Just 1 year after Google slapped the mobile experience with an algorithmic premium, things aren’t looking any different. In fact, Google plans to release new tools that will help webmasters improve their websites for mobile use.
When the search giant decided to make it mandatory for websites to be mobile friendly, a lot of businesses suffered immensely from this drastic change and that’s because their websites weren’t mobile friendly. However, those that were mobile friendly were rewarded with an increase in rankings.
Based on information from a study conducted in July of 2015 by Adobe, websites that were not mobile friendly saw a twelve percent plug in traffic. It seems that small businesses were the ones that had to suffer the most because of this change, since only 1/3 of them had mobile friendly websites (according to eMarketer).
It’s important for Google to actually focus on mobile because more than 50% of its traffic comes from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This means that if people don’t have a positive experience when they click on a mobile search engine results page link, then they’re going to immediately leave the page and also look for a better search engine.
In fact, a survey conducted by Google in 2015 shed light on how bad the situation is. The discovered that up to 29 percent of smartphone users left Google because it didn’t satisfy their needs (slow download times and lack of info).
On top of that, many other studies confirm that even a load increase of 1s can lead to an eleven percent decrease in page views, a sixteen percent decrease in satisfaction and a seven percent decrease in conversions.
Because of that, websites are now optimized for mobile use and there are in fact 2 main reasons why it’s vital for any online business to do the same: search engine ranking and better customer experience.
When Panda was released in 2011, Google permanently changed their algorithmic signal in order to include both quality and relevance. What this means is that if a website fails to provide a great customer experience, then it won’t be able to shoot up in the SERPs. That also means that even if the website ranks highly in the SERPs, it won’t automatically lead to a greater user engagement.
But UI and IA are hard. Because of their cumbersome keyboard entry, small screen size and mobility, users interact with their mobile devices a lot differently than they do with a desktop computer or a laptop. What this means is that they don’t have patience for anything that’s slow, irrelevant and non-intuitive.
If you make your website mobile friendly, then you can easily use one URL for it and have the peace of mind that the UI is going to adjust based on the type of device users access your website with.
However, there are still a lot of websites out there that need zoom on mobile or horizontal scrolling and the truth is that layouts need to be viewable on mobile devices with no such shortcomings. You need to ensure that no matter the device the user decides to access your website from, the loading times need to be low and your website needs to also have a very simple and intuitive UI.
There’s also a positive side to all of this and that is the fact that a lot of brands are already investing in mobile strategies and optimization in order to crush their competition. Better yet, it seems that most people who use a mobile device to shop and research will eventually become customers.While Google’s new tools may make some businesses worry, that’s not what the search giant intends to do. In fact, their tools will allow them to easily check various stats about their website and make the required changes in order to improve ranking. No more will you be able to keep having a non-mobile friendly website, since the longer you keep it that way, the more Google is going to penalize you.
Based on information from the Internal Consumer Affairs, 93 percent of these people will make a purchase within two to four hours compared to one to three days for desktop users.
When developing a user interface, it’s important that developers consider the way users engage with their devices. Therefore, you should hold the device in your hand, walk through some of the websites you visit on your phone and then ask yourself the questions below:
- Where are the menu items placed on the mobile user interface and does your hand properly align with the calls to action and the menus themselves?
- Is it simple to click and call the business?
- Do you find it hard to navigate to a purchase or fill a form on the website?
- Do you have to scroll far to get information?
- Do your hands engage well with the website?
- Does the website load fast?
Consider these questions carefully and then come up with a way to improve your website’s UI to ensure your visitors benefit from a better mobile experience.
If you want to have a high conversion rate, you need to ensure that users don’t have to use the zoom feature too much. Also, the links should be spaced properly and be clearly visible, while the tasks also need to be simplified.
For instance, the way Flipboard’s UI effectively aligns with their business objectives is one example you should follow. They allow people to share videos, images, stories and follow all of their interests in one place. On top of that, their website is intuitive, simple and fast and manages to get eighty two million readers a month.
In order to compete for high search engine rankings and mobile clients, IMs need to become mobile user interface architects and design a more relevant and intuitive client experience.
Mobile devices have now become the norm and a lot of us do banking, find dates and make dinner reservations on our phone. Mobile has actually changed the foundation of how consumers discover, connect and communicate on the internet.
Because of that, they have high expectations from brands to provide them a clean, intuitive and responsive mobile experience.