Posted on October 21, 2014
One of Search Engine Land’s news editors, Barry Schwartz, interviewed Google to get some information about mobile user experience, how web designers and webmasters need to incorporate this into their designs, and whether mobile user experience will become a contributing SEO ranking factor.
In its webmaster guidelines, Google lists certain recommendations that it suggests be followed when it comes to web design and the ability for smartphone users to access website information. These include:
- Make sure URL structures meet certain requirements listed by Google
- Do not put redirects in place for mobile versions of a website, as this can reduce load time
- Applying responsive design saves resources for both users and search engine crawlers
It also provides a mobile checklist to improve the mobile user experience of a website on smartphones and tablets.
Responsive design for mobile user experience
Responsive website design is an activity whereby websites are designed in a way that allows them to automatically apply changes to one’s design, structure and layout. These changes are based on the screen size of the user and render a mobile version of one’s website that is re-shuffled to improve the mobile user experience of the user.
Why does one need responsive websites and websites that cater to the needs of mobile users? A study conducted by Google shows that 61% percent of mobile users will not return to a website that they had trouble viewing or using. It also shows that 40% of those users will go to competitors to find the information they are after. If one’s website is not rendering a version that is optimised for mobile users, one can be sure that one will be losing, traffic, return visitors, referrals and ultimately sales.
It is important to note that Google has not started penalising websites that do not have mobile optimisation and has not included it in its algorithm as yet. It is, however, very important that mobile optimisation be a top priority for the day when mobile user experience does become a ranking factor and also to provide one’s mobile users with a pleasurable experience.