You’ve probably heard that you need a mobile-friendly website. But what does that actually mean, and why does it matter?
Customers are using their mobile devices to go online more than ever before. But perhaps the most impactful change is Google’s update to the Mobile-First Index. Mobile-friendliness is no longer just about customer experience (although that was important enough).
Now, if your site is not mobile-friendly, it won’t show up in Google’s Search results at all.
In this post, you’ll learn about what Google — and your customers — are looking for in a mobile-first, mobile-friendly website.
As customers increasingly use smart devices to search online, they expect a fast and easy experience. According to Google’s research, 53% of visits to a mobile site are abandoned if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Most mobile pages take almost seven seconds to load above the fold and more than 10 seconds below the fold.
But why are so many mobile sites slow? They’re often bloated with large pictures and too many elements. The best solution? Use right-sized images and compression for visual content. A lot of pages are simply too big to load quickly.
Another quick fix is putting less content on a page. Leaner pages are faster pages. A third solution: lazy loading. Also known as on-demand loading, this optimization technique only loads the required section of a web page and delays the rest until needed.
Ever since Google’s “Mobilegeddon” update in 2015, mobile-responsive sites have ranked higher in mobile device searches.
Pages that are mobile-responsive adjust their layout to suit whatever device a person is using. The text will be readable without requiring zoom, there’s enough space to tap buttons, and there’ll be no need to scroll horizontally.
A responsive layout guarantees the best possible experience on your site. Mobile responsiveness also ensures that people using a mobile device see the most essential information first. That’s why all of our websites are mobile responsive by design.
Mobile-friendly content takes into account how people use their phones and where. A new trend among mobile users is voice search: 71% of people would rather use a voice assistant (Google Home, Siri and Alexa) to search online than type, and 89% use their voice for search on a daily or monthly basis.
However, only 36% of customers would use their voice to complete a shopping transaction instead of visiting a physical store, and 24% prefer voice shopping over typing to shop online. At present, people are more comfortable using their voices for simple searches than for buying.
People use voice search for quick answers, so it’s good to have FAQ-style content on your website, especially if you offer everyday products and services that people are searching for locally.
As an added bonus, the way you structure content such as FAQs can also earn you a Featured Snippet. This is when Google pulls information from a website and highlights it in a larger search result in answer to an informational question. Featured Snippets tend to appear prominently in search results and can be far more visible even than paid ads.
Video and images
On-the-go mobile users may prefer a quick video to a text explanation they need to scroll through. Videos and images can help tell a story to show users what to expect of your store and its products and services.
If you include a lot of images on a page, it’s important to compress them (and consider using lazy loading) so they don’t slow down your page speed.
A mobile-friendly website is not just nice to have—customers are expecting it. Not having one can lose you business and prevent you from even showing up in front of motivated consumers looking for products and services like yours.
Get in touch with Grey Bruce Digital, and let’s explore your options for a mobile-friendly, compelling web presence that works for all of your site’s visitors.