Mobile devices are arguably the most revolutionary technology to hit the stage this decade. It wasn’t so long ago that only a few business people carried around the chunky Blackberry, but in the past few years the percentage of people with smartphones has gone well beyond half the U.S. population. The trend shows no signs of slowing down, and for businesses that means adapting their online strategies to include mobile-friendly access. A particularly strong push for redesigning websites to be more mobile-friendly comes from Internet giant Google, whose search algorithms will rank mobile friendly websites higher.
Completely redesigning for mobile can be an overwhelming task, but thankfully there is a myriad of resources to help out along the way. Here’s how a quick guide on how to keep your business on top of all the latest trends in mobile web design.
How to Begin Your Website Redesign for Mobile SEO
Without a doubt, the first step on the journey to making your site mobile friendly is first testing out your site to see where it is in terms of mobile friendliness. One of the easiest ways to find out how your site stacks up against the Google crawlers is by taking Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, providing you with a real-time glimpse of how your site looks and performs on mobile devices to provide the foundation for your mobile SEO redesign.
Creating a responsive, mobile-friendly website is much more than tweaking the layout styles and tags to cater to search engine bots. Rather, it’s about creating a streamlined approach to your business that places your brand in the hands of potential customers at just the push of a button. If you’re ready to tackle your mobile website redesign, here are some rules to live by to create the ultimate mobile experience for your site.
1. Fast, Easy, & Effective
These are the three pillars to live by when creating a mobile-friendly experience for your customers. No one likes waiting for pages to load, but mobile users are even more prone to drop out when your site’s content isn’t appearing quickly. Optimizing images becomes particularly important when keeping a website fast for mobile, but you should also consider dropping jQuery and moving to HTTP/2. A great resource to check on the speed and load times for your site is Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Mobile visitors usually come to sites with very specific goals and designing a streamlined experience with the minimum number of user interactions is ideal. After all, mobile is about making people’s lives easier.
2. Use Responsive Design
One of the key concepts of mobile friendly web design is using responsive web design. This type of template, available through many platforms, responds to what size of screen the user is accessing the website through and then adjusts the way information is displayed. Responsive design allows webmasters to maintain only one version of the site with the same domain, rather than having to create entirely different ones for desktop and mobile visitors.
When incorporating responsive design into your mobile website, make sure to check with the specific recommendations Google has for many popular content management systems including WordPress, Drupal, and many others.
3. Stop Using Flash
Once upon a time, Flash was a very easy and popular way to create websites. If you do have a Flash-based website, however, it’s time to make the switch to HTML where scripts are ensured to work on mobile. Not only is Flash not mobile-friendly, but it also routinely hurts websites in SEO performance.
If you still want to incorporate some animations on your site, the team at Google highly recommends taking HTML5 out for a try, a technology that is universally supported to work on both modern mobile devices as well as desktop web browsers.
4. Content, Images and Texts
Make sure that your content is based around the mobile customer and that images and text take mobile into account. Using standard fonts and scaling them properly so mobile users don’t need to zoom in Is key. Images account for more than 50 percent of any websites so taking the time to optimize them can help save a lot of bytes.
Aside from the text and image size on your site, you’ll also want to make sure that your buttons are designed for easy-access. Apple’s design guidelines recommend button sizes to be at least 44px by 44 px to make it easier for people to interact and engage with your mobile site.
5. Redirects and Mobile-Centric 404s
If your desktop website redirects to a mobile website, you should maintain a 1:1 URL relationship. It’s also important to ensure pages open on both mobile and desktop sites instead of directing users to error pages.
Google has been making a strong push to put a stop to fauly redirects and 404s, going as far as to include warnings on search result pages that explain the possibility of a redirect to the user. Keep tabs on your sites mobile redirects and 404s by routinely checking the ‘Crawl Errors’ section of Webmaster Tools and how they affect smartphone or tablet crawling.
Incorporating Mobile Apps
With the ever-present push for mobile, many businesses wonder if having a mobile app could potentially add some value to their brand. While having a mobile website is absolutely essential, a well-designed and carefully thought-out mobile app can add value to your brand. Google now treats apps as part of their universal search results, so if a user is searching on their phone, tablet or any mobile device, there’s a higher chance your brand could be the one to capture their attention!
The web is constantly changing, and many businesses are left struggling to keep on top of all the latest techniques and trends to keep their website ahead. Give your brand all the tools you need to boost your web authority by reaching out to the internet marketing experts at Eyeflow. A Pittsburgh internet marketing company, Eyeflow has helped hundreds of clients from all industries transform their organization’s website into a comprehensive knowledge base that boosts brand engagement and compels customers to take action. Don’t let your company fall behind the times and stay ahead of the pack by reaching out to Eyeflow today!
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