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8 Tips to Make Your Website Mobile-friendly

Make Your Website Mobile-friendly

According to statistics, in recent years,   mobile website traffic has exceeded the amount of traffic from PCs. To make it easier for visitors to browse and interact with web pages on smartphones, they must adapt to small screens.

When ranking a site, search engines evaluate how mobile-friendly it is. Google recommends optimizing pages for different types of devices. Mobile versions are now a priority — the Mobile-first indexing algorithm is based on using mobile-friendly content to generate search results.

This article will explain how to make your website mobile-friendly so that it meets both user expectations and search engine requirements. A mobile-friendly site will gain a higher position in SERPs and generate more traffic and profits.

What Is a Mobile-friendly Website?

A mobile-friendly website is a resource optimized for smartphone screens. Its pages are easy to view, read, order, pay, and do whatever else is possible on a PC.

Mobile optimization is essential for any company interested in promoting a website. Additionally, it improves behavioral factors and helps increase conversion rates. 

Indicators of a mobile-friendly website

  • High loading speed.

Along with digitalization, users’ requirements for website performance are also increasing. When content is displayed slowly, visitors don’t often wait for it to load and leave the page. A mobile-friendly website minimizes the number of factors that slow down the speed.

  • The width of pages is appropriate for screen size. 

Smartphone owners prefer to view pages from top to bottom. Using horizontal scrolling when content does not fit the width of the screen hinders text reading and other actions performed on the site. 

  • Users are comfortable interacting with page elements.

On a smartphone, all content is displayed in a smaller format. If a button is too small, you may not be able to click on it immediately. A short distance between navigation elements and links leads the user to the wrong pages. 

  • Font size is suitable for small screens.

A small font makes it difficult to read content on a smartphone. This problem is particularly relevant for visually impaired visitors. Users have to zoom in on the page or use the touch screen to zoom in on a piece of content. Adaptive design helps adjust the font size to the format of the device.

  • The use of the latest technology.

Web design technology is constantly evolving. When adding animation elements to the site, you should use plug-ins compatible with most browsers and avoid using outdated options like Flash or Silverlight.

How Do I Check the Level of Mobile Optimization of the Site?

To make a website mobile-friendly, you should first evaluate its current optimization. This will help identify weaknesses, check whether problems have been fixed, and allow you to make necessary changes. . There are several ways to test the mobile version of your website.

Mobile-Friendly Test

This is a tool from Google to check if your site is optimized for smartphones. You can perform an analysis of any given page by specifying its URL.

After processing the request with the Mobile-Friendly Test the page will appear on the phone screen with its status. If no problems are identified, the message “Page is mobile-friendly” will appear. Otherwise, you will see “Page is not mobile-friendly” and a list of errors that must be fixed.

Mobile Optimization

Google Search Console

Google’s service for webmasters, Google Search Console, provides a mobile optimization report for all your pages. In the Mobile Usability section, you will see overall statistics in the form of a graph, the status for each URL, and the specific problems that were detected. To access Search Console data, you need to prove your rights to the site.

Google Search Console

Another useful report for mobile analysis is Web Core Vitals. The indicators tell you how quickly and correctly pages are displayed in the browser on different devices. The information in the report is divided into Desktop and Mobile.

Web Core Vitals

SEO platforms for website audit

These are services that scan all pages of a website and perform a comprehensive SEO analysis using a multitude of criteria. An example of such multifunctional SEO platforms is SE Ranking. It combines all the necessary tools for analyzing and promoting a website: SEO audit and recommendations for optimization, webpage positions in SERPs for focused keywords, target keyword selection, competitor analysis, and other options.

After the site audit, you get a report that lists internal problems with the resource, including the mobile version. Go to the Site Audit tool: the Mobile Optimisation section displays errors and the number of affected pages. 

If you edit the site and run the audit again, the Fixed column will display URLs whose issues have been resolved. Unlike Google Search Console, you can get a report with updated data here immediately and without having to confirm your rights to the domain.

