With an increasing importance being placed on a website needing to be “mobile friendly” by Google, successful SEO techniques need to take into account how content is displayed on smaller screens.
Not only that, the sheer number of people using their smartphone as the device of choice for going online means that everyone involved in digital advertising must be aware of design aimed at users who are “on the go”.
Four to one
According to figures from leading tech observer IDC, as of March 2015, smartphones were outselling PCs by four to one.
With both Google and search competitor Bing having introduced mobile-friendly badges to show which sites work well and look good on a mobile device, the need for the world of SEO to sit up and take notice is stronger than ever before.
Old-style feature-heavy websites aimed at desktop PCs and desktop replacement laptops simply don’t cut it on smaller devices.
Sometimes this isn’t simply down to the limitations of screen size but also due to mobile connections being more likely to fluctuate between good speeds and near-crawls.
Digital consultant Andy Favell wrote an article called “6 strategy questions to address before you design and build a mobile-friendly site (or app)”, which looked at how to make the most of the opportunities offered by going mobile.
In his piece, Favell suggested that the most important thing was to start with your objectives, and then to assess how realistic they are and how well they can be measured.
“Different stakeholders are likely to have different objectives. Once the objectives are agreed, then ask how mobile technologies can help to deliver on these objectives. Never lose sight of these objectives. Put them on the wall,” suggests Favell.
Identifying your audience is also essential as mobile use can include people engaged in a wide range of different activities, from being out and about commuting or shopping or indoors sofa-surfing.
By answering these kinds of questions, you can build user profiles and work out typical users and their behaviours. In this way, the actual design and content can be modified as needed, as long as it still conforms to wider mobile-friendly parameters.