It is in simple terms, the adjustment of your mobile devices to work in an optimized manner, which makes visitors access your site conveniently on your mobile device. Despite the fact that a lot of people make great use of mobiles, many websites are still not optimized that is, they aren't designed to fit on different load times and screen sizes on mobiles. This is what mobile optimization targets at: page speed, site design, site structure and a couple more similar things.
Developing a mobile website is way different than developing a desktop one. Therefore, some specific steps need to be considered while setting it up. Keep in mind that while setting up a mobile site, the user doesn't expect to find lengthy bios or PDFs of your latest interviews but more compact things such as a click-to-call phone number, directions to your office, a click-to-call phone number or a map of your store locations etc. so here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Page speed
Page speed matters more for mobile users than desktop users due to connectivity issues and hardware. Apart from graphic optimization, you will need to optimize codes, reduce redirects and control browser caching. The basic web feature which will attract users to your mobile site is its fast page loading speed on a compact device like a mobile.
The main reason mobile users are discouraged to use Flash or Java is because Apple products do not support either of these. Besides, iPhones contribute to about 30% of the smartphone market, so we are talking about a significant portion of your audience who will not be able to access your site's full content if you use Flash. Similarly, Java is also not supported by majority of the phones. Even if they did, using Java has a lot of problems. This plug-in may not be available on the user's phone, which will make them miss out on a lot. If you wish to create special effects, HTML5 can be used instead.
3. Site design for mobiles
With their compact web layout, mobile devices have revolutionized and simplified the way sites are designed and navigated upon by users. For mobile optimization, it's very important to keep your site layout streamlined. More web pages leads to slow loading times. Keep standard website elements and mobile website elements same Users would have a better experience browsing through your mobile site if the standard brand elements match with the mobile site elements. Despite the fact your mobile site will be more streamlined than the standard one, still. The main essence of the branding elements on both sides should be the same for a better user interface.
4. Develop White Space
When setting up a mobile site, you would feel the urge to cram in as much information and details as possible. But this is not a plus point for your mobile site. There, while switching to mobile optimization, make sure you leave out some blank white space on your site. It gives it a cleaner look; also ensuring users have enough room to easily click the button they want to.
5. Don't use pop-ups
Save your mobile some high bounce rate by not using pop ups because it can be frustrating to close them on a mobile. Navigating between multiple browser windows and tabs is more wearisome on mobiles, causing slow loading times. When you need to open a new browser window, make sure your mobile site alerts your user so they know how to navigate back to the original web page.
6. Design for the fat finger
Site navigation via touch screen can lead to unwanted clicks if the buttons being used are too big or too small or in the way of a finger when it tries to scroll down a page. Something called a fat-finger syndrome makes it difficult to use a smartphone keyboard. A lot of mobile users face difficulty typing on tiny keyboards. Therefore, switching to mobile optimization includes using drop down menus, checklists and pre-populated fields for data entry. It reduces the trouble people face when typing text into a smartphone.
7. Optimize titles and meta descriptions
Since you have less screen space on a mobile when a user searches on your site, you should be as concise as possible while developing site titles, Meta descriptions and URLs etc. In other words, simply the content your site displays. Only mention key pieces of information. For instance, want to apply for a job? Contact us option is better, instead of displaying 10 different forms to fill for job application.
8. Use Schema.org structured data
The data which appears after searches on your site will contain rich content snippets, more likely to stand out than on a desktop. Given the limited screen space, this is a good step to take for mobile optimization.
9. Optimize for local search
If your site has a local element, optimize your mobile date content for local search specifically. This will include standardizing your basics like name, address, contact, city and state name in your site's metadata.
10. Mobile site configuration
This is the most important thing to consider while designing your mobile site. Decide if you want it to be ultra-responsive, dynamic or with separate site configuration. Even though the responsive design is preferred by most sites, all the options can be used on a mobile if they are set properly.
11. Use Mobile Redirects
Once your mobile site is designed, put redirects in place on your site that will direct your mobile user to the mobile-optimized version of your site. This way, with such redirects in place on the mobile site, any mobile user who types in your site's web address or clicks on a link in a search engine will automatically be sent back to that is, redirected, to the mobile-optimized version of your site.