Mobile is everywhere.
Not only that people use mobiles, but they access the internet from their mobile devices.
This means over half of your target audience is expected to visit your website from a mobile device. These numbers will increase significantly over the coming years.
You need to ask yourself: Is your website optimized for mobile?
Or, you’re just focusing on the desktop?
Mobile optimization isn’t a one-off technique that you can implement and sit back. It is a continuous process where you have to tweak your website regularly for mobile conversions with a focus on improving mobile UX.
The list of mobile optimization techniques is exhaustive, and the best you can do is follow the best practices (instead of reinventing the wheel).
The following mobile optimization best practices will help you in getting on track.
1. Mobile-Friendly Test
Let’s start from the basics.
There are several tools that you can use to test your website’s mobile-friendliness.
Google has a Mobile-Friendly Test tool that lets you check page loading issues. If your website is mobile-friendly, you'll get a message.
If there are any page loading issues, Google will share details which help you in fixing these issues.
You get the complete resource, type, and status of the issue. This makes it easier for your development team to fix them.
It is essential to fix these issues to ensure your website is truly mobile-friendly.
BrowserStack is a premium tool that shows you how your website looks on different leading smartphones and tablets.
It checks the responsiveness of your website. However, it doesn’t find specific issues on your website (like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test).
2. Improve Speed
Website speed matters a lot and is a critical factor that determines the conversion rate, engagement, UX, and bounce rate.
A one second delay in mobile load time can reduce conversions by 20%.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your mobile site’s speed. It shows you the load time of different elements on your mobile site, opportunities, and diagnostics. You'll get recommendations on what actions to take to improve load speed.
Besides, there are several ways to improve the speed of your mobile site that you can find in this article.
3. Say No to Popups
Popups on mobile aren’t appreciated by visitors as they ruin UX. Don’t use popups on mobile no matter how well they perform on the desktop.
The popup on mobile blocks the content and that’s where it hurts UX. Here is an example:
It is challenging to show a popup without blocking visitor’s view. Mobile screen is small and whenever you'll use a popup (no matter how small), it will hide the main content.
And this is against the rules of optimization.
Don’t use popups on mobile if you’re serious about mobile optimization.
4. Add Top Navigation
The navigation needs to be at the top of the mobile screen as this makes it easier to access the menu and navigate through your website.
Here is an example of how it should work:
The primary menu should be accessible with one hand because people use mobile phones with one hand. Top navigation can be accessed from a single thumb tap.
Additionally, visitors can move around and explore your mobile website without getting lost.
5. Use Rich Snippets
Structured data or schema markup help visitors as well as search engines in understanding what your website is about. According to Google, rich snippets are easier to scroll and improve user experience on mobile.
Use schema markup to show additional information in mobile SERPs such as price, availability, review, rating, etc.
If you’re using WordPress, Schema – All in One Scheme Rich Snippets is a free plugin that you can use.
6. Use Accordions
Accordions make content on your mobile site collapsible which improves UX. It improves readability. According to Nielsen Norman Group, accordions on mobile conserve space and improve navigation.
Accordion hide the content and only the heading is visible. When a user taps a heading, the accordion expands making content visible. Visitors can hide and collapse accordions as they continue reading.
The Accordion is a free WordPress plugin that will help you create accordions easily.
7. Improve Mobile UX
I have to say, UX is the crux.
You can’t optimize your mobile site without improving UX. It starts with getting rid of complexity.
Visit your website from a mobile device and note down all the glitches.
Fix all of them one by one.
The idea is to make your mobile site user-friendly.
8. Use HTML5 Video
Get rid of flash video as it is slow. Switch to HTML5 instead.
The HTML5 videos are mobile-supportive and work seamlessly on mobile devices. Website visitors don’t have to deal with slow flash videos that ruin UX and negatively impact page speed.
9. Create the Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google AMP Project is still new but it is here to stay. Creating AMP will make your site load super-fast on mobile.
Google hosts AMP on its own servers and gives them a preference for mobile SERPs. If you wish to reach the first place in Google mobile SERPs, switching to AMP is the first thing you should do.
Mobile optimization works slowly but surely. Some of these techniques will start delivering results immediately while others will need time.
With Google’s Mobile-First Index, it is now more important than ever to optimize your website for mobile so search engines can serve users better with relevant and user-friendly web pages.
That’s what mobile optimization is all about.
Get started today with these 9 best practices.