How to optimize WordPress site for mobile devices?

Why is it necessary to make mobile optimization a significant priority when different companies build websites for their clients?

Well, first of all, everyone is on mobile. Today, 1.2 billion people are using the web from their mobile devices. Additionally, 80% of all internet users are using smartphones. This drives huge mobile traffic, which can be converted into leads for a business.

As smartphones are more versatile and provide more value to the end-users, digital design and marketing agencies pay more attention to benefiting from this and increasing mobile traffic. It’s not a secret either that Google will hardly ever rank a particular site highly if it isn’t mobile-optimized. Quite logically, the users won’t return to a website if they have a bad mobile experience, thus blocking the traffic.

Now that we’ve made it clear how important it is to optimize a website for mobile usage, let’s discuss the critical steps of how to create a mobile-friendly site.

Let’s get to the point!

Tip #1 Test website for mobile-friendliness

To begin, examine the site analytics to determine where it stands in terms of mobile optimization.

Go to Google Analytics > Audience > Mobile > Overview / Devices. Here, Google Analytics tracks a breakdown of visitors by device: smartphone, laptop, and tablet. There is also information on the metrics like bounce rate, visit time, and target conversion rate by a device (iPhone, Samsung phones, iWatch, iPads etc.). There might be two types of responses; “Page is mobile friendly,” vs “Page is not mobile-friendly.”

Checking mobile-friendliness is also possible with the Website Auditor. To benefit from the tool and audit the site successfully, it is required to enter the URL and check Site Structure > Site Audit > Encoding and technical factors.

Tip #2 Avoid separate URLs  

This strategy entails developing a separate URL for a site on mobile devices. Users on mobile devices are redirected to a mobile-specific URL, while tablet users are guided to the site’s desktop version.

HOWEVER!

The mobile version of a website usually has less content than the original site, and the navigation is not suited to mobile browsing. Having been made specifically for mobile users to provide optimal user experience, it still causes many SEO-related problems. Setting up redirects will end up in splitting traffic and authority, resulting in duplicate content issues.

So keep in mind, creating another subdomain is not worth it. Just make the primary domain mobile-friendly.

Tip #3 Responsive Design

Giving a site a responsive design is the key. These types of websites adapt to a screen of any size. WordPress users can choose a fully responsive theme from many of the options in the WordPress Theme Directory.

In a nutshell, all devices receive the same website with the same URL, but the page layout varies depending on the device. The strategy is to code so that the site’s content adjusts automatically to the height, width, resolution, and other characteristics of a given device.

Tip #4 Coding in HTML5

Always code in HTML5 when possible. So not pros in programming, should better hire a programmer to make their HTML website suitable for mobile devices. Stop using software that isn’t widely used on mobile devices, such as Flash. This will ensure that the content runs smoothly on a wide variety of mobile devices.

Tip #5 Make sure the page is fast to load

Since smartphone users dislike wasting time, speed is a critical factor. The latest Google update Core Web Vitals metrics help to determine whether a website is healthy or not. One of the main indicators of the quality and stability of the site is its load speed. If a site takes longer than 2.5 seconds to load, it needs to be improved.

There are several free tools that can be uses to measure user experience. Some of these include Chrome User Experience Report, Lighthouse, and others.

Tip #6 Don’t make sites heavy-weight

Avoid using large photos and advertisements on mobile-friendly websites to improve page loading speed. Large files will affect user experience and the site rankings in mobile SERP. Therefore, only provide images that are critical to the content of the website. When resizing files, use web-friendly image formats and reduce the pixels.  

What else can be done;

  • Use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) – AMP is a framework Google offers for reducing the time it takes for mobile web pages to load. To optimize WordPress sites for mobile devices AMP plugin can also be utilized.
  • Compress the photos and CSS – The sections of a web page that take up the most space, such as high-resolution images and CSS, are the ones that take the longest to load. Compressing image file sizes to load faster reduces the time it takes for a website to load without compromising the quality.
  • Instead of self-hosting videos, they should be embedded through a third-party hosting provider like YouTube or Wistia.

Tip #7 Make navigation button sizes large

Since mobile devices’ screens are thin, it can be challenging to see navigation buttons, let alone hitting them on a touch screen. So take the time to make them more precise. Furthermore, if the top navigation is extensive, it’s better to shift it to the bottom of the page.

Consider using popular menu design solutions such as a hamburger, tab pattern, priority pattern, or other ways to serve users best.  

Conclusion

Conversion optimization for mobile devices is a great way to increase conversions among mobile users.

The way mobile devices look and operate is constantly changing, so a mobile-friendly website today may not be enough tomorrow. Thus, our advice is to keep checking, updating, and keeping mobile users in mind as a priority, and everything should be fine.

LEAVE A REPLY
Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here