Official word about Mobilegeddon first leaked in February – when Google warned the Internet about an upcoming search algorithm favoring mobile-friendly websites. Google set a deadline (April 21st, to be exact) – and sent web design companies and clients into a panic and frenzy.
The algorithm’s nickname – a combination of “mobile” and “Armageddon” – references the end of days for desktop-only web design. The wrath of the mobile search update is estimated to impact more websites than Google’s Panda and Penguin.
Life After Mobilegeddon
As early as April 22nd (the next day), web design companies noticed a shift in mobile search results – but a small one. Google algorithm changes typically take a week or two to roll out completely, so we waited.
The biggest impact came the week of the Memorial Day holiday – when more users searched the web on mobile devices than personal computers.
Fast-forward to August – four months after the official rollout – and we’re discovering the full aftermath of Google’s Mobilegeddon. The impact: nearly half of the non-mobile-friendly pages dropped in the search engine rankings.
A Learning Experience for Web Designers
Website designers learned a lot from Mobilegeddon – mostly how mobile-friendly design impacts search engine rankings. But we also learned the user experience (UX) has huge implications regarding Google’s new mobile-friendly update. UX is now a powerful search engine ranking signal that’s impossible to ignore.
In our post-Mobilegeddon web, everything that improves UX improves SEO. The smart web design companies surviving the aftermath are focusing on one critical task: creating and delivering an amazing user experience.
Your Post-Mobilegeddon Survival Guide
Worried about weathering the storm? Use our exclusive web design tips as a survival guide.
Go mobile first. Mobile is becoming more relevant than desktop. Smart web design companies plan ahead for the shift, designing with both screen resolutions in mind. Some designers think about UX on mobile devices before desktop or laptop screens. Post-Mobilegeddon, consider starting with the mobile experience and working your way up to larger screens.
Get acquainted with media queries. From height and width, to resolution and orientation, media queries allow content to respond optimally across various devices. Master this smart and strategic CSS technique to survive post-Mobilegeddon.
Track mobile analytics. Smart web design companies track first, optimize second. Before you aim to improve the user experience, first understand how visitors experience your website on a mobile device.
Embrace percentages. Rearrange the layout based on percentages. This survival tip is easier than you think. Just set a maximum layout size, and define the widths and height by proportion (not pixel).
Optimize images for loading time. 64% of smartphone users expect mobile websites to load in less than 4 seconds. Remember to scale down large images to accelerate a responsive/mobile site.
Trim the fat. In the mobile world, unnecessary or excessive elements do nothing but diminish your user experience and website speed. Put excess baggage where it belongs: in the trash.
Size matters (text and button size, that is). Mobile users hate two things: squinting to read, and pinching to zoom. As a rule of thumb, use 16px, 1 em, or 12pt. font size for optimal mobile readability. For buttons, stick with 44 x 44 px or larger – and use padding instead of margins.
Design for portrait and landscape. Only slightly more users (59%) prefer landscape to portrait on a mobile device. Remember to design for both.
Clean up the content. Mobile users crave shorter headlines, smaller paragraphs, and more subheads. Smart web design companies design mobile content to scan first, absorb second.
Consider a secondary mobile design. A cheaper alternative for companies without the budget for responsive design, a secondary mobile design can help you survive Mobilegeddon.
At Bowen Media, our mobile-friendly New York web designers are experts in optimizing the user experience. Contact us today for more ways to transform amazing mobile user experiences into highly targeted website traffic.