Mobile Optimization, why is it important?

Image of different mobile devices

It’s safe to say that the world has never been as online as it is today. A majority of people are connected to the internet 24/7, and how is that? Smartphones, of course. The use of mobile has increased so drastically in the past few years, it’s estimated that by 2025 over 70% of internet users will access the internet through their mobile devices solely.

With the enrollment of 5G, the mobile data is faster than ever, leading to further increased mobile usage also on channels where desktops have dominated in the past. We have reached a point where it’s no longer possible to deny the importance of a mobile-first approach.

Mobile growth from the advertising perspective

Mobile has been the preferred device when it comes to online advertising for a few years already according to IAB. Today mobile devices stand for a whopping 69,6% of online advertising revenues. As a reference, the same percentage of mobile was 9% compared to 91% for desktop back in 2012. The growth peak of mobile happened in 2014 and has continued to grow even more drastically than first predicted. It’s quite evident that mobile will keep a steady dominant position in the future, as smartphones are developing and mobile connectivity in third world countries is rising rapidly.

Graph of desktop vs. full year internet ad revenues 2010-2019
IAB/PWC Internet Ad Revenue Report 2019

Mobile optimized sites

The optimization process for mobile starts early. Already at the designing stage, you should keep mobile in mind. Already back in 2010, the concept “mobile-first” was introduced, but it’s not until recent years it has become an integral part of designing. 

The mobile-first concept means that you start the designing process with the most complex device design, meaning the mobile design, as it needs to be so scaled-down yet extremely user-friendly and responsive. Only when the mobile design is ready and approved, you move on to the larger-screened devices’ designs and add features and interactions. This way you will never have to sacrifice the user-friendliness of the mobile version, which often is the case if you start the other way around.

Not having a mobile-optimized website is a massive mistake today, and you can end up losing lots of traffic and credibility if your mobile site does not work as it should. It’s not enough today to have mobile-friendly sites, they need to mobile responsive, or your visitors will leave as fast as they enter. Another perk of going fully responsive is that you don’t have to create separate designs for each device. It’s also great for SEO to go build a responsive site, as you don’t need to share the page rank between two sites. Having everything behind one URL makes your life a whole lot easier.

What to keep in mind when optimizing

When creating mobile responsive sites, it’s not only crucial to make sure it looks good on a small screen. The most important aspect is to make sure that the user experience is great and adapted for a small screen and a visitor on-the-go. Here are some points to keep in mind and make sure are in place on your mobile site.

Scroll instead of click

Being on a mobile phone usually means having one hand only available most of the time, which makes scrolling extremely favorable. Don’t hide your content on mobile, instead, make it as visible and easily accessible as possible so the user can scroll the content with one hand without being distracted.

Less is more

We know that this goes against all SEO principles out there, but mobile has its own rules. Instead of squeezing in all the content, you have available, choose only the most vital pieces of information you want to share and make that information as visible and easily accessible as you can. Use short paragraphs only that catches the attention of the scroller and guides the user to the content they are looking for. You don’t want to read long essays on a small device while being on-the-go. So save your novels for the desktop version and choose your words for mobile wisely. 

Optimize graphics

Whether it’s images, videos, or any other form of interactive content, make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices. For instance, only mobile compatible videos should be placed on mobile sites, nothing else. When it comes to images, use high-quality images that are packed so that the image load is fast.

Formatting is key

Make sure everything is formatted correctly, from e-mail templates to ad units. You need to keep in mind that page-load on small devices is different than on a desktop hooked up to Wi-Fi, so choose the correct formats when it comes to exactly everything. Ads can look extremely off-placed if they are not optimized for mobile, which can harm the user experience which again harms the traffic, session length, and revenue. Banner and native ads usually fit seamlessly into a mobile browser and are popular mobile monetization options.

Clear CTA

You have a much shorter attention span on mobile devices compared to desktop, for instance, so make sure you provide the visitors with clear call-to-actions and easy to use buttons. You want your visitors to stay on the site, find the content they are looking for, and perform the action you want them to.

Why is site optimization so crucial for publishers?

Website visitors today are altering between different devices, desktop, tablet, and mobile. Mobile users are as earlier explained, the most popular group of website browsers, and the content they are browsing needs to be adapted to small screens. Here’s a few worst-case scenarios that can take place if you don’t pay attention to your mobile site. 

You will lose traffic

If your site is not mobile responsive, the user experience will be terrible and the website visitors will not stick around. For publishers, it’s crucial to have a steady amount of qualitative traffic that comes to your sites regularly. Even loyal visitors can leave you if you are not providing them with the information they need when they need it. Do not sit around and wait for them to get home and get on the computer to visit your website, they will already be miles away having found the information they needed from some other site.

Your ad landscape will be horrible

If your site is not mobile optimized, how do you expect to earn money on ads from mobile visits? Good luck trying to persuade those advertisers at the bottom of your page to stick around with you. Not only does your site need to be mobile responsive, remember to make your ads responsive as well. This way you can guarantee that the ads on your site will always look like they should, and you can offer cross-device campaigns, as the ad units will adapt to any device. P.S. Bear in mind that intrusive interstitials are banned on mobile, so stay away from those or be very careful how and where you place them on your mobile site.

Your revenue will suffer

Stating the obvious but if your site is not optimized for mobile, you will lose traffic, your session lenght will be short or non-existent, your site score will be low and your revenue will tank. You don’t want to miss out on huge amounts of revenue streams just because you haven’t fully set yourself into mobile optimization. 

Final words on mobile optimization

By now we hope that you are convinced about the importance of mobile optimization for your overall success. If you haven’t paid too much attention to this before, now it’s the time to start. An improved mobile experience equals better user experience, higher amounts of steady traffic, and improved revenue. If you want to take your mobile experience to the next level, we recommend you investigate more on the topic of Accelerated Mobile Pages, read our full blog post on AMP here