14 Aug How to Prepare for Your Next Big Event by Getting Mobile Ready
Your website needs to be mobile ready if users are going to be willing to stick around and check out your content. Plus, being mobile ready will avoid penalization from Google and improve your SEO. The problem is what counts as mobile ready is always changing.
If it’s been a while since you assessed your site, right before the launch of your next big event, campaign, or promotion is the ideal time to make the necessary updates. This will mean you’ll be ready for any influx in traffic and you’ll see a greater number of conversions.
How to Prepare
1. Build a Responsive Site
It should go without saying that you need a responsive website, but there are still many sites out there that offer a subpar experience for mobile users. With a responsive design, your site layout will work on all types of devices and screen sizes. Responsive design is also favored by Google, which means it will contribute to your SEO.
An alternative is to build a separate mobile website, but there are several disadvantages to this approach. For one thing, you’ll need to maintain both a mobile and regular website — which means populating both with all the details about your event or promotion. You’ll also need to take measures to avoid Google flagging the sites for having duplicate content. With a responsive site, all this is unnecessary.
2. Add the Right Content
The content that users want to consume on mobile devices is different from what they want on desktop. Often, users on mobile need to access information fast, want answers to specific questions, or are looking for something specific. You need to make sure that users are able to find the page they want without too much navigation. Furthermore, details about your campaign or event should take a prime position on the home page. There should also be clear links to this information on other pages.
3. Cut Out Flash
Your website should already be free from Flash, as it has long been a negative factor for SEO. Cutting out Flash is extra important for making your site mobile ready, as it is unsupported by both iOS and Android. If you were considering using Flash in your campaign or to promote your event, change your plan.
4. Use Large Buttons and Forms
There are few things more frustrating on mobile than trying to tap something on the screen only to end up clicking elsewhere. This happens when buttons and fields are too small.
How to Test Your Site
1. Run It Through Google’s Tool
As part of Search Console, Google offers a Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. All you need to do is paste the full URL of the page you want to test and wait for it to run — this usually takes less than a minute. You’ll receive a screenshot of how the page appears on a mobile device along with a report about any usability issues.
If Google is unable to access the page, you’ll receive an error notification explaining the problem. This can happen if your site is down or if there is some problem with the network connectivity — both of which are useful to know.
Google will also notify you if it is unable to fully load the page due to unloadable resources. Such resources can include elements like images, CSS, and script files. You can then unblock any resources that matter, such as a CSS file that could lead to the wrong font styles appearing. This is crucial for ensuring that Google is able to crawl the page for SEO purposes as well as for improving the user experience.
As you are preparing for your event or campaign, test all the pages that have promotional material in addition to any pages that are likely to receive a high volume of traffic. When you have time later, test all your other pages as well.
2. Test Page Load Speed
Page load speed is important whatever your users’ devices, but it has an even greater impact on mobile, where connection may already be slow. If a page takes too long to load, users may move on to a different site without ever seeing your promotion. Google also cares — and expects pages to render in less than a second. This means that slow-loading pages will contribute to poor SEO.
There are a number of tools that test page load speed, but a top choice is one from Google called PageSpeed Insights. Like the above, all you need to do is input the URL of the page. You’ll receive a grade of up to 100. Again, you should test all the pages associated with your event or campaign. Ensure they all come up green. If any have a low score, use the suggestions that Google provides to improve load speed.
How to Keep Your Site Updated
Finally, you need to make sure that your site stays updated after the event is over and into the long term. This is difficult to plan for, as no one knows how standards will change. One thing you can do is continue testing the above. Another is to stay up to date with all the changes in mobile web design best practices. You can rely on Boostability to keep you informed.