Importance of Mobile Optimisation
The continually increasing adoption of mobile devices has been a hallmark trend throughout the last few years, and will continue to be of significant importance for the years to come.
With the increasing adoption of mobile devices across the globe, now is the time to ensure that your website is fully mobile-optimised and prepared for all mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets.
According to Statista, in 2018, over 47% of web traffic was conducted via mobile devices. This statistic demonstrates the increasing adoption of mobile devices, and the importance web owners must place on ensuring their websites are mobile-friendly.
Mobile devices are now commonly used to research business information, products, including local search, or for general research, especially when users are on the go. They want access to information quickly and easily, without any obstacles, so ensuring your website is mobile-friendly will remove any obstacles in their way from getting the essential information about your business.
According to a study done by Google in 2018, over 51% of users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. Users are now researching products, businesses and companies via their mobile devices, in order to help them make informed decisions while on the go. It’s true to say that the Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, and the use of mobile devices to enrich our research and online experiences has been essential for this.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that the type of searching users conduct via a mobile device may vary to that on a desktop device. Since most users utilising a mobile device would be on the go, i.e.: shopping, commuting, waiting in queues, and so forth, it’s likely their searches would be local searches or information-based queries.
This is why integrating local SEO into your SEO strategy is essential if you have a local business upon which customers can purchase from if they require a service or product in their local area. Since an incredible number of mobile searches are local-based queries, it’s essential to ensure your website is mobile-optimised, so that users on the go can easily peruse your website and possibly become customers.
Why Mobile Optimisation is Essential
Without making your website mobile responsive, users will be unable to view text or content on your website clearly, since the desktop version will be rendered, leading to small and hard-to-read text.
Navigating the website will also be difficult, since the buttons will be much smaller and more difficult for users to press clearly. In order to combat this, web developers should collapse a navigation bar into a burger nav bar which users can easily select should they want to navigate to other parts of the website. The burger button often opens a dropdown menu, which provides a list of easy-to-select navigation items, that users can then more clearly select.
Without optimising your website for mobile devices, many users will likely abandon your page in search for another website. Otherwise, they’ll need to zoom in and perform other measures in order to navigate the website; such actions can be tiresome and cumbersome for the user, and are best avoided.
The techniques web developers use to optimise their websites for mobile devices may vary; some would prefer to redirect users to a mobile-only website (often denoted by a m in the domain name, such as m.facebook.com and so on), however this requires maintaining a separate external website and is difficult for smaller businesses to manage.
The most manageable solution is to include a meta viewport tag in your HTML; this automatically resizes the text (enlarging the font size) so that it fits the viewport and can be clearly read by the user.
The next step is to use media queries in your website’s CSS, which add additional CSS to viewports of a certain size in order to make the website more mobile-friendly. For example, for viewports less than 400 pixels, the navigation bar should be collapsed into a drop-down menu. While the specifics are beyond the scope of this article, media queries are extensively covered across the web, and there are a plenitude of tutorials online to help you make use of these.
You can also run a comprehensive check on your website to make sure it’s mobile-friendly. This test is made available by Google, and is highly recommended for any website owner looking to ensure that their site is marked as mobile-friendly by Google.
In October 2016, a momentous occasion occurred; mobile traffic officially surpassed desktop traffic. It’s clear to say that mobile devices are here to stay, and mobile traffic is only going to keep increasing; as we head towards 2020, having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever.