How to create a better mobile user experience
Mobile-first search indexing becomes Google default
Everyone at the sharp end of website design and management has witnessed a seismic shift towards mobile browsing in the space of just a couple of years. Not so long ago, the provision of a mobile-friendly interface was an optional extra. Today it’s an operational essential for any online business – and one that’s just been given added imperative by Google’s announcement that, as from 1 July this year, mobile-first indexing will be the default approach for all new web domains.
Google signposted this move at the end of last year when it announced that mobile-friendly content was already being used to index more than half the web pages in its search results. What began as a small-scale roll-out over a handful of test sites at the tail end of 2017 has grown exponentially, with mobile-first indexing becoming responsible for an ever-larger percentage of the indexing process over the last twelve months. From July, every new website will be crawled by a ‘Googlebot’ that will use mobile-friendly content to index pages and to display relevant snippets in search results.
It’s a significant step by an industry leader in acknowledging that mobile has become a majority – 60 percent of Google searches are now executed from a mobile phone. Google already uses page speed to help assess a site’s mobile ranking, with content that’s slow to load being downgraded. It’s important to note that Google is keen to see websites supporting responsive design rather than creating independent mobile urls, to which end it has made available a ton of material on how developers can uprate their sites to embrace mobile-first indexing.
Delivering a seamless customer experience
Naturally, it’s not all about Google. Considering the user experience (UX) across a range of platforms and devices should be part of every company’s drive to ensure shoppers enjoy a fast and frictionless journey, however and wherever they’re accessing your site. Unless businesses tailor web performance to mobile tech – prioritising swift page loading, for instance – they won’t engage and retain visitors. And you’ll likely be the last to know, as unhappy users facing unacceptable delays simply switch to competitor sites.
Scheduling an effective web monitoring program is key – but in order to understand and optimise the mobile experience, mobile performance needs to be measured using realistic synthetic monitoring on real mobile browsers. Without this kind of intelligent monitoring, it’s not possible to consider web performance in the context of the mobile customer experience.
An emulated approach to mobile monitoring will miss potentially serious performance issues. By contrast, realistic monitoring on real browsers will catch any and all user performance issues because content is experienced and assessed in the same way it would be by a real user in the device-specific browser. thinkTribe’s fully managed monitoring solution is designed to detect performance problems before they impact users, providing actionable insights for the web team. The video replay function is especially useful for pinpointing mobile glitches, making them easy to identify, replicate and resolve.
Real browser mobile monitoring can:
- Improve conversion rates and reduce abandonment by finding errors that may be unique to mobile
- Help to speed up page rendering by quickly detecting anomalies due to third-party component problems
- Promote operational benefits as software teams can spend more time developing new features and less time troubleshooting errors.
thinkTribe provides realistic mobile monitoring services that help tackle the root causes of performance problems. Find out more about our unique approach to mobile monitoring, download our mobile monitoring white paper or call us to request a demo on 01227 768276.