With over 50% of visits to your website likely coming from a phone mobile usability is now a huge factor. You can no longer escape the need to have website-ready website to avoid losing customers browsing your site on their mobiles. This means you have to ensure the mobile usability of the site is up to standard. We explain what this is, why it’s important to SEO and how to improve it below.
What is mobile usability?
Mobile usability relates not only to how your website looks on a smartphone, but how easily customers are able to use the scaled down version. Rather than using keyboard keys and a mouse to navigate your site, users rely on their hands, meaning comfort and ease-of-use is everything.
Smartphones are designed to make web browsing more convenient and you should only expect customers will use websites that offer that enhance that idea.
How does mobile usability affect my SEO?
As far back as 2013, Google introduced ‘penalties’ for websites that did not perform well on mobile phones. While it didn’t impact desktop searches, it did have an effect on smartphone search results and as mobile phone usage and searches have become even more important since then, it is imperative your site is up to scratch.
The Mobile Usability Report located in Google Search Console tells you if a webpage is ready to be used on a mobile device. If not, it will tell you if some functions are blocked.
Google will index the mobile version of your website rather than desktop version, which can be big problem if your site is not mobile ready or has issues that have not been resolved.
How can I improve the mobile usability of my site?
When looking to improve the mobile usability of your website be sure to look at:
People use their fingers to interact with the screen and scrolling the page has to be easy. Single column layouts work best and be sure not to overcrowd the screen estate.
Pages with a lot of content can make it hard for customers to quickly find what they need. An anchor that allows to jump to the footer, sub-headers or categories will prove very useful.
Keep the header design free from clutter so it doesn’t take up too much space when customers arrive on the site. Keep it clean and in proportion to everything else.
Make sure images are resized to the right dimensions as they can dramatically slow down site loading times and can re-organise themselves in unsightly positions.
Ensure customers have a secure way to process and pay for transactions so they trust your brand. PayPal is always a good option if they need to pay for something on site.
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