By now, you probably know the importance of developing and maintaining a mobile-friendly website. Studies reported by Comscor show that more people now access the Internet on a smartphone or tablet as opposed to a desktop computer. Furthermore, Google announced in 2015 that it was “expanding” its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, meaning mobile-friendly websites will receive a slight boost in their search ranking.
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If you keep up with our blog here, you're probably well aware of the importance of maintaining a mobile-friendly website. Earlier this month, Google rolled out a new update to its search ranking algorithm that deals specifically with mobile compatibility. You can read the full details about it here, but it basically increased the search rankings for mobile-friendly websites and lowered the rankings for sites that are not mobile-friendly.
The field of web design is constantly changing from year to year. What's “hot” today may be gone tomorrow. This is why it's important for webmasters to stay up to date on the latest web design trends, as using outdated elements could send your visitors heading in the opposite direction.
Let’s begin by making an important distinction between “fads” and “trends” as these apply to the design of your new website. A “fad” is something which is cool or popular, something which is here today and gone tomorrow. A “trend” is something which works, is functional, something which engages site visitors and moves them to your designated calls to action, whether that’s making an online purchase, filling in a form or subscribing to an email list, something which will be as relevant tomorrow as it is today.
Search Engine Optimizataion (SEO) is a long drawn out term that could be more easily stated as a way of presenting and promoting a website in such a manner that major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will show and rank the website's content on the first or second page of the search results.
Most people who use the internet will normally use a search engine as their first point of research, so it just makes sense that good SEO is critical to a successful website. Whether you are designing your own website or having it designed by a web design service, there are some general concepts of SEO that could be very important to you.
SEO actually begins with the domain name for your website. The domain name can be very attractive to search engines and you certainly want people to know your name and be able to remember it. Here are some very basic ideas to be considered in choosing a name for your website:
Take a few minutes to write down several words or phrases that best describe the main goal of your business or website. Now start trimming them down and think about what people will enter in the search box to find your site. It is a good idea to search for some keywords relating to your business and notice the domain names appearing on the first page of the search results.
Whether a webpage is viewed on a phone or tablet, mobile internet is growing fast. Businesses need to make sure their mobile website is fast enough to keep visitors interested. They also have to look attractive on any device. Is there a way to have the best of both worlds: a beautiful design that's built for speed? Yes and here's how to do that.
- The size of files and images are the main reason why a website slows down. If you want the designs reduce the size of the file so it can load faster. There are free and paid programs out there that will shrink the size of files and images without sacrificing quality. What these programs do is compress big files and make them smaller. Remove the big files and add the small one in its place.
- Mobile Websites need to reduce content. There's isn't enough space to show everything that a computer can show, so show only the important information. Remove links outside of the main content area.
- Take that content and turn that into a single layout. Double or triple columns don't work on mobile devices because it looks crammed. Readers will have to zoom in and out of everything they read, and that is time-consuming. Single columns look neater and cleaner. It takes up the whole page so there's no zoom necessary. If there are other information that's necessary (links, other information, etc) add them to the top or bottom of the page. Scrolling up and down is easier for mobile users than zooming in and out.
- Speaking of adding things to the top or bottom, the navigation bar has to be reworked. Don't add the navigation bar at the top of every page. Add it only on the homepage. On other pages add the navigation bar at the bottom. You can still access it, and the bar won't get in the way of content. Add a back button on every other page but the homepage. Consider treating the navigation bar as a dropdown link.
- As far as entering text, cut back on that. QWERTY keys are already difficult to use on mobile phones and tablets, and if it could be avoided it should. For usernames, passwords, and search engines allow users to store information in their account or allow them to use a pin instead of a password.
The average user will leave a website if it doesn't load in three or four seconds. Don't let a slow mobile website stop you from reaching new customers. Contact us for more information on mobile websites.
You may have read here and elsewhere about the growing impact of the mobile segment and how critical it is to have a mobile optimized website. Perhaps you are already convinced but the prospect of making changes to your current site, both in time and money may be keeping you from making a decision. If so, the following information should help you realize that changes to your main site are minimal and that development costs may not be as high as you think.