The epicenter of eCommerce is no longer desktop – it is mobile devices. Internet users are not tethered to their laptop screens – which is why your website shouldn’t be either. The rise in smartphone shopping has made it vital to adjust your business plans around smaller screen devices.
Google would go on to penalize brands that don’t optimize their websites. They recommend websites be responsive to improve their SERP. Mobile-friendly websites are the “IT” in today’s age. Your Desktop only mindset will deplete your company’s earnings.
Companies are therefore leaning towards mobile browsing, so much so that they’d create a mobile version of WordPress before creating an equivalent for Desktop. All these efforts are a testament to the rise in mobile commerce.
Not only that, but owners have also started monitoring their site page speeds on Google PageSpeed Insights to get an overview over how the search engine processes the page speed on mobile. The objective is to reduce friction & make the sales cycle on mobile as fluid as possible.
What is Mobile Optimization?
Mobile optimization is the process of adjusting your website content, in such a manner that users who access the site from devices other than a desktop are able to get an experience customized to that particular device.
Visitors on mobile devices must also get an engaging & user-friendly experience on the website. The website should be flexible & therefore not compromise the site quality on mobile devices. Not simply, compressing, shrink the size of the pages & slightly rearranging the content, but designing an entire experience for smaller screens.
An optimized site delivers bigger navigation buttons, reformatted content, and optimized images that will appear when the site detects that the user is browsing on a Smartphone. Such a site will ultimately drive mobile conversions.
Why is Mobile Optimization Important?
Users today are more likely to browse and shop on mobile screens – gravitating towards small screen devices is more convenience than anything. Smartphones are the preferred platform to fulfil all the shopping requirements.
We live in a multi-screen world. In such a scenario, optimizing your WordPress site takes paramount importance. As a competitive business, you need to take your message to your target audience – engage with them on the platform of their choice.
Do not take it for granted, that your customers will access your site via desktop; if the mobile experience fails their expectations. They’ll never return to your website & turn to your rival instead. You want your site to generate traffic. But once a visitor gets there, you want their experience to be positive. Having a website that’s ready for mobile use will improve your visitor’s experience & increase the customer lifetime value.
Mobile Friendliness of Your WordPress Site
To know if your WordPress site meets the mobile standards, head over to the mobile-friendless test page and enter your website to determine whether your site is smartphone friendly.
This test is a sure-shot way to find out if your website will deliver quality mobile experience to your visitors or will it come up short. Simply, input your site’s URL, & it will tell you if there’s anything wrong with your site’s mobile optimization.
Beyond this, website owners can even analyze their site on SEMRush. SEMRush will check the site for mobile compatibility & will pick up any other problems that are hurting the Google rankings. Things like slow page loading, broken links, pages where Google crawlers are unable to reach & other potential SEO issues.
Else, turn to the section under Google Search Console. The section called “Mobile usability,” under “Search Traffic” will help you to learn more about your site’s elements – whether they are too close, font size, font face & other issues.
Why not a Native Mobile App?
A native mobile app is just more bloatware on your customer’s phone and will likely go unused for a very long time. Eventually, they’d uninstall the app, which will mean absolute cut-off from your brand.
There are already enough apps on your phone & it goes without saying on your buyer’s phone as well. So, if it doesn’t serve a higher purpose or solve multiple things, it is not likely to get downloaded. Here are some scenarios in which a native app makes sense.
- Developing a Rich-interactive experience which cannot be substituted by a responsive website.
- Existing web technology limits the ability to showcase your brand’s full potential.
- An established brand, that’d no doubt get thousands of downloads.
But this isn’t the case with your brand. You, on the other hand, want the website for a whole lot of different reasons.
- You need SEO to attract visitors to your site.
- You want to facilitate the easiest way to social-share your website content.
- Your target audience won’t need to access your site offline
There is a good chance that, in the majority of cases, a mobile website is the best path to hit the above objectives. And even if you do decide to go for an app, it will have to be complemented with a high-quality mobile-optimized website.
How to Make Your WordPress Mobile-friendly?
Here are all the different techniques to make your WordPress site mobile-friendly.
1. Make Sure to Optimize Images
Images delay the page load times & make it difficult to adjust a page for mobile devices. For that matter, we’d have to address the image problem as well. Thankfully since WP 4.4, the CMS serves the smallest image using an HTML attribute.
You could even optimize such images prior to uploading them – save them in a web format that reduces the load on pages & uses images in their optimal size. Ultimately you’d want the images to load in a fraction of a second & not forever.
