How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

responsive-wordpress-websiteIn recent posts, we’ve talked about the upcoming Mobilegeddon (which is already upon us) and how to determine if your site is SEO friendly or not. Today we’re going to give a couple of resources to look at if your site comes back as not SEO friendly. With most things, there’s an easy way and a hard way.

Too note, there are several ways by which you can make your site mobile friendly – the two main styles are making it responsive (creating a fluid like design that responds to the display/media type) and making it adaptive (creating several different designs with specific sizing for different designs). That discussion of which is better can be left for you to choose. Hear, we’ll largely be talking about responsive solutions.

Easy Way – WordPress

While some may debate whether WordPress is the best platform or not to host your site on, we have to say that from personal experience we strongly agree. Having worked with several different CMS platforms as well as several different types of static sites, WordPress continually appears as one the easiest to implement and use and yet one of the most dependable and powerful. You can do everything from host a simple blog to turn it into a robust eCommerce site. WordPress is also so easy to update and add further capabilities to – such as easy social sharing, list building, SEO compatibility, and even mobile responsiveness.

Yes, in many sites, mobile friendliness can be attained simply by adding a mobile plug-in. With a little bit of work to make it look good and unique, your site could be mobile friendly very quickly and can often be done by even a novice to web design with a WordPress plug-in. Some of the most common WordPress Plug-ins for making a site mobile friendly are:

  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
  • WPtouch Mobile Plugin
  • WP Mobile Detector
  • WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0

 

responsivewebdesignHard Way – Any Other Way Than a Plug-in (Via WordPress)!

Yes, for novices, any other way than a plug-in or a simple line of code will be harder to implement, but doesn’t make it any less important or needed on sites outside of WordPress (or other comparable CMS platforms with mobile plug-ins or extensions.) A great place to start here is to look again to our favorite search leader Google. Google actually has a pretty thorough explanation of creating mobile friendly websites as well as some of the common pitfalls mobile friendly coding can create for search engines. Very nice of them to give us such insight into the design and implementation. They have a solid section of mobile information at https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/get-started/?hl=en.

In addition, another great resource in helping you understand mobile design experience even further is https://www.edx.org/course/building-mobile-experiences-mitx-21w-789x. That mobile course is offered by MIT for free through edX. However, this is not really an easy to get going course for newbies, but is great for developers or intermediate coders.

For novices, we can’t help but recommend simply using the WordPress platform and implementing one of their plug-ins to make your website SEO friendly. If you want to keep your current platform or straight code, then the Google and MIT resources are great to help you understand the most important elements and even a little deeper. With that being said, the importance of simply partnering with an agency to cannot be understated. Use their skills to help make the process so much easier and more pleasurable for yourself as well knowing that the design is done in the best way for both your rankings and your users. Check out Barking Frog SEOs mobile website design capabilities as well as their solid local search engine optimization abilities if you’re looking for an agency that can truly get you the rankings you deserve and ensure that your site is mobile friendly.

Optimizing Video For Mobile

responsive-website-designWith all the stats out there, hopefully you’ve already realized the importance of having a mobile presence. According to Mobile SEO Pros, over 48% of mobile users watch video and according to Business Insider over 15% of all online video hours are viewed on mobile devices. With that information and the fact that more people are accessing the internet via mobile phones than desktop computers, it’s vital to be able to display your information, products, and services properly on mobile devices. Think about that, quite possibly, over half the people searching for you are trying to do so on a mobile device. We’ve been talking about the importance of mobile optimization in regards to search engines and how to make sure your website is mobile friendly. One of those segments that need to be mobile friendly, especially if you want to get a response from your traffic -those that come and view the video, is that it needs to be properly optimized for mobile devices.

video-optimzed-for-mobile-2

Mobile Video Musts

Start with Mobile In Mind

Begin your entire video production service with mobile in mind. This can change or influence parts of the video creation – such as having text within the video too small that you won’t be able to see it on a mobile screen or items within the video that may be important but would also be hard to see on a smaller screen. Maryland based video production company Blue House Productions helps clients with the right from the planning stages. Taking time to determine the goals of the video as well as the outputs can not only save you a lot of trouble when you distribute your video, but can also make for an even more powerful response from viewers on multiple devices when everyone can clearly see the video, any text that’s in it, and easily follow a call to action no matter where they’re accessing the video from. It’s up to you whether you want to create one video that will be optimize for all viewing devices, or if you want to create a slightly different video for mobile experience. We’ll discuss this further as to how you can make your mobile version display for mobile play, but it is during the production time of the video that you want to determine if you need to make a second video style.

Create a Version Optimized for Mobile Viewing

In addition to the possibility of creating a different version of the video itself. You do want to make sure you create a version of the file that will play well on mobile devices. This will usually be in the form of an mp4 for shorter films (under 4 minutes) and utilizing Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming codex for longer films so that it automatically responds to the clients bandwidth capacity and creates a smoother playing experience. Both YouTube and Netflix utilize this for their longer videos.

Make Your Video Pages Responsive

Now, if you’re hosting your video on a video hosting site, such as YouTube, you don’t have a lot of say about this. However, you do need to still think about the different layout that will occur when in mobile. For instance, with YouTube, it’s much hard for a person to see the description of a video (as opposed to clicking the dropdown on a desktop). Therefore you’ll want to make sure there is a call to action in the video and not just a link in the description. In addition to being sure that is present, you’ll want to make sure that your mobile optimized video, if showing on your site, sits on a mobile optimized page. You need to be sure that mobile viewers see a trimmed down version of the page so they don’t get overwhelmed with extra images or test and are rather driven directly to the video.

Calls To Actionvideo-optimized-for-mobile

As mentioned above, you want to make sure that your video includes calls to action for the viewer, but you also need to make sure they are accessible on a mobile device. You also want to make sure that they aren’t stuck merely at the end of the video. Many watchers do not watch through the entire video until the end, so having your CTA exist outside of your video may be an ideal alternative. Just be sure that in doing so, you optimize the area for mobile – making it responsive to their display size and viewable on their screen.

It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of work to optimize a video for mobile devices, but it does take some planning. Remember that planning ahead can save you a ton of additional corrective work in the future as well as give you a head start out of the gate. Take advantage of optimizing at the foundational level and you’ll often get leaps ahead of your competition.