Statistics show that people are using their smartphones and other mobile devices more than desktops to access the internet. This is because of the convenience of mobile devices, and the fact that people have them almost everywhere they go. How many times have you taken out your tablet when stuck in traffic to purchase something online or to catch up on your favorite news blog? How about all those times you sat at a restaurant waiting for your order and decided to check out a certain website you had been meaning to visit?
This means that your website should be well optimized for mobile use, else you risk missing out on millions of potential clients. While it is possible to use a desktop site on a mobile device, the experience is never a good one as the user has to try and resize the page to fit on their device’s screen. In most cases when they resize the page, it becomes too small for them to do anything. They therefore have to view only part of the page at a time which can be very annoying. You can be sure your visitors will not want to come back to your site after such an experience.
Contrary to what many people believe, optimizing your mobile site for search engines is very different from optimizing your desktop site for search engines. This is because search engines use different algorithms to rank mobile sites. The thing that will either make or break your mobile site is the user experience, and this all comes down to how friendly your website is to mobile devices. Business owners are advised to use R1SEO for their amazing SEO services in order to reap the most from their mobile SEO efforts. There are different aspects of mobile SEO as explained below.
It is important for your mobile site to be touchscreen-ready because most mobile devices today use touchscreens for almost all functions. You will only find a few buttons on the sides, bottom and top of most devices, and these are usually the power button, the volume buttons, the home button, and a few others. Here are some ways in which people are making their mobile sites touchscreen-ready.
- Simple and easy-to-use user interface and structure
The first thing you should have in mind when designing a mobile site is the fact that mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops. Therefore, you will be working with a much smaller space and for this reason, you may have to do away with some things which you might have on your desktop site. For example, you may have to leave out menus, images and forms. You can have these things on a different webpage or leave them out altogether if it is not a must that they be there.
The user interface should be simple. Your site visitors should be able to figure out how to navigate your site without much hassle. Otherwise, they will simply move on to a site that is easier to use. It should be clear where the buttons are, and they should be big enough and well-spaced for the user to be able to easily click on them. Have you ever visited a website and tried to click on one button but ended up clicking on another because they were too close together? I bet you did not enjoy the experience one bit.
This simply means that your site is easy and delightful to use on a mobile device, and therefore makes users happy, i.e. it brings your site users ‘tappiness’. What can you do to make your site easy and delightful to use? For starters, you should make good use of space, use the right size of text, an easy-to-read font, and large touch targets so that users do not have a hard time performing various tasks on your site.
If you have any links that you expect your users to click on, they should be visible. You can ensure this by using a contrasting color. The same goes for any calls-to-action and buttons on a page. If there are any forms that your users are supposed to fill, make sure the field sizes are big enough, and the spacing is adequate to avoid unintended navigation which can be very annoying.
Impact on SEO
A touchscreen-ready site impacts SEO in the following ways:
-Creates a better user experience
When your mobile site is touchscreen-ready, users can easily read the information on your site as the buttons are well-spaced, the text size is just right, and the font is easy to read. This creates a good user experience which increases your ranking on search engine result pages.
-Decreases bounce rates
Most users on their phones access your site when they are on the move. When your site is touchscreen-ready, users have a great experience as discussed above. They are therefore likely to spend more time on your site, decreasing your bounce rates. This is a good sign for search engines, and they will reward you by increasing the ranking of your mobile site in mobile search results.
-Faster loading times
The code on a mobile site is structured for a mobile site, ensuring faster loading times. Moreover, since the information that you have on the site is only what is necessary, it should load fast. Remember, your users will abandon your site if it takes longer than 6 seconds to load.
For your users to enjoy using your mobile site or app, it should be built using a good mobile framework. This is especially important if you have a mobile app, and you know your audience use different devices and different browsers. Using a good framework will ensure that your mobile app or site is accessible by more people. For instance, if you only have an android app, it will be very easy for you to develop an iOS or Windows app from the android app, hence making your app or site accessible to people with iOS and Windows devices. More and more site developers are shifting towards progressive web apps for a number of reasons.
- Progressive web apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) have taken the mobile website development field by storm because of the numerous advantages they have over traditional websites. PWAs combine the features of a traditional website and a mobile site, and give users a unique experience. They can be used by users with different devices; from desktops and laptops, to smartphones and tablets; no need to design different sites for different devices or different browsers. This is what has made them so popular today.
Another advantage of these sites is the fact that they can be used even on poor quality networks or offline. They work just like apps and the user experience is therefore much better. They are much easier to navigate and provide users with the personalized experience that mobile apps are known to provide. PWAs also have push notifications and this keeps your regular site users updated on things such as promotions, and any other useful information on your site.
Impact on SEO
PWAs help to increase user access and experience, and are therefore a great option for mobile frameworks. If the user has a poor internet connection or wants to read something online, PWAs give them that flexibility. PWAs also help to increase page load speed, therefore also contributing to your site’s ranking in search results.
- Mobile development frameworks
More and more mobile frameworks are being developed by the day, and you therefore have more options to choose from. However, this only makes it harder for you if you do not know what to consider when choosing a mobile framework to use.
Hybrid cross-platform development frameworks vs. native cross-platform development frameworks
The only difference between these two is the fact that native cross-platform development frameworks allow packaged web technologies to communicate directly with the mobile operating system. The native cross-platform development frameworks are therefore easier to use for website and app development than hybrid cross-platform development frameworks.
The sites and apps developed using native cross-platform development frameworks are also faster than those built using hybrid cross-platform development frameworks. Some examples of hybrid cross-platform development frameworks are Ionic, Mobile Angular UI, and Intel XDK, among others. Native cross-platform developments frameworks include Codename One, Appcelerator, and Monocross, to mention but a few.
The other option available is fully native frameworks, but these are only suitable if you are targeting users of a particular operating system. This is unlikely to be the case if you have a mobile site and therefore, a fully native framework may not be an ideal choice for you.
Something else to note is that the cross-platform frameworks may lack support for certain features as they are relatively new compared to fully native frameworks. However, this is expected to change with time.
The importance of having a mobile-friendly site in this day and age cannot be gainsaid. The above are the main mobile friendliness trends to watch out for in 2018. Remember, in the world of SEO, it is the early adapters who benefit the most from new trends. Therefore, you should not just act, but act fast if you want to benefit from these trends.