Google announced again that it will bestow more benefits on mobile-friendly websites starting in May. The news that big rewards continue to be in store for those who make the web a mobile-friendly place should come as no surprise. The push began last year with Google’s first mobile search algorithm update, adding mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The move was a wakeup call to digital marketers everywhere that the time to get serious about mobile had arrived.
Shifts like these serve as a great reminder to stop and assess how your organization is addressing mobile. So what mobile improvements have you made since last year’s Mobilegeddon?
First step: Responsive Design
If your website is not mobile-friendly, redesigning it to be responsive is your first step to becoming compliant. Responsive web design is the gold standard and shouldn’t be considered optional. Google offers a free URL test for mobile-friendliness along with a helpful Webmaster Mobile Guide that’s packed with beginner tips on getting started.
If your website is already mobile-friendly, there is no need to panic because this algorithm update won’t affect your website. Focus on improving the quality of your content. This is just as important to rank well in search.
Second step: Mobile-Optimized Content
2015 was the first year mobile traffic surpassed desktop users in the US. Years ago, we’d ask clients what percentage of their web traffic is coming from mobile. But that isn’t the question any longer. Mobile is becoming the dominant screen. Due to the tremendous connectivity that mobile has brought in our lives, it’s important to optimize how content is delivered to the small screen. There are specific development methods that enable a great mobile experience. Examples of mobile-optimized content include:
- Feeding smaller images to smaller screens to reduce bandwidth usage
- Delivering larger pieces of content such as videos and sound through a CDN (content delivery network) for faster page loads
- Optimizing conversion points for the small screen, such as mobile-friendly forms
Third step: Mobile App Development
Once your web presence is where it needs to be, explore how you can enhance the digital experience for your target audience with mobile app development. You can make mobile a real business advantage by providing exactly what they need to connect and engage with your brand through:
- Sales support mobile apps
- Trade show and conference apps
- Mobile training apps
- Educational apps and games
Lastly, mobile is a state of mind – don’t merely think of it as a device. Remember you’re creating useful content that’s woven into the fabric of the user’s day. It crosses over all kinds of environments and situations. A great mobile experience provides relevancy, convenience and speed in a way that should always make life easier.
This column originally appeared on Target Marketing.
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