Mobile-friendliness is what matters for Google now. The search engine giant has taken the mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. Many website owners who have not yet adapted the responsive design should hurry up in order not to lose traffic from small screen devices.
The mobile phone traffic has increased exponentially over the past few years. Search engines like Google took the issue seriously and to facilitate the growing mobile users, announced that they will be considering mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal from April 21st of 2015.
As said, Google started the update rolling out since then. Bloggers and website owners who already had responsive templates installed on their blogs and websites relaxed and the ones who didn’t, started worrying so much after this update.
If you have website on ‘Blogger’ and your responsive template is not actually working on the mobile devices, go through this recent post that will help you to get along with the settings and get back the power of responsiveness.
In fact, having a responsive template is not enough. The message ‘Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly’ will not help you rank higher for mobile search traffic. You need to make sure that your site is following the Google’s site design principles. If it is not, there is no difference between having a responsive and non-responsive template.
In this article, I will be discussing those principles and their core intention of being specified. Tuck yourself in a seat, learn, implement them for your website and improve your mobile search ranking.
#1 Place calls-to-action elements correctlyIf yours is a selling site, you should consider this principle very seriously.
Keep the call-to-action elements on the page in a place where you think users will see them. Consider keeping them mostly in the upfold of the page.
Image Source: Google Developers
Expecting users to scroll down the page or to go to another landing page from the loaded one will frustrate them. So, design elements as shown in the left picture is not encouraged by mobile-friendly algorithm.
#2 Optimize navigation menus
An extensive navigation menu on a mobile screen will not only look large but also is massive to navigate through it.
If you look at the mega menu of Amfas Tech, you could notice it shrinking down when opened in a mobile device.
It then is easy to navigate through the side without dragging the screen horizontally for menu items.
#3 Let them get back to home page
Let us suppose a situation as a blogger. We write long articles, really long articles sometimes that even crosses 4000 words. Some topics deserve the long word count. When our readers come to our site and read that article, they will go deep down the page by scrolling down. How frustrating would it be for them if they can’t get back to the home page in a blink? Just think.
Fix the header/logo of the site on the top of the site for mobile screens. It will help your readers get back to the home page in just one click.
For example, you can take a look at this following screenshot of one of the Amfas Tech’s pages with a fixed header/logo on the top:
Users will expect a logo on the top of the page to get back to homepage as per Google studies.
#4 Take care of ads on the siteGoogle respects this information-first policy on mobile pages too. When someone visits your website or blog, he/she would expect the content that he/she is searching for. If ads overlay the content, they’ll get frustrated and leave the site in fraction of seconds.
Are ads bad for mobile pages?
Definitely not. Why should you lose the value of the quality content that you have created all those hours. Google never said that ads are bad. They always encouraged those kind of ads that are easily dismissable and non-distracting. Check out for issues with your ads as soon as you are finished with this article.
#5 Make search bar visibleWhen it comes to small screens, users would actually prefer to search most than to navigate through pages. It, in fact would be easy to find information through on-site search bar.
Make sure the site’s search bar is placed in a visible area of the home page itself. Visitors might find it difficult finding the search bar on the home page on a mobile screen. So, placing it in visible area would impress them too.
#6 Make sure of relevant search resultsPlacing the search bar is not enough though. Make sure the search results shown are relevant to the keyword typed.
Can Google analyze my search logic?
**Why not? Because it’s Google**
No! I really don’t know about Google fully. I’m just messing up with you.
The thing is that if the visitor gets relevant results for his searches on the site, he will stay a bit longer browsing all those relevant links. Having visitors for longer times benefits your site in terms of ‘user engagement time’. You know the rest of the story
#7 Implement filters to searchAccording to the research conducted by Google, mobile internet users expect to see the search filters that say ‘sort by’ and ‘filter by’ on site’s home pages, that too mainly on ecommerce websites.
Implementing filters on blogs with category names or tags also makes the blog look easy to navigate and beautiful too.
#8 Guide users properly to get better resultsFor websites that allow sales of products and services, it is advised to provide proper guidance along with the search filters.
It makes the visitors land right on the required content page where they can get right information within reasonable waiting time.
#9 Do not popup registration forms too earlyCatching the subscribers is important but we should not force them to subscribe prior they see the content. This will not only send away the incoming traffic as soon as they enter the site, but also discourages them to visit the site back in future. Impression is what matters in case of subscribers and visit-backers.
#9 is not the last numberAll the above 9 points that we have discussed are basic guidelines that Google suggests for every site. Google also provides guidelines for ecommerce sites in specific along with these.
Apart from Google’s suggestions, there is a lot to optimize a website. You can optimize your best to make the site look more handy and easy-to-use for the users. If you want to check out some coding suggestions, I’d recommend you to check out the latest post on Aha-Now blog on mobile friendliness.
Remember, Google will always appreciate the content that follows the information-first and user-feasibility guidelines.
Don’t forget to tell me when you are done optimizing your website for mobile.
All the best!