By: Dan Frydman, Managing Director Inigo Media Ltd
Any internet marketing strategy is going to point users to your website. Over the last 5 years we’ve seen how important it is to have a mobile-friendly website that anyone can access while on the go. Now it’s really important to have a mobile-optimised website too.
Mobile friendly vs mobile optimisation
A mobile-friendly website is one that works on a mobile device – usually a smartphone. If you can view the content and the key calls to action on an iPhone or Android phone, then the site is working.
A mobile-optimised website is one that works really well on mobile – an A rather than a C+.
If you think about your browsing habits, you’ll be using your mobile a lot to look up the things you want to buy and the
companies you’d like to work with.
Everyone else is doing that too.
50% of traffic on mobile phones
Most small business sites now get 50% or more of their website traffic from mobile phones.
There was a notable surge in 2020.
The trend was growing anyway, with higher traffic sites already at or over 50%. However, for small businesses, it’s been a big shift. People are away from a computer, sharing our laptops with our kids, so we move to our phones to buy online.
It has become increasingly important to consider mobile optimisation. None of us likes slow loading, hard to navigate mobile sites that look terrible.
So why should we expect our customers to behave in a different way, or give us the benefit of the doubt?
Fast, easy to navigate, clear sites with engaging content work as well on mobiles as they do on laptops.
Ignoring the 50% can cost a business dear, particularly if product pages, basket and checkout processes are harder to use on mobile.
Introducing Core Web Vitals
In June 2021 Google is implementing its Core Web Vitals, to favour sites that are optimised for mobile. This means making pages quick to load and don’t put up lots of intrusive popups. Distracting items and pages that jiggle about as they load will be marked down by Google.
Slow, disruptive and jiggly will mean a loss of ranking.
Any business usually grows organically over time, new plugins or elements have been added and it didn’t add up to a big issue on desktop. However, it’s a concern now.
Too many plugins – components that do things on your website – end up being loaded with too many scripts on every page. That’s something you need to deal. The goalposts are about to change quite significantly.
It’s not hard to deal with.
Mobile optimisation for your website
Here are some key steps to ask your web company or web developer about.
Selective plugin loading
Stop some plugins from being loaded into templates where they aren’t needed. E.g., maps and form components on a homepage.
Rearrange script loading
Tell some scripts to load after all the content rather than before – which makes the page readable by users – and Google – before page enhancements are loaded.
Combining scripts and files
The calls to scripts and stylesheet files take up more processing time. You can make this more efficient by combining script files and style files, compressing the gaps in-between bits of code and making it more optimised.
Loading in content when it’s needed
You can also load in content when it’s needed, such as image files that aren’t required at the top of the page when it loads. Lazy loading helps with this.
What if you need to rebuild?
You may need to look at how some pages are built in order to get the most savings. This may require combining pages together to get the best result. This can work wonders for search engine optimisation too as you create an authority page that provides more help for your users.
Getting the fastest page speed score isn’t the most important thing
As a business owner, you’ll be tempted to go for the best page score that you can. This isn’t always the best approach. Aim to get a score that’s a good balance of speed, usability and still allows you to inform your customer. Getting the fastest possible score could gut your site of useful information. Perfection isn’t required, there is scope for good enough.
- Recognise the problem – you need a mobile optimised site to retain (and increase) ranking
- Ask your web company to help you – they’ll be happy to!
- Ensure you’re getting a solution that helps users and doesn’t just act as a sticking plaster
- Use it as an opportunity to think about how you use your mobile to research companies or products
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – there are no silly questions
- Benchmark where you’re at now – site speed, number of visitors, time on site, etc.,
- Set targets for where you’re going
- Measure against both your benchmark and targets regularly
- Adjust your targets to do better
- Produce great content that people will want to read