Mobile First Gives Users More Advantage

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mobile first Most people searching online are searching from a mobile device. Recognizing this, Google is working to provide search results that are valid on mobile devices, not just desktops.  On November 4, 2016,   Google mobile first indexing  became official.  The first time this update was mentioned by  Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google  was in his keynote speech during PubCon in Las Vegas (October 13, 2016).  The main reason for this update is to provide a better user experience for the rapidly growing population of mobile searchers.  You probably remember Google’s last major update related to mobile was announced April 15, 2015 and is often referred to as Mobilegeddon.

What does this update mean exactly for businesses? And, how can Web Developers, Designers and Search Engine Optimization specialists best address it? Well, let’s start with developers.

Beginning a web development project with the ‘user experience’ is critical for successful new website. Thinking first of mobile users – often referred to as “mobile first design” – is now more important than ever. What makes their experience great?

The ability to find relevant information, to get an answer, solve the problem, find directions or just have a good time is the first thing users want in an easy to use website.  Incorporating Search Engine Optimization tactics properly into a website enhances usability because thoroughly-done research of searchable terms, forecasting possible questions and including relevant words into page content, titles and H1 headings on the page helps users find the business on the first page of the search engine, and possibly even answer their question even more quickly. Getting users (web site visitors) to what they are looking for quickly is crucial for all businesses.

Next, Web Developers make their contribution in the code they write.  Today speed is everything, in fact, 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.  Compressing resources with gzip or deflate, setting an expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources, compacting JavaScript, CSS and HTML code and properly formatting and compressing images  can speed up downloading, parsing, and execution time. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting forever to download a page and then discovering that the video you have been waiting for is not even going to play.

Using structured data adds clarity for search engines. It helps them better understand the relevance of the contents on the page to user’s search terms, and this in turn improves the click-through-rate.  All the structured data should be relevant to the specific content of each document.

As for Web Designers, their primary role is to keep users awake on the phone and efficient to complete their tasks.  There is a short list to make that happen:

  1. Have important content to show up in the first third of a scroll
  2. Keep calls to action front and center
  3. Use finger friendly text
  4. Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  5. Keep menus short
  6. Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
  7. When it comes to forms, the shorter is the better for mobile users.

Looking toward the future, what should we be considering? Well, building Progressive Web Apps  that load instantly and respond quickly to user interactions will guarantee increased conversions. They are reliable, fast and engaging and radically improve user experience on mobile. Many people think they are the next BIG thing.

Wonder what you can do for YOUR mobile audience?  Call marketing RELEVANCE today at 847-259-7312. We will work together on identifying the needs, wants and moments that matter to your mobile audiences and building great mobile experience for them.

Read more:

  1. Responsive Design: What You Need to Know
  2. Mobilegeddon: Game Changing Google Update
  3. What Makes a Good Mobile Site?
  4. Google’s Mobile First Indexing Change: Everything SEOs Need to Know
  5. Common mistakes