Mobile technologies aren’t exactly new, and the majority of websites have adapted to accommodate mobile users. If you haven’t, you’re missing on loads of potential leads and traffic to your site. Believe it or not, there are now more mobile searches on Google than there are Google searches queried by desktops.
Right now one of the hottest game changers in the mobile arena is AMPs, or Accelerated Mobile Pages. It seems that there’s always some new mobile technology that needs to be incorporated into your website if you stand any chance of keeping up with the competition. But knowing what not to do is sometimes equally important as knowing what you should do.
Simply having a responsive website that is formatted for mobile devices isn’t enough. During your next website audit or as soon as you get a chance, make sure you aren’t making the following mobile website design mistakes that chase visitors away in droves.
404 Errors and Broken Links
Generally speaking, you should always try to prune away any 404 errors as quickly as possible. However, you also want to make sure that there aren’t any 404 errors that only appear for mobile users. However, sometimes errors create a scenario where mobile users aren’t properly directed to the right mobile page, and instead receive a 404 error.
Not only will this anger visitors and increase bounce rates, but it will also harm organic SEO rankings. If you don’t use one already, I highly recommend using an auditing tool that helps identify 404 errors so you can deal with them as quickly as humanly possible.
Redirect Failures, Mobile URLs, and Faulty Links
Faulty redirects are a major issue concerning websites that haven’t been properly optimized for mobile. This is especially true on websites with separate desktop and mobile URLs. For example, you’ll want to make sure that any mobile users automatically get redirected to the mobile version of the site if they mistakenly reach a desktop page.
However, you need to make sure that you don’t send them back to the beginning home page (this irritates me beyond explanation). Instead, make sure that they are redirected to the mobile version of the page they were trying to reach.
Also, make darn sure that you have a mobile version of your pages before you post new content. If you don’t already have a mobile page, you can send mobile users to the desktop version (it’s better than nothing), but you’ll need to make sure that they aren’t redirected to a URL for a page that doesn’t exist. Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that your mobile URLs are accessible on a variety of devices with different screen sizes.
And lastly, don’t commit the faux pas of sending a user from a mobile page to a page that’s optimized for desktop computers. You need to make sure that you aren’t linking between the mobile-optimized site and the desktop-optimized site, and vice versa.
Mobile devices come in a wide variety of dimensions. Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones – but they all need to see your website properly formatted through a properly configured viewport. One common mobile design mistake is accidentally using a fixed dimension viewport. And though there are some fixed viewport tags that were specifically designed for mobile devices with specific dimensions, users on devices with different screen dimensions won’t be able to view your content correctly, which is a huge pain in the behind.
Yet another common mistake is failing to set the correct minimum dimensions. While that may not sound like a big deal, you may be excluding a lot of folks who are trying to access your website on a mobile device with a small screen. Generally speaking, however, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that users on mobile devices can easily view your content.
First of all, make sure that the pages’ dimensions aren’t static. I imagine there are a few exceptions (though I can’t currently think of any), but you almost always want to make sure users can scale the page on their own. Additionally, you’ll want to define and control your pages scaling with the meta-viewport tag.
Slow Speed and Lack of Mobile Optimization
Many mobile devices have slower download speeds that desktop computing systems. After all, haven’t you ever had a hard time browsing the web when you had a weak signal? It’s infuriating! Due to this inherent nature of mobile devices, you need to take extra care to ensure that mobile pages are streamlined to load as efficiently as possible.
For instance, you’ll want to make sure you use compression on image files and trim away any extra bells and whistles that aren’t necessary. Any extra widgets, flashy animated banners, or improperly resized images need to be dealt with in order to provide mobile users with as fast a page load time as possible.
It’s worth it to time how long it takes your pages to load on your own personal mobile device. If it even takes several seconds, you’ve got work to do. There have been numerous studies on how fast a page needs to load, and while many of them disagree on the exact figure, the best performing mobile pages tend to load in a mere fraction of a second. Anything longer starts to irritate users.
Designing a website that’s as equally accessible and navigable for mobile users as desktop users isn’t easy – especially if you’re a small business owner strapped for time. If you want help designing your site for mobile users, it’s better to reach out sooner rather than later.
Believe it or not, more Google queries are sent via mobile devices than desktop computers these days, and the overwhelming majority of those queries are local searches. There’s just so much at stake regarding the mobile version of your site, so avoid these errors to improve SEO metrics and ultimately your position in the SERPs.