Mobile Search: Choosing Your Website Priorities
We probably don’t need to tell you that mobile users are accounting for an increasingly large segment of website visitors. While the exact portion of traffic your particular site(s) get via mobile search will vary depending on a number of factors, it’s a good bet that you have many more mobile visitors now than you did even just a year or two ago.
This means you want to provide a website experience that works well for these users. Mobile users have short attention spans and little patience, so if they run into any frustrating snags while trying to use your site, they will quickly give up and go somewhere else.
Obviously, you don’t want to lose visitors and potential customers, but there is another equally important reason to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. User experience is a factor that goes into determining your Google search rankings. So a site that doesn’t provide a good mobile user experience will likely see a negative SEO impact.
Most experts agree that responsive design is your smartest strategy for ensuring your site works well for users of all devices, but if you need to use a mobile version of your site as a short-term solution, that’s better than nothing.
If you lack the time or resources to overhaul your entire site for mobile usability right away, you will have to choose your battles. You need to find out where on your site your mobile visitors are going most often, and what they are doing (or trying to do) when they get there. One easy way to zero in on your mobile users and their behavior is by separating your Google Analytics traffic according to desktop and mobile. You should then be able to immediately see which sections of your site have the most mobile traffic. That tells you which pages should be you top priority, as far as making them mobile-friendly.
Once you enhance the experience on those pages to be more user-friendly for mobile search visitors, you will likely see a positive impact on related metrics, such as bounce rate, time of visit and conversions.
For more specific details about how to analyze your data and improve your site with mobile users in mind, check out Ben Goodsell’s recent post on Search Engine Watch, “How to Avoid Mobile Ranking Pitfalls by Assessing Mobile Engagement.”