Common Mistakes to Avoid when Optimising for Mobile

After Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm rollout in April 2015, we discussed the importance of boosting your business with a mobile-friendly website. This new algorithm, known as 'Mobilegeddon', was designed to boost the search engine rankings of mobile-friendly websites in the Google mobile search results.

Now that the importance in boosting traffic, sales and rankings has been highlighted, you should be ready to begin developing a mobile-friendly version of your website. Before you get started, take note of the following mistakes to avoid when optimising for mobile:

Foreword:

Mistake 1: Not using Responsive Design

No one wants to pinch and resize their screen or scroll drastically to the left or right to read the content on your website. Nor do they want to have to zoom in to be able to read menu items and click on links. Ensuring that your web pages fit neatly onto mobile device screens is one of the most important things that you can do. Fortunately, there are many web design and development templates that come standard with built-in responsive design. This means that the technology will automatically scale and reshape your website to fit neatly into the screen when being viewed on a mobile device.

Mistake 2: Long Forms

Filling in long, laborious forms on a desktop site is annoying enough, but having to do so on a mobile phone can be infuriating. Remember, some people’s fingers may be larger than others! Here are some tips for optimising your forms for mobile:

  • Remove any unnecessary fields – remember, you can acquire urgent information from the user later, so stick to the bare necessities.
  • Use drop-down menus with common words, phrases and chosen items.

Mistake 3: Tiny Touch Targets

Buttons and links on your mobile site should be at least 10 millimeters apart to avoid surrounding links being clicked accidentally. Check out this handy article on the correct sizes for touch targets on your mobile site.

Mistake 4: Pages That Are Slow to Load

Whether browsing on desktop or mobile, a web page that is slow to load will quickly chase away even the most determined browser. Use this handy Google tool to test the speed of the desktop and mobile versions of your website. Any speed issues can be remedied by image editing and downscaling of content.

Mistake 5: Failing to Deactivate Pop-Up Ads

Pop-up adverts are annoying at the best of times, but a pop-up that devours the entire mobile screen is bounce rate suicide.

Once you’ve educated yourself on these common mistakes, and have taken every precaution to avoid making them, it is time to test, test and test some more. To find out if your site is mobile-friendly, test its rendering on a variety of mobile devices, including cell phones of all makes and models, tablets, as well as using different web browsers.