The so-called “mobile optimization” refers to measures that are aimed at optimal display and use of web contents on mobile devices. Since the optimization for mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, contributes to improving the usability, Google adopted the "Mobile Friendliness" as a ranking factor.
As statistics in Germany and other places depict, the use of smartphones and tablets for surfing or online shopping is increasing steadily. It is, therefore, logical that webmasters and shop owners increasingly focus on optimizing their websites for mobile internet surfers as well in order to offer their users the best possible mobile usability. Particularly in mobile e-commerce, i.e. shopping using smartphones or tablets, the usability is becoming more and more important. Here, not only contents that are optimized for mobile devices are important but also optimizations in the mobile payment options.
Compared to desktop PCs or notebooks, different conditions apply if a user is online on a mobile device:
Generally, anyone who wants to optimize his/her website for mobile devices has two viable options:
In practice, the second option will mainly looks like this:Desktop version:
The third option is a mixture of a mobile website and a desktop version. Here, the mobile website is basically a “scaled-down” version. This is, however, discouraged since visitors using a tablet or smartphone usually have a poorer usability.
Mobile optimization is particularly essential for companies that create their website based on the “mobile first” concept.
Avoidable errors are often made in mobile optimization:
Many elements for the optimization can be derived from the aforementioned errors. These are listed below and are not exhaustive:
After implementation of the mobile website, the functionality should first be tested in a simulator. There are different tools that can be used for this. An example is the simulator by Startmobile.de, which is an initiative of Google.
Mobile optimization has become an important part of search engine optimization. This is because mobile surfing is not only becoming more and more common, but it can also be increasingly observed with the second screen phenomenon. Since Google is additionally promoting the optimization of mobile content through assistance in the Google Search Console and has confirmed that mobile availability of a website is, as of April 2015, a ranking factor, mobile optimization should be given at least just as much attention as the optimization for desktop PCs. This applies to mobile search results above all. In some branches and segments, it can even be useful to adopt the strategy "mobile first", and act on the principle of progressive enhancement. With this, content will be gradually adapted to the technical possibilities of the end device.
In 2016, Google once again confirmed that orientation towards mobile devices plays an important role. Therefore, search engine companies have established the mobile index as the primary index for search engines.
At the same time, further options for mobile optimization such as Accelerated Mobile Pages are possible. This is about mobile websites that load in real time, with a slim source code and are delivered via Content Delivery Networks.
Progressive web apps provide a further option for the optimization of website content. With this, websites are almost usable like native apps, and are therefore easier to use.
Google offers webmasters the opportunity to check whether their website is optimized for mobile devices. The tool is free and can be found here: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly