Blog > What does it mean to be optimised for mobile?
Posted By Jack Ricketts
It has been 15 years since the smartphone revolution first began… and it has come a very long way since then.
It is estimated that over 80% of people in the UK now use a smartphone (Statista) and 91% of these smartphone owners have looked at their phone in, at least, the last day (deloitte).
It’s no secret that people are using their phones now, more than ever, to browse the internet. But is your website optimised for their screens? Let’s look into what this means.
How can you tell if your website is optimised for mobile?
First of all, you want to find out whether or not your website is “responsive”.
There are two easy ways to tell, depending on what device you are viewing your website on:
If you are viewing on a desktop
Click the corner of your browser so you can adjust the window size. Drag the window with your mouse to make it smaller and see what happens. Is your website adjusting to fit the new size of the browser window? If your page is not adjusting to fit the new display area and parts of the site are now hidden from view, your page is not responsive and therefore not optimised for mobile.
If you are viewing on a mobile
It is really easy to tell, visit your website and look to see if you have to scroll left or right to see different parts of your page? If you do, your website is not mobile friendly. The only option should be to scroll down.
The premise of having a responsive page is to make viewing your website as easy and as streamlined as possible. When a person on a mobile phone has to scroll from left to right, there is no obvious flow to your content. A responsive page will ensure that your content flows from top-to-bottom, not left-to-right.
Organising your content
If you have a responsive template, great! You’ve already made a big step towards being optimised for mobile. However, mobile viewers are not the most patient of people.
The average bounce rate of mobile users is just shy of 60% (gorocketfuel) This means that they are 15-20% more likely than users of other devices, to leave your website sooner if they don’t find what they’re looking for.
So how do you keep these people reading?
Mobile users don’t want to read huge chunks of text that don’t fit on their screens, they want useful, snippets of information that provide value in an instant. If these snippets are then actionable (for instance, if they contain a link to another page on your website) this will work wonders for improving your bounce rate.
Humans are visual creatures. We much prefer to look at pretty pictures than read large chunks of text. Of course, don’t sacrifice your text completely, just bear in mind the old adage: “A picture can tell a thousand words”... and improve your bounce rate! If you struggle to find great pictures for your website, have a look at our post on these free stock image sources to get you started.
Video is not the easiest form of content to create yourself and can be very uncomfortable for some people. However, using video dramatically improves the time that people spend on your web page and has been found to have higher rates of engagement than other types of content.
An article by brafton.com reported that video blogs have a 34% lower bounce rate than other pages on average. Further to that, 70% of the marketers that they spoke to, reported video being the highest converting form of content on their websites.
If you are truly camera shy, there are a number of royalty-free videos available that you can use. Try to find videos that are relevant to your topic and you can embed them on your site to achieve the same results.
Structure your content
Consider how your website looks at every point in the visitor's journey. Have you structured your site so that each paragraph of text fits nicely on their screen? Are your pictures and videos placed appropriately?
You need to know how your pieces of content will flow on a mobile device so you can see how the user is experiencing your website. This helps you to determine where to place a call to action and how you can increase the time they spend on your page. Our Content Pages are great for this. They allow you to build your website in responsive blocks that you can easily arrange depending on what works best for mobile screens.
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The future of web browsing
You may be asking yourself if all this is really necessary. If your website shows up on a mobile, the people who really want to look you up will make it work? You might be right. But your website can do so much more and help your business reach its full potential online.
Every day, the statistics show mobile usage is increasing. A recent survey by Google found that “when people have a negative brand experience on mobile, they are over 60% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future than if they had a positive experience”.
More people use mobile devices to search the internet than they do on desktop computers now. The question is can you afford not to optimise your website for the device your audience is most likely to view it from?