Mobile vs. Desktop: Are You Optimizing?

Written by: Jason Bayless | August 12, 2016
More and more consumers are doing their web browsing on their mobile phones and tablets. Therefore, it’s the savvy business owner who makes sure that his or her business website is mobile-friendly. Fortunately, some best practices for mobile optimization exist. As you’re putting together your website, here are some ideas you need to keep in mind to make your mobile visitors feel more welcome.
Loading TimeAs annoying as it is for a website to load slowly, it’s even more cumbersome for the mobile user. Nothing will turn away a person searching the web faster than a slow load time. According to Moz.com, one of the first things you need to do to make your website more mobile friendly is to make sure that its load time is quick.

It might be tempting to delay this process, but you don’t want to, especially if you run a local business. Most mobile users are local users, looking for local businesses. Seventy-three percent of them will convert somehow, (in this case, conversion being defined as calling your business, visiting your store, or by actually purchasing a product or service). And most of them convert within the first hour of the search. Don’t leave this important demographic behind by having a slow load time.

Redefine What Site Design Means to You

In the old days, when newspapers ruled advertising, the rule of “above the fold” trumped almost everything else. These days people scroll through images, text, and graphics on both their computers and their mobile devices, but in the latter case, even more so due to size constraints. The fold completely disappears. The design preferred by newspaper editors no longer matters. The digital world has completely changed what design means.

In short, your website’s thumbnail needs to look good on a mobile device. Simple design rules the day here. That said, some web developers have taken to blocking elements like pictures, CSS, or Java due to loading times. You don’t need to do this for the most part anymore. That said, you still want to stay away from Flash and pop-ups.

Non-Tech Elements Matter

Unless the people browsing your website have mastered some Ninja mind tricks, they’re going to be browsing with their fingers. The fat-finger syndrome counts as one of the banes of existence for the person searching the web. If your webmaster doesn’t leave enough space on the page, the person searching it may accidentally click on a link he or she didn’t intend to.

It’s More Than Algorithms

The not-so-gradual switch to mobile isn’t just about pleasing Google or Yahoo or Bing. Or any of the other search engines out there. It’s understanding the new age of the consumer. Nowadays, consumers – a full 75% of them – will search the web on their computer and still keep their phones or tablets nearby. Sixty-seven percent of them switch between two pieces of hardware in order to finish their tasks. This type of behavior is fueled by micro-moments. The consumer in question wants to follow up on something he or she just learned, to watch a video that their friend is telling them about at coffee, or to make a quick purchase.

Conclusion

Increasingly, being optimized for the web isn’t an option for website owners. Consumers sometimes search the web on two or more devices during a single browsing period, and eighty-two percent them use their mobile device while they’re heading from one place to another. Another 62% of them will use their phone at work. The smart web developer creates webpages that are friendly to this trend. By doing so, he or she nabs the maximum amount of traffic possible.