In this episode, Chelsea and James discuss the importance of having a mobile optimised site to help with SEO and user experience.
Podcast Mobile Optimisation
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about when is it time to go mobile and mobile optimization for your website?
So James, mobile users are frequently now looking at their phones a lot more for searching the web. How? How would you say that people need to bring this into their strategy.
I mean, it’s been this way for some while I think I remember saying about 2014 15, that mobile users were sort of now at that point taking 50 to 60% of the browser starts up. It’s significantly higher than that. Now, you’re looking at 70 80% of all websites, traffic now is coming from mobile devices. And desktops do play a part, but they tend to play a part more in companies. Your normal home user now is very unlikely to have a physical laptop with keyboard, they’re much more likely to have a mobile or tablet device. So it really has changed the way that websites and other sort of online marketing tech works. quite intricate, I mean, social media and the iPhone has really sort of pushed people down this route. Yeah, 99% of people that use social media use it on the phone, and they spend more time per day now than they ever did before. And that’s been accentuated during the COVID pandemic. And as younger people as well is even higher. So it’s been one of the things that’s been trending for a while it’s moved on, significantly more recently, in 2020. out as per lots of parts of the the world’s economy, this pandemic is sort of accelerated trends that are already happening. Mobile is just the thing, the next thing we need is moving that way. So one of the big things around mobile optimization is the way that Google treats mobile websites. So in about 2018, Google changed its strategy to what’s called a mobile first search index. So when you’re searching Google, it, the search results you see are actually based on the mobile version of that person’s website and not the desktop version, because they recognise that more users are using their mobile devices than the desktop ones. So what that boils down to for the sort of Joe Bloggs business owner is that if your website isn’t mobile responsive and meet the test of mobile responsiveness in Google’s eyes, then it’s not going to perform as well in search engines as a website. That’s potentially the same website. But it just takes more of the Google optimization boxes.
That’s really interesting. And one thing that I’ve noticed recently as well is that brands are certainly looking into mobile technology and how they can really differentiate themselves for the end user through their own websites. So Amazon is a really good example. Because on their mobiles, when you go on to their app now, or even just onto their online browser, but on a mobile device, and then you click Buy, now they have this function where you literally just swipe and the items bought for you, but they’ve actually trademarked that so nobody else can use it. So do you think we’re gonna see more innovation from big brands on how they can differentiate themselves and make it make it easier for people to essentially buy things or gain information?
Yeah, I mean, everyone’s always looking at conversion rates. And especially in E commerce. When people sort of study the analytics, they’re looking at. stats around, add to basket stats, average order stats, how many clicks? Is it from the homepage to the buying process? And is the checkout easy. The advantage of being on a mobile device is that you get access to the swipe gestures and things that you don’t typically get on a desktop device. So it gives scope for more creativity in terms of trying out different techniques that will increase conversion and optimization on particular pages. Yeah, if an e commerce website that’s doing significant revenue is kind of got to a plateau of how much they can make, the next logical step is to start looking at how they optimise each view so that they get more money out of every single user session. And that’s an area where we’ve we’ve got involved with a few clients where we look at what they’ve already got, even when they’ve sort of had a website bill, not by us. They’ve sort of come to us and said, Well, you know, we’re doing this, but for some reason, we just we feel like we could be doing more. And that’s where you can look at the sort of devices that people are using, start implementing new technology that maybe didn’t exist a few years ago when the website was built, and just try and sort of find different ways to sort of draw that buyers attention to the buy button or to make the user journey a lot easier. Through the websites. And yeah, with mobile users, most mobile purchases are quite impulsive, you know, people are more likely to impulse buy on a mobile device, and they are on a desktop one where they’ve sort of made the effort to sit down, go to a website and look on a mobile device. And as per with the Amazon example, yeah, they’re obviously they’re the kings of this and in the industry. Yeah, making it easy for them to impulse buy, that increases the revenue for the e commerce Store as well. So yeah, it’s certainly something that’s going to keep on developing, you know, e commerce in 2020, is probably half the size of what ecommerce is going to be in 2030. Yeah, this whole recent pandemic is completely accelerated the shift to online buying, you know, I think I saw today, three pounds, and every 10 is now spent online that about a year ago was about one pound 52 pounds. So it’s really gone up very quickly. We’ve seen our own customers benefit from this as well, you know, we’ve got customers that have implemented ecommerce into their websites that potentially weren’t even ecommerce previously. they’ve benefited massively in 2020. And then the next logical step for them is then start looking at how they optimise that ecommerce experience for their mobile users knowing that most of their customers are going to be on mobile.
What are some tools that people can use to really look at how their site is working on a mobile.
So Google have got a number of their own tools, it’s usually best to use their tools because their tools tell you in their own language, what they’re looking at. So there’s one that used to be called webpage speed metrics, I think it was, it’s now been called a webpage vitals. And what it basically does is it looks at your website looks at how it loads, B looks at it as if Google was an actual user seeing the page load in real time. It’s the new way that Google measures speed and quality of a website. So again, for ages, like ours is a challenge because obviously, Google rewrite the rules quite regularly. So we’ve got to go back over the closed site sites that we’ve done previously, and the new sites are working on to make sure that it meets the new tests, but a website that’s been around for some years, is likely to have to have worked on to it to meet the current tests for what Google considers a well optimised mobile website. Yeah, it’s just simple things like the number of people, sites where they look at them and go, Oh, yeah, I’ve got a mobile version. It’s fine. Well, Google doesn’t like a specific mobile version, he likes you to have the same website, responsibly, resizing to the screen. Yeah, and the way I always phrase it as if you had, if you imagine that your competitor site was exactly the same as yours in every way, apart from the fact that they scored higher on this mobile speed optimization score than yours, they’ll always be above you on Google. So unless it’s addressed, it’s a problem that can never be solved. And so it’s really important that people think about investing some of their marketing money into improving their mobile experience, maybe do some extra testing we are we’ve we here at the agency have got some browser test tools that we use for testing mobile responsiveness in conjunction with Google’s own scoring, so that we’ve got a good idea of how it’s actually going to be seen how it’s going to be picked up. So there’s no definitive one tool, but there’s lots of different things that do the same job.
And with making a desktop site, mobile optimised, is that something that WordPress can do itself? Or is that something that we’d need to look at in the code?
It is definitely a code thing. In in backback, sort of poke maybe 567 years ago, we had a lot of requests for can you make my website mobile friendly? Historically, there were two options. One was to build a separate mobile site, which detected if the user was on a small screen and showed him a different version of the site, or it was rebuild the website. To be honest, the best outcome nowadays, if the website is not already mobile responsive is to rebuild the website and start Yeah, with that in mind in the outset, it’s very difficult to retrofit this into a site that’s not been done that way around. And also the advantages of rebuilding, it means that customers then get a much better experience, because it’s been built from the ground up for that purpose, rather than sort of added to and modified and then it’s never going to be really quite perfect. So yeah, I think, you know, we still have a lot of clients were their websites, some age now. And conversations everyday are really moving towards the need to replace those websites. Yeah, I think most people can expect probably a three to five year lifespan out of a site in real realistically with how technology changes. If it was done right in the first place. And say, Yeah, anyone that’s really over a 2015 16 website, it’s going to start getting more and more issues with the mobile view, I think.
Thanks for that, James. That’s really interesting so if anyone’s got any questions or you want to look at getting your site mobile optimised please get in touch at Hello at so marketing.com