No doubt you’ve seen them.
The controversial exchanges of opinions between web designers who acknowledge the importance of a mobile-optimized website, and mobile conversion specialists who say that it isn’t as vital as Google makes it out to be.
But with Google keeping its position as the world’s number one search engine, it’s clear that mobile optimization is here to stay.
So, in this blog, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about optimizing your site for mobile.
Let’s get to it.
What is a mobile-optimized website?
If you’re confused about what it means to have a mobile-optimized website, don’t be.
It’s simply a website that has been designed and developed to perform well on devices other than a desktop. That includes all the content that comes with it.
The importance of mobile-optimized websites
Now that you know what a mobile-optimized website means, you may now be wondering why you need one.
Well, it’s simple.
Google may be a fickle beast—with its search engine ever-changing—but it puts an utmost priority on one thing, and one thing only.
This means that every single update it makes on its algorithm aims to ensure that visitors will painlessly get the information they need at the time that they need it.
This is in line with Google’s promise to always connect its users to relevant information that brings them additional value and provides them with a satisfying experience.
Here are other reasons why making your website mobile-optimized should take precedence in your web building checklist:
1) It can improve the user experience
Remember what I said above about Google and user experience?
Well, I hope that got the point across.
Given Google’s mission, it is vital that you prioritize giving your visitors a frictionless experience the moment they browse through your website.
What’s one way to do that?
You guessed it.
Optimize your website for mobile.
The amounts of time that consumers today spend on their mobile devices make this a must-do.
This is especially true when you consider how 59% of smartphone users today browse on mobile first before deciding which product or brand to buy.
So, if this is something you want to capitalize on, then there’s really no other choice but to prioritize your website’s mobile optimization, right?
2) It can affect conversions
The truth is, we now live in a mobile-first world.
In fact, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the majority of searchers today rely more on their smartphones than any other device.
Apart from that, mobile users have viewing habits that are different from desktop users.
Because of this, optimizing your website so that your audience can still access it even when they’re on the go is key.
Not only does this ensure a seamless buying experience, but it also ensures that your visitors will enjoy spending more time on your site.
The longer they engage, the more likely as well that they will convert or come back to your website once they’re ready to push through with their customers’ journey.
How to check if a website is mobile-optimized
Given the importance of a mobile-optimized website, you may now want to see for yourself whether or not your site works perfectly well on mobile devices.
Luckily, here are a few simple ways to check:
1) The 3-second method (using a desktop computer)
This method is fairly quick and simple.
All you need to do is:
- Open your website using Google Chrome.
- Minimize your browser window so that it doesn’t display on full screen.
- Using your mouse, grab the left side of your browser window and drag it all the way to the right until you can’t shrink it anymore.
- If all your content and website elements are responsive and continue to work properly, then your website is likely optimized for mobile.
Take note, however, that you can’t completely rely on this method alone. There may be instances where, even though you’ve optimized your site for mobile devices, your site’s mobile view will be based on the device you used rather than browser size.
2) The 3-second method (using your phone)
Since we want to check how mobile-optimized your website is, there’s no need to look further than your very own mobile phone, right?
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open your website in your phone’s browser.
- Once it loads on the screen, check if you can access all its elements and features the same way as you can on your desktop.
- If your site has been optimized for mobile, no problem should arise when you view it on your phone.
3) Using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Check
Another way you can check whether or not your site is optimized for mobile devices is by asking Google itself.
- Simply go to its Mobile-Friendly Test page and type in the web address you want to test.
- Click the “Test URL” button. A notification will pop up saying that it’s now testing your live URL.
- Within a minute or two, Google will tell you if your website is mobile-optimized.
4) Using Google Chrome’s Developer Tools
Chrome’s Developer Tools are a set of web developer tools that also let you quickly check if a website is working on mobile.
Follow the step-by-step guide here:
- Access your website using Google Chrome.
- Click the three dots menu in the upper right-hand corner of your browser.
- Click “More tools”, then select “Developer tools”.
- Go to the “Toggle device toolbar”. This is the second icon you will come across right beside the “Elements” menu.
- Choose the dimensions of the device you want to see your site on.
- Once you’ve clicked this, you should now be able to see how your site looks on mobile.
If your website elements look like they aren’t in order, this may indicate that you need to check on your mobile optimization practices.
5) Using Google Search Console’s Mobile Usability
Google Search Console comes with a Mobile Usability feature that shows which pages on your site have usability problems when visited on mobile.
It’s really easy to use, and all you need is to get access to your website’s Search Console account.
Using your Search Console credentials:
- Log in to Google Search Console.
- Choose your website as the property.
- Click “Mobile Usability”. You should be able to see this under the “Experience” section.
How do I optimize my mobile-friendly website?
If using the tests above, you find out that your website has been optimized for mobile, then congratulations!
Your attention should now be on other factors that affect the user experience.
But, if your site is still not mobile-friendly, then you need to put it at the top of your to-do list.
Here’s what I recommend:
1) Map out your buyers’ journey
Before proceeding to do anything tangible for your mobile optimization, try to map out first the path to purchase that your buyers will take.
As a marketer, it’s your job to look deeper into your target audience’s habits and lives.
After all, many customers nowadays embark on a cross-device, omnichannel journey as they move through the marketing funnel.
Consequently, it’s imperative that you adapt your site to look nice on different devices.
For example, a mobile user is very unlikely to fill out a long-winded landing page compared to a desktop user.
Therefore, you might consider automatically shortening the page when it is viewed on mobile.
2) Decide which platform is best for you
How easy it is to get your site mobile-optimized will also depend on your website builder.
This is why it’s critical that you pick the platform that’s best for you.
For example, if you are using a Wix or GoDaddy website, don’t expect it to be anything more than a pretty business card for your business.
While you can get a business off a GoDaddy website, in most markets, we have found it a lot more challenging to rank and get business from.
In contrast, I and my team prefer WordPress and Duda because of the ease of convenience that they provide in terms of mobile optimization.
Specifically, WordPress websites are the powerhouses of the industry and are an obvious choice hands down when it comes to operating larger sites.
On the other hand, we also use Duda as a website builder. It’s much easier to use for someone who is less tech-savvy but still really effective for search engine optimization.
3) Embrace the intimacy of mobile
Did you know that according to The Pew Research Center, many consumers today associate their mobile experiences with more intimacy and happiness than desktop experiences?
No surprise there.
Day in and day out, people reach for their smartphones when they’re out with friends, bonding with their family, or simply spending time on personal activities.
In fact, I’m probably not the only one who would admit that every night, I go to bed with my phone and wake up with it still within my grasp sometimes.
Given how “personal” smartphone experiences have become, it is, therefore, crucial, that you ensure that your websites are optimized to provide visitors with a more intimate and social experience on mobile.
Grow your business by optimizing your website for Google
Considering the importance of a mobile-optimized website, only one question remains:
Are you ready to optimize your website with a bang?
If you’ve got questions about your website or want a free audit of how you’re doing, feel free to shoot me a message.