Mobile optimisation is now the golden rule for websites. We have moved from the desktop-bound era to the freedom of mobile internet. Consumers can look for a restaurant, a new car insurer, furniture for their remodelled garden or a pair of shoes for tonight’s party as they are walking towards the bus stop or taking a lunch break at work. And this means that your website must offer them the best browsing experience – no glitches, no delays and no inconveniences. So we will take this opportunity to share with you the most effective mobile optimisation best practices.
Why Is Mobile Optimisation Better than a Mobile Version for Your Site?
Some websites still play a double game: they have a desktop version and a mobile version. You know it when you see the URL, which looks something like this: “m.mywebsite.com”.
The problem with this approach is that it takes time to manage two website versions and you may fall victim to the duplicate content problem. Also, if someone shares a version of the site on their social media platform, users using the other type of device will have a poor browsing experience (mobile sites look sketchy and unprofessional on a large computer monitor, while the desktop site is very hard to browse on a mobile phone).
Make Sure You Apply these Mobile Optimisation Best Practices
Now, let us detail the best practices you should implement on your website. These are:
1. Create Interactions with Touch in Mind
One of the biggest problems with many so-called mobile friendly websites is that they are still designed for clicking with a mouse. From drop-down and hover menus, to small buttons these sites are a challenge even for people with small fingers and very precise movements.
The average user would need several tries to access a specific web page or open a product description. What you need is a series of mobile optimisation best practices, including:
- Large buttons, that are easy tap
- Keeping links and anchor text away from fill-in forms
- Avoiding pop-up windows
- Creating large X buttons to close a window or a form.
2. Above the Fold Is Still Relevant
The above the fold concept appeared because pages with lots of content would not fit one computer screen. Thus, marketing specialists discovered that visitors are more likely to scroll down if they find useful, interesting content at the top of the page, which is visible when they open the site.
Mobile browsing is not different from the users’ perspective. The content they can see above the fold will determine if they will continue scrolling down. So, this is one of the best practices which will still continue to be true in the mobile internet age.
3. Make Your Site Attractive and Useful for Desktop Visitors As Well
While mobile phone users represent the largest percentage of site visitors, you still get a lot of traffic from desktops and laptops. This means that you must continue to optimise your site and create customer journeys that take into account desktop use.
One of the most effective mobile optimisation best practices is taking a holistic approach to your user experience and user interface. Consider both mobile and desktop users and their specific needs and create a great browsing experience for all of them.
4. Enhance the Product Browsing Experience
If you have an ecommerce website, one of your key concerns is how your visitors interact with the product pages. This is, after all, the ultimate purpose of your site is to determine visitors to buy your products.
Here are a few mobile optimisation best practices for your product section:
- Keep the menu button visible on all pages
- Put product photos above text
- Make photo previews tappable to open the product page
- Add filters to help users make a quick selection
- Make sure that CTA buttons are easy to tap with the fingers on both hands.
At the same time, make sure that the add to cart and check-out processes are as simple and seamless as possible. A high percentage of abandoned carts are owed to long and time consuming check-out procedures.
5. Optimise the Site Code
Fast page loading is one of the basic prerequisite for a good mobile website. If your site is slow, one of the main causes is a bloated code. In this case, you should:
- Switch to HTML5
- Compress all image and video files on your website.
You should also check for obsolete strings of code and eliminate them. Make the structure of your site as lean and responsive as possible, and you will have a fast loading mobile optimised site.
6. Cut Back on Interstitials
Interstitials are pop-up ads which cover a significant surface of the mobile screen and prevent the user from reading or watching the content. This is not only detrimental for user experience, it is also penalised by Google.
No matter how much you want to promote a product or a sale, make sure that your interstitials are either towards the bottom of the page or to one side. Also, use them only for special offers and heavily discounted products. Their intrusive nature makes them an annoyance and your visitors may decide to leave your site, unless you are really promoting a very attractive offer.
7. Use Mobile Friendly Plug-Ins for WordPress
What is the simplest way to make your WordPress site mobile friendly? You use a plug-in for that! There are actually dozens of such plug-ins that will make your site more responsive, and even help simplify its code.
Together with responsive WordPress templates, you can achieve the objectives of mobile optimisation best practices with very little effort.
8. Test Your Site on Different Mobile Screens and Operating Systems
Mobile phones use one of these two operating systems: Android and iOS. Others have become obsolete or have such a small number of users, that they are practically irrelevant. However, what remains relevant is the size of the mobile screen. Not everyone owns a flagship phone with a 6.5’ screen. Some people prefer smaller phones, which are more convenient to use and carry in a coat or trousers pocket.
Thus, you must make sure that your website offers a good browsing experience both on a large screen and on a smaller, 4’ screen.
These mobile optimisation best practices do not involve a lot of effort or expense. If you cannot code, various plug-ins can help you make your site structure simpler and faster loading.
Other practices are aimed at making your site a helpful resource for potential clients, who can always rely on it to find the information, or products they need whenever and wherever they are.