What is mobile optimization?
Mobile optimization is the process of making a website user-friendly when accessed by mobile devices. This creates a user experience tailored to a specific device type. Mobile optimization alters website content for ease of use and accessibility and improves rankings on search engine results pages (SERP).
The goal of mobile optimization is for site visitors to easily navigate and convert on all device types, enjoying a seamless experience no matter what device they are using.
Mobile optimization makes websites easier to navigate on mobile devices by increasing the size of fonts and buttons and eliminating unnecessary elements that slow down the site. Mobile optimized sites need to be scannable so that users can get the information they need on their small screens. When creating a website, organizations often choose website builder software that makes mobile optimization easier.
Benefits of mobile optimization
There are many benefits of mobile optimization. When companies make their websites mobile-friendly, they open their doors to a broader audience. Here are some key benefits of mobile optimization:
- Reach mobile users: Mobile users make up a large percentage of online searches and e-commerce sales. More searches are performed on mobile than desktop, and a significant percentage of emails are opened on mobile devices. In fact, 59% of millennials primarily use smartphones to check email, and 67% of Generation Z scans their inbox using mobile devices. Mobile optimization is a way for companies to reach and convert those users.
- Mobile optimization improves SERP rankings: For better SERP rankings, Google recommends websites be mobile optimized, either through a responsive site design or a separate mobile site.
- Improved user experience: Mobile users need a mobile-friendly user experience. If the site isn’t optimized as such, these users will bounce. Mobile optimization enhances the user experience, increases average time on site, and often results in more conversions.
Basic elements of mobile optimization
Mobile optimization involves multiple elements that, when combined, create a user-friendly mobile browsing experience. Here are the basic elements that make up a mobile-optimized user experience:
- Load time: Mobile devices require rapid loading times, which is why these web pages tend to be smaller in size.
- Native mobile experience: Proper mobile optimization creates a native mobile experience using adaptive design to change the website content based on screen size.
- Image optimization: Since reducing file size is crucial for speed on mobile devices, image optimization involves reducing the image size and using image compression to remove unnecessary metadata.
- Page design: Mobile sites have even less time to snag visitors’ attention. Mobile pages must be designed to solve the user’s problem as quickly as possible. This means CTAs must be above the fold.
Mobile optimization best practices
Websites can be mobile optimized to varying degrees. The more mobile-optimized a website is, the better the customer experience will be. The following mobile optimization best practices are key to creating a user experience that is easy for customers to navigate:
- Optimize videos: Videos must be optimized to be compatible with mobile devices.
- Make content scrollable: Users should be able to scroll through website content rather than clicking through the navigation bar.
- Use responsive templates, even for email marketing: Templates must be responsive so that content is viewable on mobile devices.
- Write short, scannable paragraphs: Mobile users are often on-the-go, meaning they need scannable content that can be consumed easily and quickly.
- Consider intent: Think about what mobile users need when visiting a mobile site and put that information at the forefront. For restaurants, this might include a menu, online ordering features, or a map.
- Utilize accelerated mobile pages for faster mobile browsing: Part of mobile optimization is decreasing page size for faster loading times. Accelerated mobile pages help companies achieve faster mobile browsing.
- Test using Google’s mobile-friendly tool: Companies can use this tool to grade how mobile-friendly their site is. Employees should also test the site on mobile devices to provide real-time feedback and enhanced mobile reporting.
- Create mobile-specific popups that are easy to close: Popups with tiny buttons are especially annoying for mobile users, as they’re often difficult to close. Companies should create mobile-specific popups with large, easy-to-press buttons. The CTAs on these popups should also be tailored to the mobile experience.
Mobile optimization vs. mobile-friendly
Mobile optimized web pages alter the size of features, (like navigation buttons and images,) and reformat content to be easily accessible via mobile devices.
Mobile-friendly websites alter the size of a webpage’s dimensions to make the page viewable on mobile devices. However, these pages are not optimized specifically for mobile and aren’t as conducive to mobile conversions as mobile-optimized pages.