Wherever you look today mobile devices are an essential part of people’s lives. Together with the use of mobile devices, mobile search has also seen tremendous growth. Today almost half of all searches globally are done through a mobile device. Mobile is set to be the new leader and to be competitive you must ensure that your website offers mobile users a good experience!
It is important to understand that users behaviour on mobile devices is unique and it generally falls into two categories:
Mobile users are usually on the go and most often look for things like locations, working hours, and phone numbers. Because mobile users are on the go, they require this information fast. The last thing you need when you are looking for a place on a mobile device is to drill through layers of menu items and content, accessibility is thus extremely important.
In contrast, mobile usage may be relaxed. People often casually browse their mobile devices in their leisure time, often at home during the boring parts of movies or during commercials.
To accommodate both of those behavior types you need to ensure that your site offers a mobile-friendly user interface, good internal search functionality, swipeable photos, and filters.
The most important aspect of developing a mobile-friendly site is the technical configuration you choose to deliver your content to mobile users. Here are the three types of configuration:
This is a very common configuration because it allows you to build one site, serving the same content from the same URL to both desktop and mobile users. Through CSS queries, sites with responsive design automatically change how the content is rendered in order for it to be properly displayed on the screen size of the device. Here is an example of how this same page rearranges itself for smaller screens. It is important to note that Google has expressed a preference for responsive websites.
This option is preferable when you want to alter the mobile experience. Sometimes you may need to do that to match the different behavior and intent people have when browsing on mobile devices. With this option, your web server identifies users who are on a mobile device and dynamically serves appropriate content. This option can give you a lot of flexibility but the downside is that you need to maintain more content and pages.
With this option, you set up a separate site on which you serve content to mobile users. With this option, your server detects users from mobile devices and serves them a different URL. Usually, these are located on subdomains like m.domainname.com. The advantage of this configuration is that you have the ultimate flexibility to tailor the experience of your mobile users. The disadvantage is that with this option you will need a lot more resources to maintain an additional site.
From an SEO perspective, no matter which option you choose you must signal your configuration to search engines. To do this follow the guidelines offered by Google.
To help mobile users have a good experience on your site you need to provide the fastest possible performance. Here are a few techniques you can use to achieve this:
Lower the size of your image files as much as possible.
Keep a clean code and compress your CSS files to reduce their size.
You can check your site speed performance and identify speed issues using the free Google Pagespeed Insights tool.
Offering a good user experience to your mobile visitors is essential for the success of your SEO objectives. It is important to understand the behavior of your mobile users and produce content that matches their expectations while at the same time deliver it with the fastest speed possible.