyond just having responsive design?
- Speed is of the essence. Mobile users expect pages to load quickly.
- Make sure images are compressed and scaled accordingly.
- Ensure navigation is clean, smart and simple, and tailored to your browsers’ needs.
- Limit popups and certainly do not have popups that take up the whole screen.
- Shorten copy to be more appropriate to the mobile browser.
It’s all about imagining the browser experience and making it as absolutely pain-free as you can. When we talk about ‘friction’ we mean anything that hampers your browser or customer in going through the process. So even if you think your mobile site is easy to navigate, if your browser finds it hard, then it is hard, and there will be ‘friction’ for that customer, who, depending on the level of friction, will leave and never come back.
Awkward and/or long forms to complete, are a good example of ‘real friction’ for mobile browsers. Think about how you can eradicate these and if they are really necessary or could be made more mobile-friendly.
The future of search is mobile, so the more you can do now to truly optimise your website, concentrating on the browser experience, the better. Test your website on your friends and family to get honest feedback on how easy and browser-friendly it is to use. Your SEO will increase the more that browsers come back to you and the longer they stay to go through your sales funnel, or whatever process you intend for them. Make it a great experience and you’ll reap the benefits of a happier customer community.
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