Smartphones and tablets now account for 60% of all online traffic. Last year, we passed a tipping point – more people now view websites from mobile devices than from desktop computers.
We do everything on our phones, from shopping and banking to booking holidays and dating.
Mobile’s not the future – it’s the present.
In response, Google is rolling out its mobile-friendly algorithm. Its ‘spiders’, pieces of code the search engine sends out to crawl the world wide web and find different websites, are actively looking for sites which are simple to use on smartphones.
Mobile-responsive sites now get a boost in Google’s mobile search rankings. We all know that where you sit in Google search results can have a big impact on the numbers of people who click through to your website.
Why does Google like mobile-friendly websites?
There’s nothing worse than trying to load a site unfriendly to mobiles on a smartphone. It can take forever and be clunky to read and navigate.
Google wants people to have a good user experience (UX) – and so should you.
A good UX is more likely to lead to a page viewer becoming a paying customer. It helps conversion rates on your website. A bad UX will mean you lose customers.
Steve Hewitt, Director of Pontypridd-based website design and digital marketing agency Digital Chimps, says: “At the start of mobile-friendly design, the mobile sites were re-directs to the desktop site. Now, clients need sites which are truly responsive.
“I tell my clients that when it comes to designing for mobiles, we need to keep it simple. Key elements like logos, navigation, and content, need to be easily accessed and read on a smartphone.
“When your search results come up in Google, there will be grey text which tells potential customers that this site is mobile-friendly. That encourages people to click through from mobile devices.”
What is a ‘responsive’ site?
Instead of having a separate mobile site, as used to be popular, many people are now opting for websites which respond to the devices on which they’re viewed. They automatically size correctly for smartphones, tablets, laptops, Macs and PCs.
There are no re-directs and there’s no finding a separate mobile website.
Mr Hewitt says: “When I talk the design through with my clients, a number of them show friends and family the demo site and get feedback. They see how responsive sites improve the user experience.”
If you decide to upgrade your old site, there’s something else you can do to help smartphone-using customers find you on Google.
Mr Hewitt says: “Google Places is a good tool to allow you a mobile search result while your new site is in development. Get verified on that.
“Customers will either search for a specific town or Google will know where they are because of their phone. Local search results will come up which give people lots of options – a map to find you, a link to your website, and a number to call you.”
If you need a new, mobile-responsive website, contact Digital Chimps on 01443 491476. See what they do on their website.
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