Why Your Website Needs to Be Mobile First Ready

09 Sep, 2020

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If you've read up on optimization your website, you may have heard the term mobile-first. This refers to focusing on the mobile version of your website first for SEO and marketing, and then the desktop version second. The variety of screens sizes and configurations as well as the different type of interfaces on these devices creates very different challenges 

Why Mobile Key for Marketing Online

To understand the importance of mobile first, you need to take into consideration the fact that access to websites from mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) has increased steadily in recent years. 2019 was the first year in which more people worldwide used mobile devices than desktop devices to access the internet. Since website optimization should always be aimed at most users, it is understandable that more emphasis is placed on mobile devices. 

How does mobile first effect Google rankings

As Smartphones have increasingly become the number one device people use to access the internet, Google has adapted its algorithms accordingly. One of the key meanings of mobile first is that when Google crawls a site for rankings, the first version it looks at is increasingly the mobile version and this version is crucial for rankings. The mobile-first transition has been happening gradually over the last few years and 2020 is a key date. This year Google switches completely to mobile-first in September 2020. This means that the mobile-first version of your website is the version Googlebot crawls in all situations 

The Danger of getting Mobile First Wrong 

Now that it is clear why a website should be optimized for mobile devices, we would like to show you what this means in detail. The first important point here is usability. Most of you have already visited a website on your smartphone and been greeted with a desktop version that doesn't display properly. The problem here is that this website was designed to provide the best user experience on a computer but not on a smartphone or tablet. As a result, when the page is displayed on a smartphone, the text may not be readable on the screen, and on the page navigation may become hard to use. When this happens, more and more users leave such a website and search for the required information on another page. Users are now expecting websites to adapt to their device and not vice versa. 

Where to Focus with Mobile first

It is therefore essential to create a mobile version of your website to preserve the user experience. The good news is every homepage-builder offers an option to create a mobile page, the so-called responsive design. 

Customize it

All modern homepage-builder worth using offer the possibility to customize, create and check the mobile variation of your website. You just need to find these options in the user menu of the site builder. This is so important because pictures are often displayed in different positions or in different size in different versions. So what looks good on the desktop version may look awful on the smartphone version, or worst-case scenario, be completely unreadable. Having parts of your website that cannot be read in the mobile version will also severely damage these pages' chances of rankings. So be sure to check the mobile variant and make adjustments accordingly.

Push the Button

In addition to the text, a website naturally also contains a menu and buttons for navigation. However, since mobile devices are usually operated via a touch screen, these surfaces must also be adapted, since it is not possible to navigate with the fingers as finely as with a mouse and nothing is worse for the user experience than not being able to select the desired function. So it’s also important to check the usability of your navigation in the mobile version of your website. 

The faster the better

Another important point for making your website attractive for mobile devices is to pay attention to the loading times and make sure they are not too long. A rule of thumb is that most mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load the page. You can check the loading time of your website directly at Google's Pagespeed iInsights

Pictures, graphics and videos embedded in a website are factors that have an enormous influence on how fast a website loads. The reason for this is that more data is transferred than text in the case of pictures, graphics and videos. Conversely, of course, it also means that images, graphics or videos with smaller file sizes make websites load faster. So if you want to improve your loading speed, you should ask yourself if all the graphic elements are really necessary and also if the highest resolution is always necessary.  In most cases it makes sense to reduce the quality slightly but have a faster loading time. A tip here is to save pictures as .jpg files and not as .png files. A .jpg file is smaller and smaller amounts of data will make your website load faster

We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of mobile sites. 

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