If you are not optimizing your website for mobile, you are ultimately losing readership and potential income.  Mobile devices are becoming a larger part of our online experiences each and every year, so you cut out a massive portion of your audience if you don’t incorporate mobile optimization.

Let’s start with this: what does mobile optimization even mean?

When your site is optimized for mobile, it means the format of the site is scaled down to fit the screen and meet the needs of mobile consumers.  It should be easy to navigate and quick to load.  Here are a few things to consider when creating your site to best optimize it for mobile devices:

Mobile users are likely to abandon a webpage far quicker than desktop users.  This is the era of “now”, and if a page takes more than a few seconds to load, over half of the viewers will close out.  Having too many plugins, large files and intensive design leads to slower load times, especially on mobile devices.  Keeping your load time quick will retain more mobile readers.

Desktop versions of websites just don’t look as good on mobile devices, because they’re shrunken down and made for nearly opposite screen dimensions (horizontal vs. vertical screens).  Readers don’t want to zoom in and out to search for content.  Offering your audience an aesthetically pleasing website keeps their view positive and makes you look more professional.  If your website can’t recalibrate for mobile, it feels quite alienating to the mobile audience.

Most purchases made on mobile devices are impulse purchases.  Ensuring the purchasing process is streamlined and simple makes the buying experience better.  If someone is trying to purchase something on their mobile device and the site takes too long to load or the process is difficult to follow, it’s likely they will close the browser never to return to the shopping cart.

These are some questions you should ask yourself about your site to ensure it is optimized for mobile:

  • How quickly does it load?
  • Does the layout reformat for the mobile screen?
  • Is the navigation easy to find?
  • Is it easy to navigate through the site?
  • Does the reader have to zoom in to find your logo or read your content?
  • If you came across this site, what would your first impression be?
  • Share it with a family member or friend to get a second opinion as well.

Now, how do you go about optimizing your site?  Most professional WordPress themes come with mobile versions that automatically format to mobile devices.  When you’re editing your layout, you can click the desktop, tablet and mobile icons in the bottom left corner to see how the viewing experience is on different devices.  Take care in downloading plugins for your blog that really matter, or else it will clutter up the space and create longer load times.

If you’re DIYing your theme, take care in thinking about the mobile layout.  Here are some keys to a well-optimized mobile site:

  • Large, readable text.  Don’t make readers zoom in to read.
  • Cropped photos.  If the photos are too wide to fit the screen of your phone while remaining impactful, crop them down.  Ensure the photos focus in on the important aspect so the reader can tell what it is.
  • Fast load times.  Too many plugins and large files create slow load times, which drives readers away.
Tools to Help Optimize your Site:

Finally, Google rolled out an update to their algorithms regarding mobile friendliness.  Websites that are optimized for mobile get higher rankings in mobile searches.  Use this test by Google to see how your site stacks up and what Google deems necessary for mobile optimization.