Mobile Responsive Websites – The Next Big Thing In SEO
14 May 2018
If somebody told you that you spend too much time on mobile and if you are pretty much dependent on your mobile for checking your emails, scheduling your work, keep yourself up-to date with the latest trends in business and your industry or probably if you’re not a business person but still addicted to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Then Congratulation, you’re just the part of the large extended family of internet users.
According to Smart insights, Mobile users consume more than 2x minutes than desktop users. Check the above screenshot which shows the consumption of time on mobile as compared to desktop from different parts of the world where Argentina topping the list in mobile and Canada in Desktop.
By now, you are very much familiar with the audience behavior of your business. If your business receives more traffic from mobile or tablet this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.
For some businesses like Cafes and Restaurants the numbers may be even higher.
Looking at the need of the business, web design companies have now started focusing on mobile websites to cater to the mobile audiences with the best user interface and flawless user experience in order to convert maximum traffic into sales.
But lets first understand the basics of mobile sites.
What is a mobile friendly Website.?
" A great mobile site should be easy to navigate and display all information well on mobile devices with below key takeaways. "
- Lightning speed load time - You website should load within 4-5 seconds - In case you wanting to check your website speed. Try Google page speed insights.
- Superb Readability - Ensure users don't have to zoom in to read
- Navigation - Reaching to the products or services should be hassle free
- Design should be responsive - Its one site that’s adapted to desktop, mobile and tablets.
" Now with the shift in audience behavior, Google has started forcing website owners to start focusing on responsiveness of the website. If you want to rank your website in Google SERP and generate traffic then you need to continue reading this blog in order to understand why it is so important to have a mobile friendly and a responsive website. "
Before you begin, let’s see if your existing website match the standards set by Google. To check whether your website is mobile friendly or needs some work, Google has launched a tool which helps you generate a report. Visit Google mobile friendly test tool
Enter your website URL in the test box and Click on Run Test
Google will display the result whether your website is mobile friendly
With people using their smartphones rather than their computers or laptops there is change in internet browsing behavior. Voice search becomes the major influence as it is easily available on smartphones and people find it quick and easy rather than typing their requirements.
Lets just see an example:
Due to the strong growth of the smartphone market in recent years, this is no surprise, especially as mobile internet often provides a more viable online connection in regions that lack the infrastructure and money for traditional and more expensive landline connections. 3 out of 5 searches were happening on mobile, and use of mobile phone was higher as a method for google search.
Google started acknowledging these changes in user behavior by rolling out Mobile updates in the last couple of years. Here’s all you need to know about mobile website updates that Google has released over a period of time.
2015 – Google Rolled out Mobilegeddon and AMP (Open source platform)
Mobilegeddon is a mobile friendly ranking algorithm designed to give a boost to Google mobile search results for mobile friendly pages. The impact of the update is so significant that the date at which it was rolled out is called Mobilegeddon, mobilepocalyse, mopocalypse or mobocalypse. The main effect of this update is to give priority to websites that display well on Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Impact of Mobilegeddon
Many websites were hit by this update. First 3 pages of google showed only websites that were mobile friendly. People who switched their website to mobile friendly site got benefited and saw jump in Google SERP.
2016 – Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty
In 2016, Google stated that 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria and show the mobile-friendly label. The day google notified that the majority of websites have adapted to Mobile friendly approach. Google launched the next phase of the plan – Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty. They rolled out this update on 10th Jan’17. It is also known as “pop-up penalty” it aimed to penalize those website that ruin mobile search experience with pop ups. Google also stated the websites will be penalized if they have the following:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user must dismiss before accessing the main content.
- using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears like a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inline underneath the fold.
Websites displaying a legal message such as age verification or cookie agreement will not be penalized. Also, the websites with ad features that shows content as well as benefiting both advertiser and users will not be penalized. On 26th March’18, Google Rolled out Mobile First Indexing. Lets understand that in detail here.
Until now, it was big and bold that google is very clear in conveying the message that for users searching on Google its “Mobile first and Desktop second”. Google examines the website on multiple factors that in return decides the website’s overall ranking.
Initially, Google crawlers or bots that indexes the website were desktop bots. But now its the desktop as well as mobile bots calculating the metrics in order to rank a website differently on desktop as well as on mobile with different search rankings.
How “Mobile First” Will Help a Brand or Business
The biggest advantage of mobile website is that it is compatible to different device sizes be it mobile or be it tablet. The mobile website is similar or quite like desktop version. So, the need to create a separate website for mobile is no longer valid and is not even recommended. It is more economical as one doesn’t need to spend time managing 2 websites for different devices. It is now easy to manage content on mobile websites unlike before. Most content writers arrange text in easy to read paragraphs of 2-3 sentences. Mobile website plays a major role in influencing website’s SEO rating. With the increase in website traffic from mobile device, opting for mobile website is the best way to make sure that you serve everyone’s browsing needs.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Looking at the increase in the sue of Mobile phones Google launched an Open source platform called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). It’s an opensource platform by google designed to improve the performance of web content and advertisement. It was launched on Oct 7th, 2015.
AMP is a bare bone version of website’s mobile pages. It shows the content that is important but get rid of element that take a toll on the website’s speed and performance. Below is the example of mobile website with and without AMP:
Why is AMP Important?
AMP helps the website pages to load faster, which improves the usability and makes the visitors stay on the website for longer time. It provides fast loading time leading to better user experience and engagement, reduces bounce rate and in turn helps to improve the mobile ranking.
Pros and Cons of AMP
Pros of AMP
- It increases website speed
- Increases Mobile ranking
- Improves server performance
Cons of AMP
- Ad revenue is reduced
- Implementing Analytic code is difficult
AMP Case Studies
The reason why we getting possessive over the mobile responsive websites is purely to do with the increasing mobile penetration in the UAE. Here’ are the statistics that pushes the beta testing more often for our clients.
Mobile Penetration in UAE
According to the statistics recently released by TRA, the mobile phone usage in UAE has increased to 228.3 phones per 100 people. According to We are Socials on SlideShare in 2017, out of the total population of UAE the active Internet users are around 9.20 million. With 8.20 million active social media users on mobile. On an average people spend 3hrs 45min on mobile browsing internet. Daily use of social media is around 3hrs 24min. The 7.66 million mobile internet users account for 82% of total population of UAE.
Of these, 88% people use mobile messaging apps, 77% people use mobile phones for gaming, 97% people use mobile to watch videos, around 52% use for banking services via app or mobile website and around 74% of population uses mobile map services.
47% of the population makes an online purchase via mobile.
Having said that and presented quite a lot of data on why mobile friendly sites are a big thing in SEO and is one of the most important thing that you need to work on in order to improve the overall user experience.
- Google just loves Mobile friendly websites
Websites that are optimized for mobile rank better than those which are not.
- Usage of mobile phone is at its highest level
Consumers from every industry are available on mobile and would expect the business to be on mobile too. If you not on mobile means you are losing around 60% of your online business.
- Increases trust and credibility
It helps you in every way possible by making them confident about your products, services and commitments. Websites that loads faster and with easy navigation will definitely encourage their users to look for more information on your offerings.
- Online sales from mobile are rising
With the current rate of growth, the smartphone users will soon make up most of all online income.
- Word of Mouth
The traditional marketing form. If your website is not loading on phone around 57% of users won’t recommend your product. With social media being a powerful tool it certainly plays a significant role in brand reputation and recognition
Everybody wants to attract new business in this competitive age. Online has become one of the most sought after and needed tool for businesses to succeed online. Therefore, it has become important for brands and business to adapt responsive web design in order to give their customers a perfect user experiences which eventually help their business rank on Google.