The trend for people to prefer using mobile devices rather than traditional desktop computers continues to increase, with important considerations for online retailers. According to web form publisher Formstack, conversion rates for smartphone visitors have been rapidly increasing compared to desktop conversion rates. To take advantage of this trend and remain competitive, you need to optimise your mobile site and ensure that it is SEO friendly. An optimised site gives your visitors a better user experience (UX), which leads to higher conversion rates and increased revenue. Here are five suggestions that will help ensure that your site is SEO friendly:
Provide fast page loading
Your customers do not want to visit a website that loads slowly, especially on a mobile device. A page on your website may contain valuable content, but visitors will quickly leave when they encounter pages that load slowly. On average, the loading time for bounced visits is about 2.5 seconds slower than the loading time for sessions where visitors engage with a site.
Pages on mobile sites that show intrusive pop-ups provide poor UX, which is the main reason that Google now penalises sites that use them. Since mobile devices have small screens, search engines use these penalties as an incentive for businesses to improve customer UX.
Non-intrusive pop-ups such as small banners and age verification boxes that don’t cover a large portion of the screen are fine and do not incur a penalty. However, any pop-up that drastically obscures the screen or requires a visitor to dismiss it before your site displays content will have a big impact on your site’s SEO.
Design for all finger sizes
Be sure that your touch screen navigation allows users with both large and small fingers to easily scroll content. Catering to all visitors will provide a better UX, and don’t forget that people use both their thumb and their index finger when scrolling.
Size titles and meta descriptions properly
Using action-oriented titles and meta descriptions that include relevant keywords are important for SEO purposes, but you need to consider how these items will display on a mobile site. Unfortunately, search engines can truncate titles and meta descriptions that are too long, thereby hurting your search engine rank, so limit titles to 70 characters and meta descriptions to 130 characters.
Use simple page designs
Since mobile device screens are small, simpler is better when designing pages for your site. If you try to include too much on a page, UX will suffer, negating the positive effects of SEO. Provide content that is both short and focused, and be sure to use a clear call to action (CTA). Use simple menus. If there are numerous menus and sub-menus, visitors can easily become confused and decide to click out and go elsewhere. Also, make sure that any contact forms that you have are mobile friendly.
As the trend continues of more people using mobile devices instead of desktops, your success will depend on a mobile-friendly design that takes SEO into account.