In 2014, the number of Internet searches via mobile device surpassed those done on a traditional PC or laptop for the first time. Further, adoption of mobile devices has continued to grow, and today over 80 percent of Internet users own a smartphone. In 2016, having a mobile optimized website is one of the most critical marketing elemets you can address to drive more traffic and sales.
Mobile optimized websites offer SEO advantages
Last year, Google announced that it would be using mobile-friendliness as an important ranking factor. Google now considers several points in evaluating mobile optimization – how well the fonts scale for user readability, spacing and touch element functionality, page load times and hopefully, not using Flash, as it does not play well with mobile devices.
While mobile responsive designs can meet some of Google’s criteria, websites that are mobile-optimized will focus on perfecting these elements and more, for both user-friendliness reasons and SEO benefits. Google now prioritizes mobile-friendly sites and those sites now rank higher, so the best modern website design has mobile in mind from the beginning.
Web development for a mobile-friendly site
Mobile optimized websites have some common design elements: large, easily readable fonts, heavy on graphics and videos, intuitive navigation, and accessible menus. All of these things are those which make using a website on a small screen user-friendly.
- About fonts: There is more to choosing a font than just upsizing it. It can help brand your company as the fun-loving or uber-professional company that you are and lead your readers where you want them to go on your page. Be sure to choose a font that is universally supported so that it looks great on any device.
- Large images: Large images that create the background of a site are now extremely popular as they work well on all devices, and overlaid text can present strong visuals to a site’s users, while telling the company’s story with an image.
- Product images in particular are growing in size, and that is directly related to the rise of mobile device usage, as web developers aim to make eCommerce websites scan-friendly as well. As more people take to their phones and tablets to make purchases, sellers realize that it’s important to give them a good look at their products, and point out the best features and benefits.
- Videos: Including video on a mobile website is brilliant! Whether you have a background video that autoplays when someone lands on your page, or have clickable videos that give further information, video delivers a lot of information while using little space. Video use is growing and the amount of time people spent watching videos on mobile is up 100 percent year over year. Clearly, people prefer the ease of watching/listening to videos over reading heavy blocks of text.
- Simple menus: Sometimes, going back to basics is a good thing, and hidden or “hamburger” menus are one of those things typically used on traditional websites. Rather than taking up valuable small screen space, they are hidden until users click them open. and using menus on a website makes it easy for users to get to exactly what they need, and it’s not so busy that it makes navigation difficult.
- Card style design: This type of website design takes its cue from social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram that feature a large image and ample room for text for each image. Individual cards can present products, services or blog posts in smaller pieces for users to easily scan and consume. Website development can build a card style site that looks fresh and organized, with easy touch navigation to expand the cards for expanded information.
Is your website mobile optimized? If not, or if it needs some updating to take advantage of the latest trends and SEO benefits, contact the Catalyst Group today and let’s get started. Based in Tucson, we partner with businesses all over the world to enhance their online presence and drive traffic, from screens large and small. Call us at 1 (520) 375-9495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.