The number of mobile searches is increasing daily, and while a lot of businesses have recognized this fact, there are still a lot of them who just can’t seem to be bothered to optimize for mobile. By doing this they are not only turning away a huge number of potential customers, they are actually hurting their SEO efforts, due the increase in bounce rate and the fact that if a user tries to view a site on a mobile device and realizes that it is not optimized, he or she may stop visiting the site altogether, which is to say even when they are using their PC to browse the web.
So what are some of the things that you need to know if you want a site that is optimized for mobile users?
Limitations of the Device
There are some important differences between mobile devices and PCs when it comes to viewing a website. First of all, the screen is much smaller. This means that you have to condense the content of your pages, so that the visitors don’t have to scroll around and search for the info they want.
Likewise, smartphone and tablet users have to deal with less computing power and (usually) a slower connection. This means that your site should be as light weight as possible, allowing for viewing on low end devices and for decent page loading times. Not only is page loading time an important SEO factor, it will also keep people from leaving your site in frustration, which not only leaves you with one visitor less, but also with an increase in bounce rate.
Typing is also much more difficult on a mobile device than on a PC, which is why you should make sure that your visitor is not required to enter too much information, or if they have to, that you have provided them with as comfortable interface for doing so as possible.
Finally, a lot of mobile optimized sites are still coming with incredibly annoying interstitial ads, which interrupt the experience, and are much more disruptive than the pop up ads on PCs, as it is more difficult to remove them. Using these ads can only hurt you in the long run, so by all means, stay away from them.
Types of Mobile Optimized Websites
There are three basic ways to provide visitors with a mobile optimized version of your site.
- The first one is known as responsive design. With this kind of optimization both PC and mobile users are presented with a same URL, but the site detects the type of the device you are using and makes size adjustments accordingly.
- The second method is building a separate version of your site, the URL of which is usually prefixed by m. and automatically offering that site to mobile users instead of your basic site.
- Finally, there is the adaptive web design option, which offers a different version of the site, but uses the same URL. Google seems to prefer the responsive solution, but building a mobile dedicated website gives you the opportunity to implement some functions that you couldn’t use on a responsive website, which makes it a better option in certain instances.
Leana Thorne is a devoted blogger and a regular contributor to several tech blogs. She enjoys sharing newly found information, and loves writing –currently is exploring optimization techniques, and is always happy to be of help.