Most of the time, websites are built on computers with large monitors to provide the best view. When working on websites on desktops though, it can be easy to forget that many website visitors will actually be using a mobile. Not only does this mean that they are viewing the site on a much smaller screen, but the way that websites load and how users can interact with it is different.
Considering that there are now 6.37 billion smartphones worldwide (in 2021), making sure that your website is mobile-friendly is incredibly important.
We’re going to dive into mobile optimisation and let you know the issues you should avoid if you want your website to perform well and provide your customers with a good user experience, which results in a higher ranking on Google.
Why is mobile optimisation important?
You can check your website's analytics to see how much of your website traffic actually comes from mobile devices. You may find that the majority of your traffic comes from desktop traffic, but even if this is the case, it’s still important to ensure that you have a mobile-friendly website for two reasons.
1. User satisfation
There are quite a few issues that can arise when a website isn’t mobile optimised. It can become tricky to navigate and read, pages can load slowly, and it can just be an altogether disappointing experience. All of your hard work in building a great-looking website is wasted.
Bad optimisation can also lead to poor performance on your website. When users cannot find exactly what they are looking for or can’t read the copy on the page, they are likely to leave. As a result, you are likely to see your mobile bounce rate (the percentage of users who leave a site after viewing only one page) climb and your conversions (when users perform a desired action) drop.
It’s worth noting that 50% of online purchases are made via mobile device. Although this may not be relevant to the medical device industry, it demonstrates how customers have become accustomed to be able to do everything via their phone that they can do on a desktop.
If your website is not performing well for you by bringing in new customers, it can’t help you achieve your business goals, hence why taking the time to optimise it is so important.
2. Search engine ranking
There are many factors that affect where search engines will choose to rank your website, such as keywords in your copy and page load speed. Effectively, search engines are just looking to provide the best, most relevant results for the user. This means, they are ranking websites based on how good the user experience is. If you would like to learn more about how search engines rank websites, see our medical device SEO guide.
One factor that has been gaining traction in recent years is mobile optimisation. As more and more people use their smartphone to search the internet, search engines need to ensure that websites are built in a mobile-friendly way. If a website has a significantly high bounce rate on mobile devices as opposed to desktops, it indicates that there might be a problem with the way the website is displayed on mobiles. Consequently, search engines will not rank these websites as highly because they don’t provide as good a user experience.
So, you need to ensure that your website works well for mobile users. Not only will your potential customers feel more positive about your company after a good experience on your website, search engines will be more likely to rank you higher. Being ranked higher is important as it should lead to more traffic on your website.
How to optimise your website for mobile traffic
There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to optimising for mobile because mobiles load web pages differently to desktops. As such, some features are available on desktops that aren’t available on mobile phones, and of course, due to the size of phone screens, the layout of the web page can often end up being very different to what it is on a desktop monitor.
We have covered some of the things that you need to consider when optimising your website for use on mobiles.
Optimise for fingers
It might sound very obvious, but mobile users will be navigating with their fingers instead of a mouse or trackpad. This means that when a user is trying to click something on a page, the surface area that they end up clicking is much larger than with a mouse, meaning it is less accurate.
This can make clicking links and buttons difficult , if they are not formatted correctly. You’ll need to ensure that you links are spaced apart, so that people don’t accidentally end up clicking on more than one link at once. It should be easy for them to click the exact link they want. Furthermore, you need to ensure buttons are spaced apart and big enough to read and click on.
This is worth keeping in mind even when designing for desktop use as well, some users can still use a touchscreen to navigate a page. If a user cannot navigate properly, they will probably end up leaving your site and you might lose potential customers.
Optimise your images
When building your website, you will want to include images that are eye-catching and break up the text, but problems can occur when images are made smaller to fit on a phone screen.
If the image is not high quality or closely cropped, the user may not be able to make out what is in the image, which can appear quite unprofessional. You need to make sure that you only use images where the quality won’t be affected when shrunk down.
Don’t use long paragraphs
Formatting text is something that should be considered when building a website anyway, but it is especially prevalent for mobile users.
Long paragraphs of text are not good for mobile users as they will end up taking up the whole screen. The user may not realise there are other things on the page and navigate away because they don’t feel like reading lots of text. The user will also not appreciate having to scroll down through loads of text to get to the end of the page.
Keep paragraphs short and easy to read. Use pictures and line breaks to break up text, so that it is a much more visually pleasing experience for users, and it doesn’t feel like there is an overwhelming amount of text. It’s important to include calls-to-action in your text that arae as noticeable as they on desktop, to encourage users to move through your site.
Avoid using flash
Flash files are used on websites to animate them and although it is being used less and less, some websites still have Flash features.
The problem with this software is not only that search engines cannot read it, but mobile phones do not have Flash installed, so they cannot show Flash features. If you have lots of Flash features on your website, that means a large chunk of your website cannot be viewed by your potential customers.
Going through your website to check for Flash features is a great way to get started with optimising your website for mobile use.
Choose a mobile responsive theme or template
Mobile optimisation is becoming easier and easier, with lots of website builders creating built-in mobile builders. As you build your website on the builder, it will also build the mobile version automatically.
When building your website theme or template, ensure that you check for mobile responsiveness. This will make it much easier to envision how your website will look on your user’s screen.
Always check mobile design
Our final tip for mobile optimisation is to remember to always check how it looks on mobile. A web page is not complete until you have checked it. Occasionally, you may just assume that your web page will look fine on mobile, but sometimes you can be surprised by the things that have not formatted well. Most website builders let you preview how the site will look on a mobile the same way you would view how it looks on desktop.
For instance, you may notice that a photo that looks great on desktop is actually too distant and doesn’t really work on mobile. You need to make sure that you check the details every single time so that you don’t miss anything.
As you can see, mobile optimisation is not something that you can simply ignore. It’s easy to forget when you’re designing web pages on a desktop that a lot of your users will be on mobile devices, but if you fail to optimise for these users, you risk getting a high bounce rate. A high mobile bounce rate can result in lower rankings on search engine result pages, so overall, you may see your website traffic fall.
Optimising for mobile isn’t too hard as long as you have the right tools in place, you pay attention to the details and test your website regularly.
About Podymos Podymos is a dedicated medical device marketing agency. We are passionate about sharing relevant knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can visit our services page, or get in contact with us.
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