Google’s obsession with mobile-friendly websites saw yet another tool added to the website testing earlier this month, this time with the launch of a new mobile speed testing tool.
Following hot on the heels of Page Speed, Mobile Friendly Testing Tool and the so-called Mobilegeddon algorithm update, the new tool on thinkwithgoogle.com checks your website for mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed. Scores are marked out of 100 and given merits of good, fair and poor.
The purpose of all these Google-tools is to ensure websites are user-friendly across multiple devices. And given usability issues are used as metrics to rank pages in search engines, the results should not be taken lightly. Google does offer more detailed information if requested.
It is therefore important, that usability is considered your top priority when designing a website; from the user-interface, to navigation and how you lay out content.
As web performance improves, consumers demand websites that are easy to use and feature the information, product or entertainment value they are searching for. So to encourage visitors to explore your online business, engage with your content and become a loyal customer, your website must tick the following boxes:
Fast load speeds
It is well documented that web users will only wait up to 10 seconds before they lose patience with a website that is not loading or does not allow them to scroll when the page opens. Slow load times are the quickest way to divert customers to your competitors.
Direction, direction, direction
Let’s be honest. The convenience the web offers is making us lazy. Consumers can’t be bothered to search for what they want on your website. They expect it to be presented to them.
But online businesses that have a purchasing path also need to direct customers where to go, thus your website has to include stepping stones that make it obvious where to go and what to do next.
Ease of use
From a usability point of view, web designers should think mobile first when fashioning a website. The actions users have to take need to be simple to use on a mobile phone.
That means including large buttons that can be tapped, pages that scroll vertically and images that pinch open so it can be viewed in full screen.
Simple purchasing process
Consumers want to complete tasks in the least amount of time and the least amount of clicks. If the purchasing process is too complicated, users will ditch the transaction before confirming payment.
Wherever possible, keep the amount of information you need to a minimum and offer to save bank details so customers don’t have to type them in every time they buy something.
User-experience is clearly taken very seriously by search engines and consumers –and that means web owners and web designers should be making usability the top priority before launching a website.
If your website is not performing on mobile phones, address the issue asap; especially if the majority of your visitors are mobile users.