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Mobile Design and Search Considerations

Cara Ogar April 3, 2015 Web Design & Development

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The Internet as we know it is in the throws of transformation.

Users are no longer waiting until they get home from work to browse their favorite websites or do a little online shopping – thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, they interact with the Web in any way they please all day long. It is estimated that a whopping 64.4% of all consumers in the United States have a smartphone – which is a number that is only expected to increase. As a result, a mobile website for a business is no longer a recommendation – it’s a necessity.

Despite these usage changes, some aspects of doing business online remain the same. Google can still make or break a site, for example, depending on exactly where your business falls in search results. However, many people are left wondering: does Google’s algorithm emphasize mobile in any particular way? Is it important to make sure that you’re presenting not only accurate information, but that you’re doing so in the best possible way for these users? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding “yes.”

What Does Google’s Mobile Algorithm Do?

Much like its traditional search algorithm, Google’s mobile algorithm is designed to weed out low quality pages and make sure that only high quality, relevant sites rise to the top of their search results. This is designed to make sure that users can actually find the information they’re searching for in the easiest way possible. A large factor in determining where your site will fall in those mobile search rankings comes down to mobile design and the type of user experience that you’re offering.

To simplify, even if your website legitimately has the information that a user is looking for, it will still rank poorly in the search results if Google determines that you’re offering a sub-par user experience.

How to Improve Mobile User Experience

Looking for a way to improve your site with an eye for mobile user experience? There are a number of positive changes that you can implement today, including:

  • Using responsive design, which means that your mobile site is optimized for the specific device that it’s being viewed on. The site will be adjusted for Apple devices, Android devices and tablets alike.
  • Making sure that your mobile site loads as quickly as possible – ideally in less than one second. Optimizing your images to be as small as possible, getting rid of redundant code and simplifying the user interface will all increase speed. You can test the current speed of your site with services like Pingdom.com.
  • Including directions, contact information and other contextual information in a way that is easy to read and even easier to navigate on a smaller device with a touch screen interface.

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The user experience of your business’ site will absolutely be impacted by Google’s mobile algorithm. Luckily, you can make a variety of easy changes to make sure that your site is recognized and that your target customers have the experience that they’re after.

 

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