You may have a hard time finding more than a handful of people who don’t own a smartphone. In fact, there are 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world — a little over half of the global population.
That type of saturation has led Google, which sees an average of 3.5 billion searches a day, to continue placing higher priority on mobile-friendly websites that offer a positive user experience to satisfy the billions of smartphone users and maintain their own relevancy.
Here’s where your website fits in.
Why does a mobile-friendly website matter to Google?
Ninety-four percent of smartphone owners use the device to search for local information, and 77% of mobile searches happen at home or at work, where desktops are likely to be found. Because of the prevalence of mobile searches, Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning the company predominantly uses the mobile version of your website and content when ranking search results.
Google will keep emphasizing a UX design when ranking results in 2021, so all web pages should be designed with the user in mind to benefit from Google’s indexing. In fact, mobile is so important that Google offers a mobile-friendly test tool that shows how to improve your web pages.
3 ways to make your website more mobile friendly
1. Avoid common mistakes
Consider your own experience as a consumer when developing or improving your company’s mobile website. If you have been faced with mobile pages that load too slowly, content that’s wider than the screen or touch elements that are too close together, did you still make a purchase or did you go to a competitor that offered a better experience?
Implement a responsive site design so all content is displayed in the ideal viewing format, whether the user is on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
2. Display the same content on both versions
You should have the same information on your mobile and desktop sites. This ensures a consistent brand experience for the customer, regardless of how they find you online. Also, the more content Google has to index, the more likely your site will rank higher in search results.
On the first page, the first five organic results generate 67% of all clicks, so it’s essential to make sure Google has as much relevant content to index as possible.
3. Create high-quality visual content
Ensure all images and videos are of high quality and properly sized for mobile screens. Google also ranks visual content higher in search results when the page’s content is relevant and provides specific context to the video or image.
Give Google plenty of information about your videos or images, through structured data, video sitemaps, titles and meta tags.
Most smartphone owners take advantage of the convenience and power of their devices to search for information, even preferring to do so over a desktop. Take the same user-first approach that Google emphasizes to get the most out of your brand’s mobile-friendly website and become more visible in search results.