Mobile-platform use has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and eventually overtook desktop last year as the most common channel for online browsing., Late last year Google decided to reflect this change in usage behavior by switching up its SERPs and prioritize mobile websites.
In short, the change means that Google will now look to the mobile-friendly version of a website and use this as its main source to judge where the page will rank on its SERPs.
The mobile-first index, which is currently being piloted by the search engine giant, means businesses can no longer ignore this platform. Companies will need to make sure the version of their website seen on mobile devices is attractive to their personas or they may see their traffic or page rankings suffer.
Here's a simple mobile-friendly checklist to make sure your website is optimized, and reduce the risk of your performance dropping after the new index is properly introduced:
It goes without saying that people using a mobile device to view your website will have a smaller screen than those looking on a desktop, but you need to make sure you have set a preferred width for your mobile site. Even if your site adapts to screen size, you need to test it to ensure it's giving users the best online experience.
Use responsive web design (RWD)
RWD means that you can use the same URL but the webpage will adapt to the device it's being viewed on. Google recommends using this over other design patterns and it means that you only have to maintain and keep one site up-to-date.
Research cited by MediaPost found that ease of use was a top priority for many users. Find out more about your personas and identify the main objectives of mobile users coming to your website, then make sure your website template makes it easy for your visitors to achieve these objectives. Whether it's browsing or converting, the design of a site can make a huge difference on how easy it is to complete this.
Don't forget your speed
Mobile users are often impatient and slow loading speeds on your mobile website can cause your traffic to dwindle quickly. PageSpeed Insights makes recommendations for how you can improve the speed on your mobile site.
Test your site
This tool allows you to see how mobile-friendly your site is. Testing it on a regular basis is a really good way of ensuring that you're not losing users because of bad design.