Make reviewing your mobile optimization strategy a top priority on your plans for this year. Those who are seeking a higher quality rating and want to be on the first page of Google with a high rank need to have a user-friendly, mobile optimized site.
Previously, many professionals only considered their mobile sites as an after thought and focused on delivering a solid performance for the desktop visitors. This is no longer the case as mobile quality is now a top factor in ranking according to Google.
Mobile quality is specifically important for online retailers and online pure-play companies as their ranking position is a deciding factor of success or failure in the digital marketing realm. Those with an accomplished high spot in rankings wish to hold onto their spot, and only increase their position. Google aims to provide for the user experience before anything else, and thus crawl sites with that particular goal in mind. As Google wants to rank sites that “users will want to use and share” this means sites that are optimized for mobile and considered high-quality will be priority for the search giant. If Google sees the site as a bad user experience – particularly on desktop, and now mobile – there will be an assumption that the site does not contain good or valuable content for the visitors.
While some webmasters might cry afoul and exclaim that Google is pulling the rug out from them – this is hardly the case. Google has done more than enough to warn webmasters about how important it is to have a mobile optimized site. The warnings have been glaringly obvious for a long time, and now Google is finally following through on their ranking promises. As a last ditch attempt to warn webmasters, Google has sent personalized emails to notify them about their current mobile standing and to look into making improvements. It’s a classic case of, “use it or lose it” and in this case you can lose rankings for not using mobile sites properly. In addition to personally reaching out, Google has long advertised their Mobile Friendly tool for websites. These are tags displayed next to a site’s URL. The tags let users know that the site they are about to visit is mobile optimized.
Even if you don’t want to obey Google, users who go to a site with poor mobile experience will also suffer. Those visiting a mobile site want an easy user experience. Google relies on users having a good experience because of their mobile search results – and how delivering the right ads to people ultimately effect their bottom line.
According to Mobile Commerce Daily, “In 2014, eMarketer reported that that desktop search ad spending dropped $1.4 billion in 2014, a decrease of 9.4 percent from 2013, while mobile search increased 82.3 percent year over year.” Google is looking to invest more in mobile advertising as smartphones and tablets have become the medium of choice to surf the web with. Mobile search experiences need to be top quality, and Google has made it clear that those not up to snuff will be pushed out.
Tips for Maximizing Mobile Adoption
By now, we know making it a priority to create a positive mobile experience through optimization and beyond is essential. If you’re looking to improve the mobile experience, first tap into resources that can help you design and build a quality mobile site. In fact, an excellent article has already been published about how to maximize mobile adoption and make your mobile site user friendly. Though the piece is a year old, CIO did a great job of summarizing key points. Some highlights include:
- Do not re-size your current site and make it smaller for mobile. Make sure the site can be completely navigable with one thumb and requires no zooming. Make your buttons and menu navigation large enough to be selected by any sized finger. This can prevent “accidental taps” from the user, resulting in frustration and ultimately bouncing from the page.
- Keep the design of your site simple. Avoid graphics, video, etc. for your mobile sites and save these large files for browsers. These large files can slow down the site’s ability to load quickly. As we know, impression time is even shorter on mobile and tablet devices, there’s only a few seconds to grab people’s attention.
- Content – short and sweet. As a rule of thumb, minimize the amount of text on the page and you can keep the user from having to scroll too much.
While mobile adoption can be overwhelming for some sites, it is an important step in improving your general web presence.