Mobile UX to Impact SEO

Optimise for mobile

With huge numbers of internet users using mobiles and tablet devices to browse the web, it’s more important than ever to optimise your website for these devices.

Creating a mobile website is not enough

If you truly want to engage users on mobile devices, you’ve got to consider their experience, not just how the website looks. Touch interfaces, varying resolutions / density and gestures are among just a few of the challenges technology advancements have brought.

What exactly is UX?

UX stands for User eXperience, which is the comprehensive experience of a user interacting with a product (in this case a website and more specifically, a website on mobile devices). It encompasses factors such as ease-of-use and user gratification.

UX is hard

There’s no completely right answer but there are better answers. Google are starting to analyse the mobile user experience of websites using some set tangible metrics, so this is a good quantifiable place to start.

Why UX?

It’s all about the users and they are ultimately going to result in conversions (if that’s your aim) usually through improved productivity or satisfaction though a good user experience. Although Google looks to start weighting search results based on their perceived automated user experience, the focus should still be primarily on real users. After all, web traffic on its own means nothing.

PageSpeed insights

The PageSpeed Insights tool is now reporting mobile user experience, in addition to page speed. This is a great place to start to give you instant feedback on some tangible metrics. The tool currently analyses:

  • Use of plugins
  • Viewport metatag and content size within the viewport
  • Size of touch/tap “clickable” interactions
  • Font sizes

The website provides more info on these. This blog passed all of the user experience first time, except for the sizing of anchor tags. To fix this, I added the following css to my article (content) section:

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@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
article a {
display: inline-block;
padding: 3px 7px;
background-color: #ecf0f1;
margin: 5px 0px;
}
}

That’s not the end

The PageSpeed Insights are a great place to start for existing mobile websites, but it’s not the end of the road, there are many other considerations (every UX designer and every website will have their own particulars). Consider split A/B testing and responding to user feedback too.

If you have the luxury of a starting your mobile website from scratch or a rewrite, consider user experience right from the outset and get users involved in the process as early as possible.