5 Crisis-Mode Moves to Save Your Google Ranking (Infographic) Mobile optimization has moved from nicety to necessity. Are you ready?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Usually, April 15 is the red-letter day on a business' spring calendar. But this year, all eyes were on April 21, when Google's new algorithm update -- designed to provide a better search experience for mobile users -- moved mobile optimization from nicety to necessity.
What does this mean? Basically, if your website isn't mobile-friendly, you can expect your search-engine rankings, and ultimately your web traffic, to take a hit. Mobilegeddon is upon us.
Now that the big day has come and gone, you may be suffering from the fallout. To help, we've identified five quick crisis-mode moves that can help you fix your most egregious mobile mistakes.
1: Pare down the content on your mobile site.
On mobile, less truly is more. According to one study, 57 percent of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. And, unfortunately, the temptation to include too much content on a mobile site has just that result: a clunky design that is difficult to navigate and frustrating to use.
And that's just for desktop browsers. For mobile devices, the amount of space available for content is even smaller -- significantly so. The screens are smaller, they're harder to scroll down on, and it's impossible, on many devices, to scroll horizontally.
Takeaway: Keeping these limitations in mind, make sure your most important content displays in the top few pixels of the page; and reduce your viewers' need to scroll whenever possible.
2: Make sure your mobile site plays well with all devices.
Don't forget: There's more than one kind of mobile device out there. In fact, Gartner projects that "ultramobiles," which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market beyond 2014 -- Gartner estimates a growth rate of 54 percent.
Takeaway: Make sure your mobile site looks as good on tablets of all sizes as it does on the traditional smart phone screen.
3: Make sure your call-to-action button is easy to find -- and easy to click.
Mobile users who find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than that for the same search executed on a desktop or laptop. In fact, 70 percent of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. But to make this magic happen, users need a clear, easy-to-find and easy-to-use call to action button.
- Pay a little extra attention to this element. Change the color to an attention-grabbing hue or add some subtle animation.
- Tweak your button copy to better communicate your value proposition. Create motivating text that drives people to take action -- and be specific. Adding just one word after the word "submit" can boost conversion rates by as much as 320 percent.
- Put some thought into placement. Position your sign-up form at the top of your landing page, alongside engaging content. This strategy will deliver maximum views to your form without requiring page visitors to scroll all the way down to the bottom.
- Finally, make sure your CTA and all other buttons are large enough to be easily tapped from a mobile device.
4: Offer extra convenience to mobile users with Social Autofill.
Many of us struggle to remember the slew of logins and passwords required to function in 2015. Social Autofill has unparalleled potential to improve the consumer experience. Not only does it reduce your customers' time on site -- it's a sanity saver, too: 64 percent of users who frequently leave sites due to forgotten login information say social login is an option companies should offer.
Takeaway: There are good reasons for leveraging Social Autofill. Our data shows that conversion rates can increase up to 189 percent when form-users take advantage of Social Autofill features.
5: Don't forget to optimize your web forms for mobile, too!
When you're refining your website for Mobilegeddon, don't forget about on-site resources like forms. These conversion-capture assets are a critical part of your online real estate, so make sure they are as mobile friendly as the rest of your site.
Form length is especially critical when optimizing for mobile. The 2015 Form Conversion Report found that the average survey now contains 22 fields. And unfortunately, 22 fields may feel daunting to a consumer completing your form on a mobile device.
Takeaway: If your site contains a field-heavy form that just can't be shortened, try building a smart form that automatically shows or hides questions based on how users respond. Or, consider using a horizontal layout for checkboxes and buttons to create an illusion that the form is shorter.
As Mobilegeddon looms on, you may feel like you're operating in crisis mode. But don't panic. By implementing even one of these strategies, your efforts will pay off: Mobile-optimized redesign results in a nearly 15 percent increase in unique clicks.