10 reasons your website isn’t working on mobile devices

If you’re creating a site, you want it to be accessible for all users on all devices. So what if it isn’t working on mobile devices? When mobile SEO isn’t up to scratch, you lose a whole bunch of users who could be trying to access your site.

Creating a positive user experience for those on mobile is essential for increasing rankings. With an increasingly mobile world, it’s important now more than ever for your business to keep up with the change- after all, a user’s journey is often now beginning on a smartphone.

If you’ve noticed a drop in mobile rankings, you’re probably wondering why, and rightly so! Here are 10 reasons your website isn’t working on mobile devices.

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Why your site isn’t working on mobile: The 10 possible reasons

The world of mobile SEO can feel very complex and overwhelming, so using this list of the 10 possible reasons can help you navigate what’s exactly wrong. Let’s begin:

Lack of mobile-friendly design

A lack of mobile-friendly design means your site is not optimised to appear on a smaller mobile screen in comparison to a desktop. This means your site design should be created with the consideration of all devices so it still remains intact but friendly for mobile. While not a direct ranking factor, Google has highly recommended responsive design patterns.

How to fix:

You need to create web pages that render differently on different devices. Using technical SEO elements and UX designs can help create a mobile-friendly design that allows users to read and interact with the content on your page.

Navigation issues

A site’s menu and the breadcrumb feature are handy navigational tools that allow users to find their way around your site, improving their overall experience. However, for larger sites especially, sometimes this menu doesn’t transfer over properly to mobile devices. Trying to locate the desired page becomes a chore when it should be something easily and swiftly found.

How to fix:

The menu displayed on a mobile device could be confined only to primary pages, with further navigational features on these primary pages. That way, no key information is missed and everything is accessible to the user. Different design options should be considered to create a simple mobile menu.

Slow loading pages

A slow-loading page is a no-go when looking to optimise for mobile. Users are impatient, demanding and brutal when it comes to leaving a page if it fails to load quickly. In turn, the bounce rate will increase and Google punishes this by decreasing rankings. A slow-loading page is damaging for other factors, such as time spent on a page, and can result in a general loss of conversions by users looking elsewhere.

How to fix:

Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps you identify optimisation opportunities and test whether current methods have been successful. Cutting down website code where you can, compressing images or even decreasing the number of redirects used are just a few of the ways to fix slow-loading pages.

Unoptimised CTA’s

A site’s CTAs should aim to be concise, clear and compelling. This task proves even more difficult for mobile, as they need to have maximum visibility with less space to work with. Where they appear in relation to the mobile content layout should lead to effective results by encouraging the user to take action.

How to fix:

Ultimately, all you need to do is change the design of the CTA so it appeals to a mobile user. This would include making it less wordy, making the anchor text clickable on the size of a mobile screen, and using mobile keyword research to take advantage of what users want from your service or product.

Use of pop-ups

Pop-ups can be extremely annoying for those on mobile, as with a smaller screen, they can take up the full page and cloud the important content. Annoying pop-ups may actually do the opposite of helping you gain conversions- users grow frustrated with their overbearing presence and just click off the site, increasing bounce rate.

How to fix:

The best practice would be to remove pop-ups altogether. If you wish to include them, however, then there’s a better way to use pop-ups so that they’re mobile-friendly. For example, making sure they’re easy to exit or delay them so a user feels less overwhelmed. However, pop-ups shouldn’t really be needed with your CTAs doing all the heavy lifting.

Incompatible with mobile indexing and search engines

A drop in the mobile rankings could possibly be because you haven’t optimised for their specific search engines or for the mobile indexing process. Google responds to change, so it’s only inevitable that their indexing process would begin to factor in how most users now use their mobile to search. Therefore, Google’s default practice is to display the mobile equivalent of the page.

How to fix:

Only sites with separate mobile and desktop pages need to be optimised, not sites that are responsive. Ensure the mobile pages have the same data and content as the desktop pages- it’s also worth testing if your site works on the main mobile browsers to ensure compatibility with the search engines.

No optimisation for the touchscreen function

Clickable features that are geared towards desktop users could be difficult to use for touchscreen users. These features could even be those that lead to conversions, so it’s essential to have them accessible on a mobile screen and displayed in a clickable size. Ensure they’re not all crammed together in order to avoid any mis-clicks.

How to fix:

Most fixes have to do with the size of the clickable feature to make sure it is big enough on a mobile screen. Don’t obscure the important content with these touch features, but make sure a user knows what they’re clicking on and where it will lead them.

Incorrectly scaled content

Long-form content is useful for a user but can be difficult to read on mobile, especially if the font size is too small. On the other hand, you also want to avoid text that is too big across the screen and will require users to keep scrolling back and forth.

How to fix:

Content should be broken into smaller chunks when optimising for a mobile. That way, a user doesn’t have to scroll for ages to locate their desired information and more signposting can be included. Additionally, the right font size should be used so that content can fit properly on the screen and the actual information can be read.

No consideration of the mobile user intent

The user intent between mobile and desktop can change, and taking into account a mobile user’s search intent will help properly optimise the user experience. For example, mobile searches tend to use the voice search function, so a site should be optimised for long-tail keywords to rank for these searches. Additionally, mobile users tend to search for local services, so you need to consider what they want.

How to fix:

To help, local SEO services can help you optimise for the local area so your site ranks highly on mobile for the region you’re based in. Or, something like semantic SEO helps adapt your site to optimise for voice search by taking into account the nuances of language.

Images are unoptimised

Images that aren’t optimised with image SEO practices are likely to cause issues for a mobile site. Images with large files can increase page loading time, and images that are sized incorrectly can appear weirdly on the size of a phone screen.

How to fix:

You want to compress your images in order to decrease slow-loading pages and resize your images to the correct format- with this, a poor user experience is avoided. Using a fast-loading image format further helps with loading times and therefore ensures user satisfaction.

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