Are you reading this article on your phone? If so, you’re not the only one. The worldwide volume of mobile web traffic has been climbing for as long as smartphones have existed—and mobile now represents the majority of web traffic. This is why Google made an important announcement in March 2018: they would be rolling out “mobile-first indexing.”
What does this mean in plain English? When Google sorts which websites should appear toward the top of search engine results, they base this decision on the mobile version of your site, not the desktop version.
This announcement from Google inspired tons of businesses to revamp their mobile sites. After all, if the majority of web traffic is coming to your site through mobile, it already makes a lot of sense to ensure that your mobile design is fantastic. And if that traffic might not even be able to find your site without a mobile revamp, then investing in better design becomes a no-brainer.
Are you prepared to keep up with the competition? Or is your mobile site looking a little too 1990’s for comfort? If you’re looking to make some simple but meaningful improvements to your mobile site (both for the benefit of human visitors and search engine crawling bots) then the following four tips can help:
1. Test for Speed
There’s nothing more frustrating than a website that just won’t load. And provoking this type of frustration for your visitors can have some seriously detrimental effects on your business. Bounce rates are much higher for websites that load slowly, for example, while search engine rankings and conversions tend to be much lower. Brand image is also negatively impacted by slow sites: You want people to interact with your online site with a smile on their face, not while pulling their hair out!
2. Make it Intuitive
Smart mobile design is fun to use and abundantly self-explanatory. Work to simplify the interface, use legible fonts, create large buttons, and do your visitors as many favors as possible in every aspect of your site’s mobile design.
3. Provide Lots of Awesome Content
An important caveat to that last point: “simple” does not equal “plain.” Many webmasters make the mistake of removing content in their mobile sites as a quick, easy path to intuitive design. The problem, of course, is that this is unengaging and downright boring. Regardless of whether your visitors are on mobile or desktop, you should always provide the with interesting, entertaining, and inspiring content so that they remember your brand.
4. Create Design That Scales
There are plenty of apps and WordPress plugins that will allow you to design desktop, tablet, and mobile versions of your website. Here’s the problem: experts estimate that there are over 500 different screen sizes your site should be capable of accommodating. Rather than utilizing a quick fix, we recommend working with a professional web designer who can help you create a site that looks great on any device.
Octavia J Gilmore is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Atlanta based Creative Juice, an award-winning creative agency that provides branding, marketing, and web design services (or what they call Juicy Solutions) to help businesses grow. Creative Juice's clients include LG, Equifax, Goodwill of North Georgia, The City of Atlanta, Medtronic, Care USA, Cox Enterprises, and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Georgia Tech, and The Home Depot. Originally from New Jersey, Gilmore was first introduced to graphic design at the young age of 14, where she knew one day she would start her own agency. Gilmore obtained a BFA in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta. At the age of 23, Gilmore took the leap of faith and launched Creative Juice in 2013. Gilmore is very passionate about giving back and mentoring the youth. She is currently on the advisory board of NGM/W (Next Generation Men/Women), as well as an active member of the Junior League of Atlanta and Urban League Young Professionals. She is also a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Choose ATL: ATL Influencer program where she helps shape and mold what the future of Atlanta will look like. When Octavia is not girl bossing or speaking at events, she is traveling, eating at a local restaurant, reading a book or spending time with friends and family.