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Your Mobile Site Guiding Principles

I realize we’ve talked quite a bit lately about Google’s new mobile algorithm update so you no doubt have a good understanding of the importance Google is placing on mobile functionality. The next step in making sure your site can capitalize on these changes is to understand what types of things Google really wants to see in your mobile site.

How Mobile Usage Differs from Desktop

It is important to understand the inherent differences in what people do on the Internet on mobile devices versus on desktops. In general, mobile Internet use has a defined purpose. Standard “of interest” surfing is generally left to desktop use. Following are some example of specific functions executed on mobile devices:

  • Looking up a store to call them for directions when on the road.
  • Searching for a retailer that has a particular product followed by a call to inquire about availability.
  • Finding a nearby restaurant that has an available table when in a new city or town.

These common functions all point to the importance of easy navigation and the ability to find information fast for mobile users.

What Really Matters

As you consider the mobile user experience, there are a few key things that rise to the surface as the most important factors when developing or refining your mobile website. Following are four things to keep in mind as you do this:

  • The Fit Matters

Yes, the size and fit of your site should always be your first priority. Your website absolutely must display easily and fully on a smartphone without forcing the user to scroll horizontally or use a magnifying glass to read it.

  • There is No Such Thing as Too Fast

Have you ever been on a website and complained that it responded too quickly? Of course not, but you most definitely have complained about a site being too slow. Don’t let your site be the one that people complain about.  Not only will your customers leave but Google will also notice you—and not in a good way.

  • Think Conversion

You don’t have a website just to get people to visit it. Ultimately it is calls or sales that you need to generate from your website.  Make it easy for people to do this. If you are an ecommerce site, optimize for simple purchasing. And, no matter what the nature of your business, make sure your phone number is front and center and that your site is setup for one-touch click to call.

Part of the new algorithm includes a focus on mobile apps. Before you rush out and find a developer to create an app for you, step back for a moment and be clear in your purpose for having one. Just having a mobile app to say you have a mobile app is not good enough. You can benefit greatly from an app if it is truly useful to your customers. This also means that it must offer something in addition to what people can get from or do on your website.

Go Forth and Get Mobile

When you keep these things in your mind as your primary guiding principles, you will be sure to do the right thing for your customers. And, as Google continues to refine its search algorithms, what is good for your customers is also good for Google.