Mobile is more than a trend, its like a big wave that is likely to saturate everything in its path. When optimizing a site for traffic, offering a mobile version is a necessity. A site without a mobile version will be left waterlogged and watching huge amounts of traffic pass by. It will certainly show in the rankings and in the bottom line. So, what is a site/business owner to do? The answer isn’t as simple as having a mobile friendly version. That mobile friendly version needs to be optimized and it needs to be done correctly. Here are a few tidbits to help you understand and master mobile optimization as you begin to understand why it is so important.
Those in the game have been hearing a lot about mobile-first indexing for a while now, but it can be a little confusing and not everyone really understands what it is or why it affects their site traffic. Mobile-first indexing simply means that the mobile version of a page is what the search engine giant looks for first to include in their index and it is also used as criteria for determining rankings. So, a site without a mobile friendly version can still have their desktop version included in the index. However, a similar site with a mobile version will likely be ranked higher and show ahead in searches. The mobile trend has sparked an index reversal where the mobile version of a site is now considered the primary version and the desktop version is the alternative version.
Everyone has clicked on a site that takes so long to load they eventually get tired of waiting and bounce to another site. Page speed affects bounce rates, conversion rates, indexing and other important factors. It is not to be confused with site speed, which is measured differently. Page speed is specifically the load time or time to first byte, which is the amount of time it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server. Google’s algorithm measures page speed as a ranking signal so slower load time equals lower ranking. There are many free tools available on the internet to measure page speed. Besides, a slower load time equals a poor user experience and that is just a waste of everyone’s time.
Java Script, Flash and Fat Fingers
If you have a site that is already optimized, then there are only a few additional things to consider when optimizing for a mobile device. First, don’t block Java Script, CCS, or images. It used to be that mobile devices couldn’t support all these elements, so they were commonly blocked by the webmasters. This is no longer true. Modern devices are just fine with these elements. It is best, however, to avoid pop-ups and Flash. Pop-ups can be annoying and an HTML5 can create the same effect as Flash. The last thing is to keep the fat fingers in mind when designing and optimizing a mobile site. Leave room for people to scroll and make buttons reasonable size. It just creates a smoother experience for the end user and helps prevent accidental clicks on your site.
Utilizing these tidbits of information will help you take full advantage of the current mobile landscape. Optimize your mobile site for indexing and user experience and the results will be in the rankings. Then, go the extra mile to ensure a smooth experience for those who do land on your page.