Mobile is, very clearly, a critical consideration in any digital marketing program. Have you considered it in yours?
In order to rise to mobile demands, your website must be mobile responsive. Here are three tips on how to work out how mobile-friendly your site is – and what to do about it next.
1. Test mobile responsiveness
In 2015, Google announced that pages that are not optimised for mobile experience will rank lower in mobile search results.
The idea makes sense – Google wants to deliver the best possible search experience for their users, which non-optimised sites won’t do, so they don’t show up as high in response to mobile queries.
The logic is simple, but the impact could be major, depending on how and where your audience is looking up your business.
To make sure you’re covered, Google have provided a free, mobile speed test site through which you can get an idea of your website’s performance, and how you can fix it (if necessary). To use it, simply go to the site, type in your URL and click ‘Test now’ – pretty simple.
2. Check out your mobile analytics
Another key element to get a grip on is how much of your audience is actually coming to your page via mobile device.
You can find this out in Google Analytics – go to ‘Audience’, ‘Mobile’ then ‘Overview’ and Google Analytics will give you a breakdown of just how many of your visitors are coming via mobile and desktop device.
This helps provide some context as to how much focus you need to give your mobile efforts – as noted, wider trends would suggest that mobile is key, but if your site is relatively responsive and a lot of your traffic is coming via mobile, you may be fine. You might also be fine if the majority of your traffic is coming via desktop – but then again, that may be because they’re having trouble checking your pages on their phones.
To help provide more context on this, Google Analytics also provides a Bounce Rate and an Average Session Duration for each – if your Bounce rate is much higher on mobile, or people aren’t sticking around as long to check out your content, you may have a problem.
3. Pare down image files and widgets
If you’ve looked over all the data and you’re still not 100% sure on how to improve your mobile performance, two key places to look are your image and video files and your add-on widgets.
Logically, images take longer to load than text, and GIFs take longer again, and video. If you’re concerned about load time, it’s worth re-assessing the images you’ve uploaded to your pages and either removing or compressing them where possible.
In terms of widgets – those little add on tools which might put your Twitter feed on your website side bar or add a promotional box to each page. Each of those elements can also add to your page load times, so it may be worth removing them then re-testing your page in Google’s test tool (give each some time to take effect before re-testing).
You can approach this using a process of elimination to see which elements, specifically, impact on your final results.
On top of this, do a check for yourself on your own mobile device and those of your friends to see how your page loads, how long it takes, what it looks like. You can even do this on your PC – press F12 on any website then press CTRL + SHIFT + M. This will bring up the device toolbar – from the top of the main window, you can select from the list of devices to see how your page looks on each (press F12 again to escape the console).
As noted, mobile is now a critical consideration for all websites – it’s worth taking the time to understand how your pages look on mobile, and what you can do to improve their performance.