With Google officially rolling out mobile-first indexing in 2018 and research showing high bounce rates for slow, non-responsive sites, it’s more important than ever to have a website that’s mobile-first and SEO-friendly. Read on to learn what makes a great mobile-first website.
Why you need a mobile-first website
Mobile devices have officially surpassed desktops for searching the web. According to statista.com, 52% of global web traffic originated from mobile devices in late 2018. What’s even more striking is that mobile use converts to an action 64% more often than desktop use. It makes sense. People use their phones on the go to find quick solutions rather than to gather information. Besides, Google’s mobile-first indexing means mobile-friendly sites are crawled before non-optimized sites. To top off the list of why you need a mobile-first site, know this: research shows that if your website is not mobile-friendly, 40% of your visitors will give up and go a competitor’s site.
The key to a great mobile-first website is a mobile-optimized design that’s responsive, speedy and easy to navigate.
1. Responsive design
By having the exact same URL and content for both platforms, you increase your site’s SEO and responsiveness. Plus, you want a site that’s easy on the eyes with a limited color palette, mobile friendly fonts, meta tags that fit the font size on all sizes of screens, a fluid layout that adapts to the screen’s orientation, and a thoughtful use of white space and color contrast.
2. Speed is king
Mobile users expect speed, yet ironically sites inherently load slower on mobile devices than desktops. There are extra steps, like connecting to your mobile phone’s network. Google reports that a one second delay equals a 9.4% decrease in page views and an 8.3% increase in bounce rate. Counter this disadvantage with smart design elements, including:
3. Easy navigation
- Web-optimized images sized to a max width instead of the image file dimensions, and videos with enabled compression.
- Accessible content that’s used sparingly for less scrolling by your user. With content, think directional vs. philosophic, with the exception of physician bios and informational blogs. That’s where you let people get to know you.
Navigation should be there when you need it but not obtrusive. A great example is the hamburger design for your navigation bar—the stack of lines often found in the upper right corner that expand.
Great mobile sites are click-friendly rather than narrative, giving users buckets of information under clickable titles, including Meet Us, Contact Us, New Patient, Patient Forms, and more. They also have obvious links to social media sites. To inspire your patients to use social media, consider running social media campaigns like #firststeps that encourage your patients to post baby photos or #insightsfromrealparents that invite your patients to post their own parenting revelations. The more platforms your patients interact on, the better your Google rankings. Finally, you want to maximize conversion rates with responsive maps, phone, email, and short lead forms.
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