It should come as no surprise that optimising your website for use on mobile phones is one of the most important factors when developing a new website or updating an existing site.
The reasons are many, but possibly the most compelling is that – according to a recent report by Ofcom – 74% of adults in the UK use their mobile phones to access the internet.
And more importantly, it’s younger age groups that are more likely to use their mobile phones to access the internet, with 96% of 16-24 year olds reporting doing so.
For businesses looking to build long-term brand affinity, return customer bases and new buyer groups, that’s a fairly important statistic!
The acceleration in mobile phone technologies, coupled with faster and cheaper internet access across a wider geographical area, has entirely shifted the focus from large-screen format website development to sites that are light, nimble and offer mobile users quick access to the information, items or services they’re looking for.
Additionally, new e-commerce models which use social media platforms or apps to manage the entire purchase process have put pressure on more traditional ecommerce websites to match that user experience.
Mobile optimisation: three key performance considerations
One of the main benefits of mobile optimisation is improved website performance. Mobile users expect websites to load quickly and be easy to navigate on their devices. If a website is not optimised for mobile use, it can take longer to load and be difficult to use on a small screen.
Google has also indicated that page speed is a factor in its search ranking algorithm. This means that websites that are slow to load on mobile devices may not rank as high in search results. Mobile optimisation can help improve website performance and increase the likelihood of appearing at the top of search results.
Mobile optimisation also plays a significant role in SEO. Google has shifted its focus to mobile-first indexing, which means that it uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking.
If a website is not optimised for mobile use, it may not appear as high in search results or may not appear at all.
In addition, mobile optimisation can also affect the user experience of a website. If a website is difficult to navigate on a mobile device, users may quickly leave the site and increase the bounce rate. This can negatively impact SEO as bounce rate is a factor in search ranking algorithms.
Suitability for Touchscreen Mobiles
Another key aspect of mobile optimisation is suitability for touchscreen mobiles. Touchscreen devices have become the norm for mobile use, and websites that are not optimised for touchscreen use may be difficult to navigate.
Mobile optimisation can help ensure that websites are easy to use on touchscreen devices. This includes making buttons and links large enough to be easily clicked with a finger and ensuring that menus are easily accessible and intuitive.