Use Image Optimizers – these are the tools that create the best balance between resolution & dimension. They help to compress the image size & improve the page load times. Try Tiny PNG, EWWW Image Optimizer, & Kraken to optimize images. Minimize elaborate graphics!
2. Avoid Full Screen Pop-ups
On desktop it may make sense – but on mobile they same can be a tad bit annoying. Since touch controls make it hard to get rid of them on smaller screens. If you are really in need of expanding your sales database; use banners, links or place CTA’s inside content.
3. Incorporate a Responsive Theme
The responsive theme adapts the content to any device & not just a desktop. With a responsive theme – you wouldn’t need to run a separate mobile site, alongside the traditional desktop one. As the responsive themes will adjust to all screen sizes.
Now, most of the themes in the WordPress directory are responsive. However, if you wish to retain the current theme, & optimize it somehow; either DIY via tutorials or turn to a WordPress designer who’d make the theme responsive.
With a responsive theme, every user on mobile/otherwise can access the same site. No need, to update/modify multiple versions for the same purpose - this conserves, time, resources & funds.
4. Utilize Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages is a new kind of HTML mark-up that makes your pages quick to load in Google’s search results. Google’s AMP’s are lightning fast and mobile compatible.
Use the official plugin (AMP for WP) to set up AMP for your website pages. All you need to do is activate the AMP plugin. From there onwards, your site starts serving AMP content to mobile visitors from Google. Also, you can add some styling options to these pages with the use of other plugins.
Even the SEO of your site isn’t affected – as most plugins add rel=”canonical” tags to your AMP content, to avoid duplication. Most users prefer to click on sites marked with the AMP designation.
5. Make Use of Plugins
The availability of plugins is another asset of WordPress, which makes the admin’s job so much easier. One of these plugins possesses the capability to turn your website mobile-friendly. No need to try & make sense of any technical coding.
A simple plugin can make the website responsive, without having to zoom-in or scroll left-right when trying to sweep the page. With one click, your mobile theme is activated. Further customizations, like changing the colors & creating custom menus are also likely via these plugins.
Try WordPress Mobile Pack, WP Touch, WP Mobile Edition, WP Mobile Detector, JetPack & more to provide a simple way to optimize the site for mobile. Beyond this, Gravity Forms & Contact Form 7 plugins create responsive forms that resize with the browser window.
6. Create a Textual Balance
In addition to lowering the graphic load from all the web pages, it is also important to set the textual content in order. On mobile screens, the lack of space means the text will flow to the next line – thereby taking up too much space.
Therefore minimizing text is equally important, as it could increase the scroll and make it exhausting to scroll through the whole content. Often visitors miss out on important details (CTA buttons, links, offers) due to it being placed way down on the page.
Keep what is needed and reduce the frill. This way, users consume what they need to make an informed purchase – without wasting time on redundant paragraphs.
7. Bring a Balanced Menu
In the mobile world, menu’s play a very important role. Thus, find a way to display these menus correctly. Visitors need to be able navigate from one section to another – which is facilitated by the use of a balanced, well designed menu.
On mobile the browsing pattern is slightly different from Desktop in the sense that, users here are only looking for relevant data. They’d probably not want secondary & miscellaneous content to waste their time. Stick to useful content in the top-half. Maybe opt for a Hamburger menu.
This includes product details, company description, contact info, certifications & other valuable content. Create a mobile specific menu that fulfils user needs & adjusts well on smaller screens.
8. Use Reliable Web Hosting
To improve the likelihood of conversions – you’d need a proper host. A second faster loading will make a significant difference to your revenue & profits. Try as much to reduce the server response time & improve site performance considerably.
In some instances, you don’t even need to mess with the cache. Just switch to a more credible provider and see the difference. Many store owners have seen a significant improvement in their uptime and load times. No further optimization needed!
Tips to Optimize WordPress for Mobile Devices - Infographic
With scores of people using mobile devices for various reasons, it’d be senseless to think that they’d opt for Desktop to view your site. The fact that their daily browsing is already happening on a mobile device means they’d likely access your website on the same as well.
Hence, it is essential to cater to the audience lurking on mobile devices. These folks run their entire digital activities on mobile devices. Thus, your brand must find a way to create a superior, responsive & mobile-friendly site.
By optimizing your site for mobile devices, you create another sales avenue. The crowd that is mobile-oriented will generate sales on phones, the other group that prefers Desktop will use that for shopping & the ones that are open to using both will use either.
If your WordPress site isn’t already responsive and suffers from other issues on mobile devices, then get in touch with the certified, highly-experienced, and astute eCommerce experts – Virtina. We’ll ensure that your site functions at its very best on mobile devices.