Optimizing for mobile search has become an imperative. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been just over 10 years since the iPhone was launched! And internet searches were done using only desktop computers. Times have definitely changed, and mobile searches are here, so your website needs to be optimized accordingly.
According to a release by Stat Counter Global Stats in November 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide. What that means for your business marketing strategy is that your website must be optimized to accommodate mobile searches.
The Google Mobile Movement Study revealead that people who search “on-the-go” are often ready to buy and are looking for local results. In fact, statistics show that mobile users take the following actions after accessing information via mobile local searches.
Based on these numbers, businesses should definitely do something to ensure they are prepared for the mobile searchers.
Mobile search is driving different search behavior, and businesses need to adjust. That requires certain modifications to adjust to the requirements of mobile users.
1. Responsive web design. Creating a responsive web design means adapting your website to different devices used to access the Internet. Your website must adjust to any screen size without the user needing to scroll to the side or zoom in to view it.
Google rewards websites that have a mobile-friendly responsive design, meaning that the same URL and HTML code are used for any device, whether it’s mobile, desktop, tablet or non-visual browser. And it penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly when the search is done from mobile. Responsive web design also saves time in updating your site, since you only need to consider one source.
2. Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google’s AMP Project was created to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. Because over half of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load, Google wanted to alleviate the wait time to load sites on mobile devices. AMP is intended to allow rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously.
AMP is open source and free to use. Websites that are optimized with AMP will display a little lightning bolt, signifying their lightning-fast load time.
3. Ease of navigation and understanding. When you’re using the smaller screens of mobile devices, it’s frustrating to have to search for information and where to click. Your website should be simple and facilitate the display and access of key information. Your home page should feature all information or at least contain an obvious link to it elsewhere on the site.
Mobile searchers are usually on the go and don’t have the time or patience to surf the web like they would at their desktop. They want instantaneous results without too much scrolling or clicking. The quicker your site can present what they’re looking for, the more likely you’ll pique and keep their interest. This means your website needs to immediately and clearly communication what you do before the visitor has to scroll.
It’s also wise to separate buttons and links at a reasonable distance apart to allow for “fat fingers”, since those are the tools most mobile searchers use. Without a mouse or keypad for focused clicking, it’s easy to finger-click on the wrong link if they’re too close together. Also, to avoid the requirement for too much typing, drop-down menus are a great alternative. They are more convenient and less time-consuming, attributes appreciated by on-the-go searchers.
4. Email campaigns. Mobile users can become distracted and may click out of your shopping cart, not necessarily because they don’t intend to complete the transaction, but because they are in a hurry or want to do further research. You can put an email campaign in place that gives them the option to complete their transaction at a later time.
It’s also a great add-on to offer additional discounts or coupons if they complete their transaction. Including a retrieval link in the email to their abandoned shopping carts will let them complete their purchase at a later time, using any device they desire. This gives users who are unsure about the purchase initially to return to the cart as they left it.
5. Social media. Using social media to market and promote your website is a smart move for any business. A large majority of users browse their social media accounts on their mobile devices. Include mobile URLs in your social media accounts to facilitate clicking and bookmarking it.
If you want to know whether your website is responsive and optimized for mobile search, contact St. Louis SEO for Growth to learn more. Sign up for our free SEO Audit report to see how your current site is performing.