When Google announced its mobile-first index, SEO professionals went into a tizzy because they needed to ensure that their websites complied with Google’s Core Web Vitals and best practices guidelines for mobile website design. Because optimizing for the mobile web requires specialist knowledge and its own set of best practices, it is difficult for many websites to implement for mobiles successfully. However, given the widespread prevalence of mobile phones, web developers must optimize the website for different screen sizes, resolutions, and devices, in addition to desktops. Some of the best practices web developers need to follow for a mobile-compliant website implementation:
Mobile Content Should Be the Same as Desktop
Many web developers try to take a shortcut to make mobile-friendly websites by stripping much of the content and retaining only the essentials. However, this leads to duplicate content and complaints of cloaking. To avoid this situation, you must ensure that the content on the mobile website and the desktop website are the same. Using responsive design techniques is among the best ways of doing it. Responsive design ensures that the website design automatically transitions across a wide variety of devices and screen sizes. Using CSS sprites can reduce server-side requests and make your website faster.
Don’t Junk the Above-the-Fold Concept
It is tempting to think that the concept of the fold can be discarded for implementing mobile websites where the content invariably scrolls limitlessly. However, experts suggest it is advisable to have some text above the fold in a mobile website to indicate to the user that scrolling will yield more content. While the problem of establishing the fold across differing screen sizes remains, the psychological advantages make it a worthwhile optimization effort.
Use Responsive Design
The kicking in of the mobile-first era has spelled the death of separate websites with m.dot, especially because using responsive design makes complicated structures and duplicating content across multiple URLs redundant. Implementation of responsive design use media queries to delineate the resolutions of the display it will support. Every distinct screen resolution is expressed as a breakpoint. A breakpoint is essentially the point at which the design transitions from one resolution to another depending on the screen size of the mobile device used to access the website. The biggest benefit of implementing responsive design is better website readability across different devices and the elimination of generating duplicate websites required by m dot implementation. According to Forbes, optimizing for mobiles leads to a better user experience and customer satisfaction.
Use Code to Increase Site Speed Instead of Images
Often you can do away with the need to use images by writing code. While the difference in the site speed may be insignificant for one instance, when you do them across the website, it can result in a not inconsiderable speed boost. When you create a new website, add a new page, or conduct a site audit, it may help to question the need for an image if the job can be done with a piece of code. This practice can be helpful for a website using a lot of graphics.
Stay Away From Interstitials
As per the top SEO consulting services experts, interstitials may seem the most effective method of drawing attention to your products and services, however, you must appreciate that when visitors are on your website, they are there for a particular reason and intrusive ads that block them from doing whatever they are doing are highly irritating. Where possible, you should keep the advertisements towards the sides or the bottom with an option to remove them with a click and keep interstitials to the minimum, even though Google does not penalize them.
Check for Compatibility across Multiple Display and Operating Systems
When optimizing mobile websites, you need to consider the widely differing screen sizes of the portable devices used to access the net. You will also want to ensure that the site displays on all popular operating systems. You must carry out compatibility checks across a large variety of devices to ensure that the website displays properly across multiple display sizes and platforms. If testing the website across all the devices is not feasible due to budgetary constraints, Google’s Web Developer Chrome Extension can assist you to determine how the site looks across different screen sizes and resolutions. You can also find out how the site looks in various screen orientations, simulate the interaction of touch inputs, and use the inbuilt debugging tool to resolve coding problems. Various third-party tools are also available for testing the site across different browsers, displays, and operating systems.
Optimize Overall Page Size
Keeping the page size to a minimum is a must for a mobile-friendly website to ensure it loads fast. Effectively optimizing the Document Object Model (DOM) is imperative for it to happen. Among the things you need to do is eliminate the use of unnecessary fonts. It makes the page loading process complicated and increases the number of scripts needed to process the page, resulting in an increased page loading time that leads to a high bounce rate. By using system fonts, you can minimize the impact on page loading times. You also need to optimize the images without sacrificing quality to avoid creating a poor impression on users with grainy over-compressed images. You should also reduce the resources needed by the DOM and critical rendering path. Limiting the number of plugins to ten and three to four script files is optimal. Additionally, using minification to compress the code and reduce white space helps to keep the page size down.
With an overwhelming majority of users using mobile devices to access the web, optimizing your website for mobile devices is not an option. It provides a significantly improved user experience with ease of reading the web pages, easy navigation, and the ability to click on links without zooming. Optimized sites also offer improved loading speed that helps people to stay on the site longer and encourages increased user engagement by liking content, responding to the CTAs, and even providing feedback and reviews. With a good user experience, mobile users are likely to spend more time on the website, convert better, and become loyal users. Mobile optimized sites also get better search engine ranks that help increase the visibility of the business and attract more organic traffic.