Mobile friendly web sites


Design for performance

It’s important to consider that your mobile visitors are likely to be limited by their devices. Often, when searching on a mobile device, your visitors will have to work with slower computing power, a diminishing battery life, and a slower Internet connection.

All of these factors may weigh in the back of the user’s mind and can increase their likelihood of being in a hurry. If your website takes too long to load or they cannot find the answers to their search queries quickly, they will likely leave your site for another.

The key to designing your website for performance is minimizing the stress that your site places on the user’s mobile network while also improving the user’s chances of finding what they need quickly. By using smaller image sizes and lower-quality videos you can decrease the amount of data the user will need to load, which can better ensure that your site operates quickly. However, you want to be careful not to decrease the quality too much and create a worse experience for users with faster connections.

Instead, incorporate mobile-friendly options for your content when possible. For example, if your website offers high-quality downloadable content that is packaged in a large file, give the user a variety of other file size options to choose from, such as a mid- or lower-quality option. This allows your audience to decide which content works best for their device’s limitations, and more importantly, helps you cater to users with both slower and faster mobile devices.

Focus on User Experience

User experience is not only important for the happiness of your visitors, but it can lead to improving your mobile SEO by increasing some of the technical factors that search engines look to understand if you’re offering an enjoyable experience to your visitors like a quick load time, easy to use navigation, proper redirects, clean URLs, and more.

The idea is that a website that functions properly and provides value to your audience is more likely to rank higher in search. To improve the user experience of your mobile website, content, or other offerings, consider the typical paths that you’d like your visitors to complete on your site and perform an audit on how your current site operates. Document any content, pages, forms, navigation errors, or other elements that can cause confusion and revise these hang-ups.

Keep the following suggestions in mind when performing your audit:

  • Content should be easily readable without the user needing to zoom. Users should be able to get the information they need quickly and in one place.

  • Scrolling should be vertical and not horizontal. It’s difficult to fit all of your content into a small screen and scrolling is likely; however, horizontal scrolling is not a common behavior on mobile devices and should be eliminated.

  • Navigation should be intuitive, buttons should be large enough to click with big fingers, missed clicks can be very frustrating on a mobile platform because the user will need to wait to load the wrong content and then backtrack to find what they really needed.

  • Form submissions should be short and to the point, remember that users on a mobile device are often in a hurry, and generally won’t stick around long enough to submit large forms.

Note that some elements are now considered outdated or cannot be properly optimized for mobile and you should consider removing them.