In our increasingly mobile society, 48 percent of search traffic is now from mobile devices according to Internet marketing firm Portent. Yet, many websites, including those of large internet retailers and government agencies, haven’t been designed with mobile devices in mind. For many smaller businesses, building a mobile-friendly site may be overwhelming and potentially cost-prohibitive.
At Nexight, we pride ourselves on being accessible and posting new and relevant content of value to our clients, partners, and prospective staff. Having a mobile-friendly site is a critical component of such accessibility—which is why we are happy to announce the release of Phase 1 of our new mobile site. In this first of two phases, we focused on the sections our mobile users visit most frequently, including our home page, News and Insights, Careers, and Contact Us sections of our website.
Our timing for making our website more mobile-friendly was fortuitous. In April, Google rolled out a new mobile-friendly algorithm that boosts ranking of mobile-friendly pages in response to searches conducted on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Our mobile website design was already in progress at the time, and our launch followed on the heels of Google’s announcement. While this new algorithm addition is just one of many factors that determines site rankings (see my previous post on Search Engine Optimization Best Practices), its addition underscores the importance of engaging and considering the habits of mobile users.
Google’s new algorithm helps ensure a positive experience for all site visitors. By boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly sites in mobile searches, users on mobile devices are more likely to find relevant and timely content that is also easy to read and navigate on a smaller screen. While the content should be the same as the desktop site, mobile websites have fewer columns or sidebars to eliminate the need for horizontal scrolling on a smaller screen. The font size is also easy to read without zooming or tapping. Making a site more accessible in these ways increases the likelihood that mobile visitors will return.
Our current traffic from mobile devices is still significantly lower than the average projected by Portent. Yet, we have watched the number of mobile visitors to NexightGroup.com steadily climb since we launched our website redesign two and a half years ago. We have also experienced increased referral traffic from social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, which people often access from mobile devices. Recognizing that the number of visits to our website from mobile devices will continue to grow, our Phase 2 mobile website effort, which is focused on the rest of our website, is currently under way. Stay tuned!
If you have an issue to report about our website or a suggestion for something you hope to see in the future, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m always happy to hear about ways we can continue to make our website more accessible and meaningful to those who visit.