Why does mobile optimisation matter?
Mobile optimisation is, of course, nothing new. Indeed, it’s rare to find a modern website that doesn’t at least attempt a responsive design on mobile.
Responsive websites provide your end-user with a tailored experience, that is fit to be read and interacted with, on the device of their choice. Making life easier for the audience you wish to reach is critical for customer satisfaction.
Mobile websites and sites with responsive design have become an increasingly important part of SEO in the past few years, since Google started working on mobile-first indexing.
In recent findings, Google revealed that most sites are good to go for mobile-first indexing. When, in September 2020, Google move to mobile-first indexing for all websites they believe 70% of sites globally will be responsive enough to pass the test.
Mobile websites or responsive websites?
There are two main ways in which a website can achieve mobile optimisation.
The most common is a responsive website, where a site has a responsive design. Fit for a multitude of devices with different screen sizes; automatically adjusting the layout of its content to the available screen size.
Alternatively, a mobile website will be developed where design is mobile-dedicated. These sites have an alternative URL, often starting with m. instead of www.
Mobile optimisation tips
Mobile optimisation - Page speed
On mobile websites page speed is even more important than on desktop, due to hardware and connectivity issues.
Responsive design includes optimised images, a limited amount of code, leveraged caching, and reduced redirects.
Mobile optimisation - Design with users in mind
Touch screen navigation leads more easily to accidental clicks. Ensure you test button sizes and various positions on the page. Don’t go too big or too small, and make sure to avoid the natural path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll.
Mobile optimisation - Keep navigation simple
Rethink your navigation for mobile users. They want speed and simplicity. You could also consider including a search function to help users get to the content they are looking for quickly.
Mobile optimisation - Rethink titles and meta descriptions
With users searching using a mobile device they have less space to play with. Create accurate but concise page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.
Mobile optimisation - Optimise for local search
Users will be more likely to access your mobile website on the move. If your business has a local regional focus, consider this in your optimisation work. Be consistent with your name, address, and phone number across the website.
Mobile optimisation - Consider an app
Developing a mobile app can be a great way to increase the likelihood of customers returning, but only if you are able to create reasons why your app should be taking up valuable storage space on a user’s device and provide additional value to the user. If you do create an app, make the most of functionality by including push notifications to encourage your shoppers to purchase more and recover abandoned shopping carts.
Better mobile optimisation for web forms
When it comes to interacting with users, gathering data and enabling form fill is a significant part of a successful mobile website experience. Online forms can be time-consuming and frustrating, leading users to abandon the form fill or intended purchase. According to Baymard Institute the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. Responsive websites must cater to this need.
Great responsive sites provide mobile optimised web forms.
Use smart address validation tools
One solution which supports mobile optimisation and a reduction in user effort through checkout is using a smart address validation tool. This allows the shopper to search any part of an address, and predict the address they are searching for, bringing up accurate matches even when typos are entered.
Use the best keyboard
Nothing annoys mobile website users more than having to flick between text and number keyboards when completing forms. Make sure that form fields are tagged to allow a numeric keyboard when phone number data is required, and an alphabetic keyboard for when address data is required and so on.
Stop auto-correct in forms
During form fills that involve names and address, autocorrect may well not recognise a road name as a correct word. Forcing the user to continually over-ride this will, again, increase the likelihood that they will abandon the form or checkout. For a responsive design, you should prevent the mobile browser from auto-correcting words in forms.
Get the size right
Review the size of the form fields and make sure they resize for mobile screen sizes.
Using a single-line address search field not only facilitates the mental model of searching for an address, but it means you don’t have to take up lots of space on your form with fields for each line of the address. The form appears simpler and less intimidating as a result.
As we all grow more accustomed to online payment, an increasing number of users will have access to digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Modernise your mobile payment options to include these and reduce the number of input fields for users.
Use progress bars
Allowing customers on a responsive website to see which part of the checkout process they have completed and what is still to come, not only removes frustration by letting them know how much longer it will take, but also allows them to prepare for the next step. This gives them the chance to get payment details or gift vouchers ready.
Current global events are taking us even further into a digital world, and one where mobile devices play an increasingly big role. Marketing managers, and organisations more broadly, need to remember that the importance of mobile optimisation and responsive design cannot be underweighted. The effort afforded to good responsive design and mobile websites within your digital strategy should not be minimised. To find out more about how Loqate products such as type-ahead address capture and easy website integrations can help support website optimisation get in touch and we'll be happy to help.