As we talked about in Part 1 of this article series on what not to do to keep users interested in your website, SEO is all about user experience. It doesn’t matter how good your keyword game is or how many backlinks you have if users are so annoyed by your website that they just click off.
And having a high bounce rate will kill your search rankings quicker than you can say SEO.
Most Internet searches are done on mobile devices. Websites should either have a dedicated mobile version or be responsive so that they can automatically adjust to the screen of a mobile device. Users expect websites to be optimized for mobile. So does Google, which began rolling out mobile-first indexing in 2018.
But what exactly does it mean to be mobile friendly?
- Don’t use Flash or other software that is on desktop computers but not mobile devices.
- Websites auto-adjust so that users can read easily without having to rotate their screens or scroll sideways.
- Text is large enough that it is readable without zooming in.
- Links are far enough apart they’re clickable with fingers.
There are a surprising number of companies that don’t realize just how important mobile-friendliness is. Failing to be mobile-friendly can end up costing companies a lot of money. If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, then it isn’t providing a good user experience for any users searching on mobile devices.
With most searches now coming in on mobile devices, that’s very limiting. Only the much smaller number of users searching on computers instead of mobile devices will experience good UX. That’s still a lot of users experiencing poor UX.
Loading Slowly on Mobile Devices
Part of being mobile-friendly is loading quickly. If users have to spend too long waiting for a website to load, they just won’t bother. Instead, they’ll click off, increasing your bounce rate while never even getting to see your website’s content.
According to Google, the maximum amount of time a page should take to load on a mobile device is three seconds. Any longer than that and users will bounce. Actually, even within the three-second limit, you might lose some users. Optimally, your site should load enough that most of it is visible within a second.
There are a variety of reasons why a website might be slow on mobile devices. Remember that mobile devices aren’t as powerful as computers and so if your site has a lot of large files on it, those will load really slowly on a mobile device even if they load in seconds on a computer.
Make sure your site is optimized for loading speed and that will improve both your users’ experience on your site and keep them from leaving before they’ve even had a chance to look at your content.