Improve Your Mobile Website Design and Ranking [Top 10 Tips]
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If you're considering redesigning your website or starting from scratch, make sure you keep the mobile website design at the front of your mind at all times. It's so vital to the ranking of your website and the usability of it to make sure that viewers have the option of viewing it on mobile, tablet, or desktop.
The internet is all about being able to bring it wherever. That means everything you do should work on mobile no matter what. If it's not mobile-ready then consider it a dead site because Google surely will.
Mobile has Officially Taken Over the Internet
Last year, the internet became a mobile-dominated environment. Google realized this and changed it's algorithm to favor all mobile-ready sites. They even added a shell called AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Page for brands to created mobile versions of their website.
Every social media platform is on mobile, which is a huge part of their success and the reason for the switch by Google. You need to follow suit in order for your brand to stay relevant, and you'll see the importance and the simplicity of switching to it in this article.
Design Your Website in Mobile First
One of the biggest ranking signals for search engines is dwell time. If your website is not mobile-friendly then you'll have a ton of viewers that will visit and leave very quickly, just because of a lack of usability. They won't register as a bounce in Google Analytics, but they will have a very low "time on a website."
The goal in 2018 and beyond is to create content that keeps your customers on your site for as long as possible. This is why adding videos and helpful blogs are essential to creating a great user experience. If Google's algorithm sees that your customers show up and leave right away you'll find your website losing traffic month-by-month.
WordPress Makes it Easy
WordPress is a great tool for making a responsive, mobile-friendly website. Each time you make a change to your website, make sure you're toggling between the different views.
If you find that something doesn't look right in each view then you need to make the necessary changes. If you're struggling to make changes to the different layouts, then look to update your WordPress or your theme.
Not all themes are created equal on WordPress and they usually have their share of bugs. There are usually ways around them, but if the problems persist then you should find a better one.
My favorite is the Divi theme, by Elegant Themes. This isn't an affiliate link, so feel free to check them out. They have tons of themes to match your brand.
Check for a Responsive Design
To check if you're website has a responsive mobile design, you can send your link to all your friends to check out your website on their phones, tablets, and desktops. Honestly, the more the merrier, but how in depth will they go with their testing. Probably not very far.
Another option is to test it yourself on as many devices as possible. That way you know what to look for and check problem areas as they come up. You should be doing this every time you make a change.
Lastly, consult a free tool called Responsive Design Checker. Just type in your URL and see your website in a multitude of views.
Penalties for Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
Non-responsive websites are a huge problem for companies that don't pay attention to them.
The penalties are, of course, a ...
- Poor SERP
- Bad User-Experience
- Low Dwell Time
- Forcing Customers to Competitors
- Loss of Sales
Do you still think it's not a big deal?
Check Your Mobile Speed
Customers that have to wait more than 4 seconds for a page to load generally bounce and never come back. The bounce rate is one thing, but the never coming back part is very disturbing.
This means that customers remember how poor the experience was and choose to avoid all contact with a website that makes them wait.
The first thing you need to do is visit Google's Page Speed Insights. Just enter you URL in and see how it does. Odds are your desktop will do much better than your mobile site. That's because Google wants everyone to optimize their mobile sites in a much more thorough way.
Anything below a 49 is considered slow, and a slow site if guaranteed to create problems in search engines for you and very well might cause customers to leave prematurely. Getting your website to a "green" level may be difficult without a developer, but getting to the "yellow" level is definitely within your grasp.
A "yellow" score shouldn't hurt your ranking too much, but a "red" one will, so keep that in mind the next time you make a change to your website.
What the Use of Videos and Large Images
Videos and images should be part of your marketing plan. They are on-page ranking signals for Google and other search engines, but they can really hurt you if they are not optimized for speed.
That means that every image - no matter what - needs to be compressed and labeled appropriately for Google to recognize it as a positive.
If you can migrate your video material to a site that already supports videos like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch you might be able to save yourself the hassle of compressing all your videos before you upload them to the internet. Plus, if you're a talented video maker, putting videos on YouTube might be a way for you to get more traffic to your website without SEO.
Should I Create an AMP Site?
The AMP Project is an open-source application that allows you to make websites and ads that are optimized across all platforms and devices. It's heavily supported by Google and something you should consider for your website.
It may not be the best option for your particular brand, but it has been a blessing for many in need of a mobile-friendly website.
Thoughts on Creating an App
If at all possible, create an app version of your website. It's a great way to keep customers involved with your brand and provide instant notifications to them when you have something special to show them.
You might think that creating an app is unnecessary and a waste of money, and in many instances, it will be. However, apps are a very integral part of many businesses that start out "for free" and then offer paid products within the app.
You can offer the complete version of your product for a few weeks then get them to start paying for your service after they become accustomed to using all the features you offer.
An app is also a great place to put all your videos, podcasts, and blogs. Sure, you can link to those things on your website to your YouTube or Twitch, but in my opinion, it's far better to keep your traffic in a place with fewer distractions that YouTube or Facebook. Plus they can't buy anything on YouTube, but they can on your app.
What is the Future of the Internet?
With all the options available on the internet these days, it may be hard to figure to see where you should put your time next. Let me take this opportunity to clear the fog for you.
The leaders of the internet are making a strong push to making the internet a very user-friendly place. They want to make sure that children are safe, businesses are free to work together in ethical ways, and are fully supporting brands that put the user's experience before themselves.
That being said, the internet is a fantastic place for those who play by the rules of ethics and have a strong moral code to do the right thing. That means that every piece of content put on the internet should have value.
Considering the amount of time people spend on the internet, it's imperative that you keep that in mind. Your customers can either spend time on your website and social media, or someone else's. What determine's that is how much thought and the importance you place on creating the highest quality content in massive quantities.
The best way to do that is to find writers, marketers, brand consultants, videographers, and developers to help you put your best foot forward on every post, blog, brochure, and video you create.
For more information on creating a brand that works in 2018 and beyond, check out the rest of the Digital Cartel Media blog and search exactly what you're looking for. It has everything you could want on social media marketing, SEO, branding and online business. Each one of these topics has multiple articles containing the latest tips and tricks available.