Mobile Usability Matters: Search Ranking Developments

With the new announcement from Google that mobile usability will count as a search ranking factor beginning in April 2015 – now is the time to pay attention. We’ve all known that mobile is rising quickly as a main platform for users across the board, but now the stakes are higher. Mobile search results will now reflect how mobile-friendly sites are, and if a website isn’t optimized for mobile browsing, it will most likely drop in ranking.

Most site owners don’t understand what to do when it comes to mobile sites. Mobile sites are different from regular sites, so there are a different set of best practices that you need to follow. It’s important to make sure your mobile site is optimized and formatted correctly because mobile visitors now make up a large percentage of total site visitors. Some webmasters report 30-40% of their visitors use mobile devices.

This news is critical to any website owner with an active user base that relies on search engine results to bring traffic to their site. It will be imperative that anyone wanting to remain visible to prospective users invest the resources into optimizing their site for mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows and Android.

There has been some backlash to this development with many feeling pushed into having to become mobile friendly. The truth is that the results are already in – to remain relevant and competitive in the current digital landscape, a site must have a usable and engaging mobile presence.

For mobile web design, delivering good usability and user experience is a combination of providing excellent design, information architecture and functionality. Beginning with the right framework and a true understanding of the audience. By understanding what a user comes to a site for, a system of organization can be developed to a user targeted navigation menu, creating relevant design and easily consumable site architecture.

The mobile web is the fastest growing web tool that we need to be grasping, to keep our organizations’ online presence at top speed. Picking a mobile platform should be based upon your organization’s brand, combined with what your target audience is looking – keeping in mind that the user interface and user experience should always be consistent with desktop websites for the best mobile results.

Whether going the route of basic mobile optimization or a fully responsive site (RWD) – this development should not be taken lightly. Working with a creative team specializing in digital strategies will provide several pathways to achieve the best result.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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