SEO is now more mobile-centric, thanks to the Google algorithm update released on April 21, 2015. If your website hasn’t been updated and optimized for mobile users, then you have probably seen a decline in traffic and ranking for over three years now.
Fortunately, there is still a way for you to improve your website to be more mobile-friendly. What you need to do is understand how mobile optimization works and how it can be related to web design.
In April 2015, Google announced that they unleashed a major algorithm update that rewards websites that have already made their web design mobile-friendly. This sent a clear message to all web developers and website owners: “Update for mobile or be gone from the SERPs.”
The Internet giant’s decision to assign its mobile version as the primary search engine index has made a lot of website administrators rushing to get their pages updated for mobile. However, the reason for the change was obvious: the majority of search engine users are now on mobile. With that said, the Mobile-First update, a.k.a. “Mobilegeddon,” turned out to be useful for many reasons, which is why it has become a must-know for all web designers.
How Does Mobile-Friendly Web Design Work?
At the time of the Mobilegeddon rollout, Google advised website administrators to change their m-dot domain into a fully responsive website. This practically means that the Internet giant wants the URLs for both desktop and mobile to be one and the same. On top of that, content and features for both website formats should also be fully equivalent.
But what is a mobile website really?
According to specialists from a web design firm, mobile web users have even less attention directed at their search engine queries compared to desktop users. This means a mobile website should allow quick access to relevant information the users are searching for and should be optimized to provide them with on-the-go data.
Optimizing for mobile should also revolve around the key focus of a website among other things, such as the type of users visiting it, what they do upon arrival to the page, the location and time it is being accessed from, and the reason why it is being used in the first place. Once a web designer fully comprehends these, it should be easy enough to create a fully-functional mobile-friendly web design.
Things To Consider In Designing Mobile-Friendly Websites
When designing a mobile-friendly website, it is imperative that you take into consideration the following factors:
- Finger compatibility. Click targets should be at least 30 to 40 pixels and should have ample whitespace for easier selection.
- Vertical scrolling. It maximizes the users’ familiarity with the motion while reducing chances of missed content.
- Load time. If this takes too long, users tend to leave the website even without seeing the home page.
- Extra graphics. Additional graphics often cause lags which, in turn, increases the loading time which is why it is best to remove unnecessary videos and images from the mobile version of a website.
- Background image. It is not advisable for a mobile web design to have a background image as it may decrease the readability of the content.
- Large form fields. Some websites use forms to collect data from users. However, this may not be successful of the form fields are very small to the point that they cannot tap on a specific item with their thumb.
- Minimal form requirements. Mobile websites are a great avenue to collect data from users, but it won’t be as effective if they are repelled by too many information being required. Be sure to seek information that is absolutely needed.
- Modern code. Using an outdated code may not be as mobile-friendly as it is cheap. Experts advise using HTML5 for your coding needs.