What annoys you more when visiting a blog using your smartphone? Is it having to “pinch text” in order to read things properly or is it having to endlessly scroll up and down to find things and end up getting lost inside a page?
I personally can’t tell which one is worse. In my book, they are almost as bad as visiting a page that is slow to load - something that is just painful. Then again, I’m a strategist who coaches businesses on customer experience, so I can be picky.
I often use the following analogy when I explain about the importance of blog optimisation to my clients.
What will you do to your physical store or company office to welcome your customers? Do you have your business banner properly hung so it is visible from afar or do you have a crooked banner kind of hidden in the corner? Do you have an easily opened front door or do you have a heavy and squeaky front door that is stuck half of the time? Do you have your display aisles properly labeled so customers can find products easily or do you prefer your customers getting lost in a big pile of goods?
I think we can expect the correct answers from most business owners with these questions. If that’s the case, then apply the same analogy to your blog, which should be the power engine of your website by the way.
With 80% of internet users now own a smartphone (Global Web Index Device Report), it has become a must for businesses to make sure they offer a mobile-friendly online experience for their audience.
In fact, customers have spoken. In a 2014 Tweet by the heavyweight management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Google found 61% of internet users are unlikely to return to a website if it is not optimised. Worse still, 40% of them will visit a competitor’s site instead.
If you are still not convinced about the impact of a smartphone on your blog and business, perhaps I should also tell you that consumers now spend more than 15 hours a week doing online search. They do it on their smartphones and most of the online search starts with search engines like Google (Reference: Google).
So it is a no-brainer that we should make sure our blog and the content we publish on our blog is mobile-friendly. This way we increase our chance of being discovered by our target audience through search engines like Google while solidifying our authoritative position in the digital space.
So what should we do to make our business blog mobile-friendly or responsive, if you prefer the tech term?
Choose a simple design for your blog
To start with, “less is more” really holds true here. Pay attention to how you design your blog and make a conscious decision to simplify your blog. You want your blog to be uncluttered, pleasant to the eye and easy to navigate.
Consider the image below, which is a business website viewed on an iPhone. This example shows a blog, which contains many elements including a pop-up banner at the bottom of the page and a sponsored banner on the side. It is a blog that is visually busy, which can make viewing more challenging on a mobile device.
Is this the experience that you wish for your audience or do you prefer a more streamlined look?
Slow speed can kill your business blog
According to comScore’s white paper, 2014 was the year that we passed the “mobile tipping point”. In other words, the number of people using a smartphone to access online information has surpassed the number of people doing so through a desktop computer. Even this blog was written using a Mobile App.
With the majority of internet users are on mobiles, Google recognises mobile experience is the future and is planning on rolling out mobile-first index. What this means is that all of your business online “assets” such as website, blog, videos, eBooks and more will be ranked based on the mobile version of content regardless if the content is viewed on a desktop computer
Obviously, there are many factors contributing to a good mobile experience, but none of those factors matters if your blog does not even load properly. A good mobile experience really starts with a good site speed.
So how fast is fast?
DoubleClick reported in 2016, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
3 seconds! You read it right. Literally, every second counts when it comes to mobile site speed and customer engagement.
Many things you could do to make your blog load faster. To start with, having a simple design template will help. The more elements you include on your blog the more time it takes to load your blog. Don't even mention the ongoing time required to maintain those elements. So let me say it again, less is more.
For other more technical improvement tactics, this post from Crazy Egg can help. For many business bloggers, a phone call to an experienced website professional is the best way to optimise a blog and website as a whole. A one-time small investment in this instance can really save a lot of frustration associated with doing it yourself if you are not tech savvy.
It’s testing time.
Now you have some ideas about why it’s important to have a mobile-friendly blog for your business blog, it’s time to test your site.
Visit Google‘s Mobile-Friendly Test and you will be greeted with the image below. Enter your site URL for a test.
As an example, when I tested our blog site, this is what I got back. YES, we are indeed mobile-friendly. As I did my test using my iPhone, so I was offered a “View Screenshot” link to preview how my blog is viewed on an iPhone by others. If you do your test on a computer, you will automatically see the preview on your computer screen.
This simple mobile-friendly test should help you decide what your next step is in order to optimise your blog - if you should learn more about mobile optimisation or calling in the cavalry.
Take Home Message
- Mobile devices, particularly smartphones, will continue to dominate how people access internet.
- Businesses need to ensure their digital assets such as blogs are mobile-friendly.
Want to learn more about how to blog successfully for your business? Join our next FREE Business Blog Challenge. Grab your spot here.
About The Author
To connect with Suzi Chen, visit her bio here.