The Link Between Mobile Responsiveness and Website SEO

Walk around your office, neighborhood or any public place and observe the surroundings for a moment. What are people doing? How are they interacting? If it seems like the clear majority of those around you are on their phones, it’s because they are. But how many of them do you see on a computer? Probably zero unless you’re in an office or coffee shop.

As we all know by now, the number of possibilities that can be browsed on a phone are endless. However, it doesn’t just stop at texting and social media. Most smartphone owners use it to surf the web as well.

It may even be safe to say that most clients who visit your firm’s website are viewing it from a mobile device. Whether they have been referred from a search engine or maybe even an email you sent, it’s important that your website works on mobile devices.

According to Adobe, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Losing potential clients over a non-mobile responsive website would be putting you behind the competition for reasons completely within your control.

Testing Website Responsiveness

In retrospect, websites have always been designed for a landscape screen, however, with the rise of mobile, that’s no longer the case. Websites must also be built as portrait pages to accommodate the rise of mobile. There are two quick ways to check if your website is mobile-responsive:

  • On your desktop computer, shrink your browser window and see if the website content moves along with it so everything snaps perfectly into place. If it does, great news! Your website is mobile-responsive.
  • Visit the company website on your mobile device. If you find yourself needing to scroll left to right to see all the content, it might be time for an upgrade to making your website mobile friendly.

SEO and Website Responsiveness

Not only do mobile-responsive websites make your client’s user experience easier and more impressive but having a mobile-responsive website also improves your search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

Your SEO ranking is one of the most important components to attracting new clients. Search engines like Google use a frequently changing algorithm to determine what appears at the top of search results and what doesn’t. If your competitors are ranking higher, they are probably generating more business leads.

The wonderful thing about SEO is that once your website is in the top spot, it almost works on its own bringing in leads.

User Experience

Here are a few more quick points to help with your quest towards having a mobile-responsive website and how it affects SEO:

How a visitor navigates your website is more important than you think. If your website is even just a couple of years outdated, the usability factor may scare off new clients. Consider that they subconsciously think the ease of your website correlates with how easy it is to work with your firm.

What clients think can’t be directly measured by search engines, however, time spent on page and how many tracked clicks on your website can provide some insight. The higher your usability scores are, the better your company will rank in search.

Page Load Times

Something you probably wouldn’t think about right away is how quickly your website loads for visitors. A slow load time detracts from the user experience and results in a higher bounce rate (we’ll get to that in a minute). All these factors begin to add up which results in a lower SEO ranking.

A quick fix for slow load times is to remove or resize high-resolution images (a compressed image that has a 7KB file size will load faster than an image that is 4MB). Additionally, large files such as raw video files and large PDF files can cause latency in load time. If your site is slow to load, consult with a web expert on this topic as well because there could be some back-end technical issues that require a developer to fix.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing one page. This term also correlates with page load times because, as discussed in the last point, if your website takes more than a few seconds to load, visitors will be less likely to wait around. Even if your page takes more than 10 seconds to load, your visitors have probably already moved on to the next result in their search which is likely your competitor.

Other reasons for a high bounce rate include having poor content. For example, your company blog hasn’t been updated in months, your imagery is not engaging and there’s too much text on the page. And don’t forget design as well; If your website is poorly designed, it becomes difficult to navigate which leads to taking up more of their time. Be sure to have a cleanly designed, mobile-friendly site to combat this problem.

Duplicate Content

Don’t fall into the trap of having two websites – one for desktop and the other for mobile. Not only does it confuse visitors, but it also sends red flags to search engines that my think your duplicated content is an attempt to “game the system”. Once search engines are aware of your duplicate pages, it will penalize your company in the rankings. Keep everything on one website and just be sure to consciously design for both desktop and mobile. This will be easier for your team in the long run because it’s one less thing to maintain.

Getting Social

Almost everyone is on social media so it’s important to include an effortless way for people to share your website. It doesn’t directly correlate with search engine rankings however it does help to spread the word about your company. Most social media users prefer using social apps on phones over a desktop. By default, social media sharing puts your website directly in the hands of mobile users.

Each of these points all connect, making each one a valid use case towards building a mobile-friendly website to benefit your website SEO, create a great user experience, and to improve your overall lead conversion rates.

 

Not sure how to assess your website using the points above? Discuss your options with Gate 39 Media.