Today’s websites must have the capability to reach customers no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Most importantly, they have to be easily viewed across all devices. This is why Google unveiled its mobile-friendly algorithm change in April of 2015. The change was made to reward those mobile-friendly website designs by increasing their PageRank.
In response to this critical change, a number of companies have been forced to rethink their approaches to search engine optimization (SEO). They’ve had to redefine what it means to have a user-friendly website. They’ve backtracked and gone through their viewership in order to see just how much of their traffic originates from mobile devices.
Ultimately, these companies have found the same results; online searches through mobile devices have surpassed searches done by laptops, desktops and tablets. So, what does it mean to be mobile-friendly? Better yet, what must you do to make sure that your website is user-friendly across multiple screen sizes?
When customers see your website on their mobile phone or smartphone, they must be able to navigate by only using their thumbs. This is the preferred method of navigating a website through a mobile device. Moving up and down and side-to-side must be easily done using just one digit. Your website must immediately adjust its screen size to fit the numerous mobile devices screens on the market today.
Images that are too large occupy bandwidth and force users to wait for image downloads. Webmasters must see their mobile users the same way they do laptop users; when it takes too long for a page to load, a user will leave. If too many of your visitors abandon your website because images aren’t right-sized, then your mobile bounce rates will increase.
Links themselves must be right-sized and have enough distance between them that users aren’t accidently clicking on a link they’re not interested in. Again, this does nothing more than increase your website’s bounce rate, and it might even get you banned from Google’s Adsense program if you run advertisements on your webpage.
Google has clearly defined its conditions as to the proper spacing and distance between links for your website and links for advertisements. Make sure your links are spaced properly and that users have an easy time moving from one page to another.
Fonts and Videos
Your font must be easily read and your videos have to be universally-accepted on mobile devices. Flash content and media requiring a license are widely rejected by smartphones. Unplayable content doesn’t do anything to engage its audience, so make sure that all the video on individual webpages are easily viewed on mobile devices.
Inspecting Individual Pages
Make sure you check individual pages. This involves making sure all your links work properly. You should also compare the bounce rates on webpages for users on a laptop versus users on smartphones. A sudden or drastic increase in bounce rates over a period of time likely indicates that your mobile pages aren’t optimized.
Eliminating 404 Errors and Faulty Redirects
Finally, be sure to check for 404 errors and faulty redirects. Broken links can frustrate users. In addition, it’s not uncommon for 404 errors to appear on mobile pages while not appearing on desktop pages. A solution might involve directing pages to separated mobile URLs.
Having a mobile-friendly website is vital to protecting your current PageRank. More and more customers are using mobile phones to locate businesses. As such, it’s critical that you update your website and ensure that it’s easily navigable across all platforms.