In 2018, Google announced that it would be releasing its “mobile-first index” algorithm update and that from that point on, priority would be given to indexing mobile-friendly sites, or to use a technical term, responsive sites (which are able to provide their users with a great experience and the same content on desktop and mobile).
Prior to the mobile index algorithmic update, Google checked desktop and mobile content separately, with priority given to desktop sites. Your desktop website content will still be indexed, but by a mobile-first crawler, i.e. optimized for mobile sites. As a result, this new direction will bring some changes in all areas of the web world, from content creation to site design taking into account a design optimized for our smartphone screens.
First of all, we need to make a distinction between different devices: according to Google’s communication, all smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) are considered mobile, tablets are not considered mobile devices, multimedia phones and feature phones are also excluded from the mobile device category. Thus, when it comes to mobile devices, we only and exclusively deal with smartphones.
What should a mobile-friendly site look like?
There are some technical aspects that need to be taken into account when using Hoc for the mobile world. Let’s take a look at some important points:
Page loading speed: images and media components should be properly optimized. The techniques to optimize the website are diverse and do not necessarily require advanced computer knowledge. A synergy must be established on the page and may therefore require a reduction in the quality of certain images for a better display.
Fluid content: the content of your site should not be limited or different in the smartphone version. However, this parameter is very dependent on several factors and each user will not have the same experience (speed of the internet connection, amount of information displayed, number of users connected to the server, etc.).
For very large texts, for example on a blog, you can use links in the form of keywords or a button that opens a hidden tab directly after clicking on it.
Use of videos: in case a video has to be inserted in your site, make sure they are in HTML5 format. It is important to remember that the Flash version is not displayed on mobile devices.
Use of pop-ups: the excessive use of pop-ups limits the display of content and can lead the user to quickly leave the site without taking any action, which will negatively impact the natural referencing (SEO) of the site. On this point, Google itself has devoted an exhaustive post in which it shows intrusive pop-ups that can penalize the user in the realization of content. Search engines also have features that block pop-ups (blockers), which will further overshadow links that include pop-ups in the search results.
URL management: this is also a core activity that should be identical between desktop and smartphone (es. www.esempio.com) and not dedicated to mobile devices.
Some design tips should be added to the above points, always keeping in mind that smartphone users have a smaller screen and the use of space should be carefully considered:
In particular, the size of the header image should be contained, keeping in mind that a large image may not be displayed properly on a small screen, or even not viewable for internet users without a consistent internet connection.
Social sharing will allow the user to share content from anywhere on the page, and positioning the buttons at the bottom of the page as a real toolbar can be a solution.
Increasing line spacing will finally give content space between paragraphs. Text buttons and images can indeed facilitate reading and increase the dwell time as well as the appreciation of the content.
AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages is a framework designed by Google in collaboration with several publishers that is able to increase the speed of your mobile site by 4 times, making the content available in almost instantaneous mode. Although it guarantees a higher loading speed, it is not necessary to adapt your site immediately to Google, it must be analyzed on a case by case basis.