Boy, have times changed. Through my 8 year career, I’ve seen the world of web completely evolve. It’s hard to believe there was a time without computers and the internet. The most recent big change in wed development has been the growth of mobile, which has completely exploded. As a web developer I spend most of my time making websites function perfectly and look great on smaller devices.
Google has been advocating mobile first for years. With more users accessing the internet through smartphones and tablets, the ability for users to view websites on mobile devices has become more and more important. User experience, design, content and speed are the most important factors that rank how friendly a site is to navigate. The better your mobile optimization, the more time a user spends on your site.
Now Google is going full mobile. In the next few months when Google is crawling through webpages to index search results, the mobile version of a website will be searched through, or indexed, first.
How does this affect me?
As a business you should be constantly evaluating the way that you serve your customers and your website is no different. Here at KEEN we practise what we preach so we recently performed an audit of our own website. What we designed and programmed last year may have worked then, but times have changed, the web moves fast, and user demands have shifted.
Here’s what we looked for when optimizing our site:
Mobile Content vs Desktop Content
When designing your site to be mobile first, the biggest change relates to the content. In the past, Google indexed the desktop version of your site first. With Google’s new mobile first focus you must ensure that the content on your mobile and desktop websites are as similar as possible. Though you most likely won’t get penalized for small differences, large and noticeable differences between the mobile and desktop version and any issues that make your site difficult to use through mobile devices may result in penalties from Google when determining rank.
When performing our own site audit we realized mobile users couldn’t see the client name and service. We changed the design to make it easier for users to get that information without any extra actions required.
Mobile Friendly UI Design
Your mobile site has to be usable at the user’s screen size. If your user can’t click a button or link or your content is too small your mobile site isn’t mobile friendly.
Simple design decisions such as adding a chevron at the end of a link signals to the user that this link is clickable.
Speed, speed, and speed
It’s crazy to think that a few years ago an 8 second loading website was tolerable. Today users will leave if your site if it doesn’t load in 2-3 seconds. One of the significant reasons for lag time are images. We know that users love images and great images are vital to create an interesting user experience. Properly optimizing images will significantly reduce the size of your website and page load speed, while allowing you to use great images on your site.
You may not have noticed, but we’ve moved all our media to a CDN.
Hopefully this has given you some insight about mobile website, the importance of mobile optimization, and how it can affect your business. If you have any questions or concerns about your own site feel free to contact our web experts here at KEEN. Heck, if you have any feedback on our own site, please feel free to contact us! We’re always open to feedback that’ll make our own site better.