Digital Marketing

How to Actually Optimize Your Website for Mobile Search

It’s strange to think that less than twenty years ago people didn’t have smartphones and the only way to browse the web was through a desktop.  Fast-forward to today and the online landscape has changed drastically. Mobile and tablet internet usage now exceeds desktop usage worldwide.

According to Google, 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smartphone search. The majority of smartphone users are looking for local information, with most of them ready to make a purchase.

These stats demonstrate that it’s absolutely critical that your website is optimized properly in order to accommodate for mobile traffic and not deter any future customers. Today customers expect a seamless mobile web experience and if you don’t provide that then they will go elsewhere.

So what are the best ways to actually optimize your website for mobile search? Well, luckily I’ve come up with four easy ways to maximize the appeal of your website to mobile users with the aim of increasing your mobile traffic.

1.    Set up AMP

It’s widely known now that a critical bounce rate factor is page load time. 40% of web users will leave your website if it takes over three seconds to load.  Thankfully there is now a Google-backed initiative that increases website rendering on mobile devices, and it’s called AMP – Accelerate Mobile Pages Project.

AMP was built to enhance the performance and potential of the mobile web. The AMP framework is open source, available to everyone and completely free of charge. However, there is a common AMP cache URL Format that all publishers must follow. All AMP-optimized websites are distinguished with a little bolt of lightning that represents their lightning-fast load time.

Recent surveys from Google have indicated that sites created with AMP load between 15 -85% faster than non-AMP versions on mobile devices. In February 2016, Google officially integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results.

Bottom line, if you want instant loading and increased conversions you may want to consider making your website AMP friendly.

2.    Use Best Site Navigation Practices

Sites that are confusing and difficult to navigate around are never appealing to mobile users. When someone doesn’t know where to click or can’t even locate what they need, they’re very unlikely to become your customer.

Always make sure your website’s layout is streamlined and simple, and always place emphasis on creating an enjoyable user experience. Key information on your website should be easily visible without involving too much scrolling.

Try to understand the context in which mobile users are coming to your site. Customers using their smartphones are usually on the go or about to be on the go. They most likely don’t have the time to browse the web as they would if they were on a desktop. They are usually eager to find an immediate solution.

That’s why it is crucial to provide mobile users with a site that’s very easy to navigate. Design wise try to keep all the clickable elements (links, buttons, etc) at a definite distance from each other as website visitors will be using their fingertips to navigate the site.

Always design for touch: suggest options via drop-down menus to negate the need for avoidable typing. Typing on a smartphone is inconvenient and time-consuming so allow mobile users to navigate through your products and services as easily as possible.

3.    Social Media Marketing

As we know millions of people use social media actively all over the world. When it comes to the volume of mobile traffic, social media takes second place, with only certain search engines ahead.

Subsequently, it’s a smart idea to utilise social media marketing to make your mobile website traffic increases.

Don’t be shy about promoting your site on social media profiles – if you want to increase your potential customers, you have to be easily found. Always make sure your social media accounts include mobile URLs so that visitors can click and bookmark for future visits later on.

It’s best practice to have buttons for liking and sharing your content on social media on your key pages. You should also install plugins linking to all your relevant social media accounts.

4.    Make your Website is 100% Responsive

Having a responsive website means having a site that is a built from a mobile-led design. Mobile friendly web design automatically offers the correct layout and adjusts content to perfectly fit the screen.

As a result, site visitors are able to access your whole website on their mobile devices without zooming in and out or side scrolling. Their needs are met just as efficiently as they would be on a desktop computer.

Responsiveness is a critical element when it comes to ranking well in search engine results. If your potential customers use search engines, you should be very interested in gaining the top spot in search engine results.

In 2015, Google announced that it would begin to reward websites built responsively for multi-device support. Responsive websites also save you time when it comes to updating your website as it’s much easier to update one site than to work on its mobile version separately.

Conclusion

In today’s digital world, it’s essential to invest the time and patience in optimizing your site for mobile to improve engagement and ultimately sales.

These four tips above are a great place to start and you will definitely enjoy a steady growth of mobile traffic to your website from utilizing them.

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Founder of Grizzly, a digital agency specialising in SEO, PPC and Web Design based in Bristol, UK.

3 Comments

  1. Awesome Post Jamie!
    Making Website 100% mobile responsive allows website to gain more market, which are people who are always on the go and always on their mobile phone. It is the best move anyone should consider. Good thing there are plugins to help make websites mobile responsive!

  2. Wow, I wish I’d known about AMP sooner! I thought I was already doing everything I could to make my sites as fast as possible, but clearly I was mistaken. Definitely going to check it out.

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