Attending the Google Mobile Expert training day at Google’s HQ in King’s Cross reiterated how important mobile devices are within search. Whilst an online mobile presence is important, a mobile-optimised presence is essential within digital advertising.
How popular has mobile become today?
Google state that 86% of people aged 16 years and over now use a smartphone. In 2016, 66% of the online population accessed the internet via their smartphone as often as they accessed it using a desktop computer.
Smartphones have become a vital part of our daily life and in turn, they have transformed consumer browsing and buying behaviour. It is now possible for consumers to use their smartphones throughout the purchasing process – from their initial research to making their final purchase. Therefore, ensuring your website is fully optimised for mobile devices is vitally important.
Principles of a fully optimised mobile website
Whilst a website that has been optimised for mobile devices looks remarkably different to a standard desktop version, there are intrinsic differences to the functionality too.
Some of the fundamental principles to follow when optimising for mobile devices include:
- Homepage and site navigation: ensure the website calls to action are at the forefront, menus are concise and the homepage is easy to navigate to and from
- Site search: make the search bar, box or functionality clearly visible, ideally situated towards the top of the page. Use filters to improve search results and ensure all site search results are relevant (the autocomplete functionality is ideally implemented within search)
- Commerce and conversion: ensure visitors can explore the website before committing, products/services can be purchased as a ‘guest’ if the visitor chooses and the click-to-call function can be easily reached
- Form entry: streamline a user’s information entry for efficiency. Use drop downs to simplify data entry and implement visual calendars for date entry
- Usability: optimise the entire site for mobile devices. Use high quality product images which will not lose clarity through zoom. Ensure the site works in both portrait and landscape orientation and keep visitors in one browser window.
Why is mobile website optimisation important?
Given the popularity and frequent use of mobile devices, if your website is optimised for mobile, you are targeting a wide and ever-increasing user base with the best possible experience of your site.
When a website is correctly optimised for mobile devices, you are likely to see an improvement in key statistics. User bounce rate may decrease, thus improving CTR. As a result, mobile conversion rate should then improve, as users navigate your mobile optimised site with ease.