For many website owners who have been selling goods on the Internet for a long time, the question of the site’s mobile version is relevant. Previously, to finally determine its importance, it was necessary to look at the statistics of users’ visits to the site from mobile devices. If the percentage was small, then the regular version was enough, the key rule was that it worked when you access it from various devices. If the percentage was high, the decision was made to launch a mobile-focused version. Why is it necessary to have a mobile-optimized website in 2021?
The Importance of a Mobile-focused Website for SEO
The SEO efficiency of a mobile website is obvious. First of all, this is traffic. All search engines notice an ever-increasing trend to browse sites from various mobile gadgets; at the moment, more than 50% of users visit various entertainment sites and marketplaces from a phone. Thus, when creating a mobile version, the audience reached will grow several times. This is why 80% of the top Alexa sites are mobile-friendly.
Another plus is that search engines rank sites that are equally readable both from a desktop computer screen and from phones and small tablets to higher positions. This scheme works in Google, which has officially confirmed that the priority is the mobile index. If the site does not have a well-designed and working mobile version, it is ranked lower. So, if you are thinking about making a mobile-focused website, specialists from AppKong will do this job for you at the highest level.
The Idea of a Mobile-First Indexing
Smartphone-first indexing is a new approach to Google’s algorithms. First of all, it’ll take into account the smartphone version of the resource and will focus on it when ranking. Such a step is a fundamental change for Google in evaluating website content and a priority for further indexing. At the moment, the regular version of the website is perceived as the main version, and the mobile one is perceived as an “alternative” one. Everything will change soon. After the testing stages are finished, this principle will be gradually implemented and just for those sites that Google considers “ready” enough to do so. But the vector is set and cannot be ignored.
If the website does not have a mobile-focused version, and the regular one is not optimized for portable devices, then the filling will still be indexed. However, it can rank worse compared to mobile-focused pages. For visitors visiting the mobile version of the website, the below parameters are crucial:
- All information of interest should be on one page and highlighted in large print for ease of reading;
- On the mobile version, there should be no unnecessary plugins and large images, therefore, the download speed increases significantly;
- More buttons and other active elements need to be added;
- There should be a sufficiently large distance between the links on touchscreen mobile gadgets.
Thus, in the presence of a good mobile version adapted for reading, the responses to the presented goods and services increase significantly, and the number of refusals decreases remarkably, since, with a high download speed and link response, there is no need for visitors to return to the search engine again.
How does a Mobile-optimized Website Look Like?
Customers are increasingly looking for info about products and services using mobile devices, so this should be taken into account when developing websites and advertising campaigns. What should a mobile-focused website be like? To answer this question, Google collaborated with AnswerLab to conduct a study that monitored the interactions of a group of users with many mobile sites.
The survey involved users from Chicago and San Francisco who rated the usability of the sites over 119 hours. Participants performed common tasks on their Android and iOS devices. On each site, they had to take a conversion-oriented action: for example, purchase an item, book a room, explore a rate plan, or find out the cost. Participants voiced their impressions while completing the assignments, and then rated the usability of the site.
The researchers noted whether the site was well made and whether it was easy to complete the task, and also fixed errors and poorly implemented functions, indicating the degree of their criticality. Based on the results of the study, they formulated 25 principles for developing websites for mobile devices, which we grouped into five sections:
1. Home page and site navigation
The main page of a mobile site should be designed in a way that users can quickly find the information they need. In this regard, calls to action should be placed in the foreground; the menu should be short and informative; returning to the home page should be convenient; ads shouldn’t be intrusive.
2. Site search
If the users need certain information, they will turn to the search. Therefore, this feature should be easily accessible on mobile devices. Most people found it best to use the search text box at the top of the page. Make sure that your site searches show the most relevant results first, and add smart features like autocomplete and grammar correction.
3. Trade and conversions
If you ask your visitors to register too early on your site, it can negatively impact conversions. Describe the benefits of signing up to keep your users interested, but let them shop without it.
4. Filling out forms
The form should have as few fields as possible, the actions should not be repeated and the saved information should be filled in automatically.
5. Usability and form factor
Mobile users will notice and appreciate the little things that make your website easier to use.
In all sections, it can be seen that mobile users usually perform targeted searches. They expect to easily and quickly complete the required actions on the site in a way that is convenient for them. For users to make conversions, it is necessary to consider their needs and related factors, until it is beneficial for the site.