The advantage of the service is that you can use it not only to audit a site but also to track how its optimization for mobile influences changes its ranking. For example, if page positions have dropped significantly, or they remain low for a long time, the reason may be that the site is not mobile-friendly, and vice versa. 

SEO platforms for website audit

8 Tips to Help Make Your Site Mobile-friendly

These tips will help you optimize your site for mobile devices. They will be relevant for improving existing web pages, adding content, as well as creating a new resource.

1. Make a responsive web design 

With responsive web design, website pages adjust to different screen sizes. In addition, a mobile version displays sections of menus and drop-down boxes in columns, which is useful when you’re viewing on a smartphone. 

Responsive web design is a good alternative to creating a separate mobile version of your website. Most modern design templates have an adaptive layout, where the structural elements of the page form the appearance of the site and adjust to the width and height of the browser window on the user’s device. 

2. Ensure content readability on mobile devices

To keep content displayed within the width of a smartphone screen, add a viewport meta tag to the page code which will scale it based on the screen size. The device-width parameter should not be fixed. Also, do not indicate specific values in CSS styles.

3. Keep web design simple 

When adapting the website for smartphones, try to evaluate it through the user’s eyes. This will allow you to pick the best font and improve the design by adjusting the size of the page elements and their position in relation to each other.

The height and width of the buttons should be optimal so that when they are displayed on a small screen, the user has no problem clicking on them. There should be enough space around navigation elements. This way, visitors won’t accidentally be directed to pages via adjacent links.

4. Optimise CSS and JavaScript

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript elements form the appearance of the website. CSS styles are responsible for the colors and fonts used on the page, and JS elements — for interactive blocks.

To prevent CSS and JS files from slowing down the site’s performance, you need to reduce the load on the server. The following methods can help optimize CSS/JS code:

  • reducing file size by compressing files (optimal size of CSS is up to 150 KB, JS – up to 2 MB);
  • code minification, i.e. reducing code size by removing unnecessary characters and comments;
  • decreasing the number of page files by merging them;
  • caching, when the browser saves downloaded content and does not need to display the entire page on the second visit of a user.

5. Optimise image files

Images often negatively affect speed. The problem gets worse when there are a lot of them on a page. Visual content can be optimized by reducing its size and volume. For clear display on desktop and mobile, thumbnail images are usually suitable.

There are special online services that allow mass uploading and file compression without loss of quality. If your site has big images, they need to be optimized and updated. Before uploading a new picture to the resource gallery, you should check its size.

6. Minimising pop-ups

Pop-ups are banners or forms that appear on users’ screens to attract their attention. The pop-up may be a welcome message,  promotion announcement,  subscription offer, or some other information 

Pop-ups are used to increase conversions. However, they are more effective when used on a PC because it is more difficult to recognize the text in the form and close or remove it than in a mobile version. 

Another common disadvantage of dynamic windows is that they slow down the loading speed. When creating a mobile-friendly site, it is better to avoid pop-ups or keep their number to a minimum.

7. Take care of web vitals

Web Core Vitals include LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). 

The LCP indicates how quickly the browser displays the largest page elements on the screen. Ideally, it should be no more than 2.5 seconds. FID is the response time of the browser when clicking on an interactive element, button, or link. A good value is up to 100 msec. CLS is needed to avoid page block shifts. This decreases the usability of content, and the closer the shift level is to zero, the better. 

To eliminate problems associated with Web Core Vitals, work on page layout and speeding up site loading using the viewport meta tag.

8. Perform audits of the mobile version from time to time

As you redesign your site, add pages, and update content, issues can occur with speed, Web Core Vitals metrics, and other attributes of mobile optimization. You should re-test the mobile version to detect them in time. 

Summary

The popularity of smartphone searches and updated search engine algorithms have made mobile optimization an essential attribute for successful website promotion.

To make your site’s pages mobile-friendly, you should:

  • analyze their display on smartphones using special services and tools;
  • optimize them using the above recommendations, paying attention to page loading speed, their display on small screens, and usability.

Regular analysis of mobile-friendly optimization will find and fix problems on time. With a mobile-friendly website, the company will meet the demands of the digital market, attracting more visitors and turning them into customers.

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