SEO & Traffic

Mobile Optimization: WHY You Need It, HOW To Do It Fast

December 28 2015 28 Dec 2015 7 min. read

We're all in a battle to get the most engagement possible on our websites, and that's especially true for people promoting affiliate marketing programs. One of the most important, and yet also most overlooked, ways of getting greater engagement with your work is by making sure your website is mobile-optimized - in other words, that it is equally-good to view on the screens of computers, mobile phones or tablets. We take a look at the essential reasons why this is so important, and quick ways to make it happen.

Why Mobile-Optimize?

So many people use mobiles
Most people you meet these days will have at least a smartphone and probably also a tablet device which they use in order to connect to the internet. The opportunities to find information on the move on these devices has raised the expectations of web users, meaning information is expected instantly, in an easy-to-read form.

Google has said that more searches are made on its sites using mobile devices than desktop or laptop devices, a major sea-change partly spurred-on by the popularity of the iPhone and iPad and the way touchscreen technology has become cheaper and cheaper, bringing devices like Android tablets to larger numbers of people.

Mobile users are impatient
When checking something from a mobile device, chances are the user will not be keen to spend too long waiting for the site to load, and that he or she won't take too kindly to having to pinch and zoom to get to the vital information. If you want to help yourself and your users, make sure you're using a site that recognizes whether it's being viewed on a desktop or mobile device, and alters things like page dimensions and text size automatically to suit the user.

In turn, making sure of this will...

Reduce bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who leave after visiting only one page. If you have a bounce rate that is in a double-figured percentage, or if you're not getting many click-throughs or sign-ups to your affiliate programs, one reason might be because of a poorly-thought-out landing page. Mobile-optimizing can take care of this, by keeping users interested in the website beyond the opening page, through good-quality content and a user-friendly layout.

How to Mobile-Optimize

Here's how to get your site looking great on all mobile devices
Here's how to get your site looking great on all mobile devices

The KISS principle
KISS stands for "Keep It Simple, Stupid," and nowhere does that apply better than when you are adapting your website for mobile devices. Think about the pages you need. Is it really important to have that page? Ask yourself this each time you add something to your website. Remember that it doesn't matter how many monthly hits you get on your desktop site, if mobile users find what you have given them to be un-navigable. Keep menus as short as possible, and make sure that any transactions can be done in as few clicks as possible.

Perhaps the best example of keeping clicks down is Amazon's One-Click Ordering. The online store recognized right from the start that many of its users would log on for impulse or spontaneous purchases, and so made it as easy as possible for quick orders. Emulate Amazon's success, and make sure your best affiliate deals are right where users will be tempted to click on them.

Don't use Flash or Java
Lots of desktop websites have historically used either or both of Flash and Java - the reason for this is because graphical elements on sites can be facilitated by them. However, iOS devices do not support Flash, a decision made by Apple on the launch of the first iPhone. Flash can thus mean large blank spaces on your site if loaded on many mobile devices; Java can increase loading times and make it a lot less appealing for users to visit what you have spent a lot of time producing.

Build a great, simple, landing page
Check, from your website's back end, which page is the one users usually visit first, and make sure it tells them everything they need to know about your site. What's the purpose of the site? What are you trying to sell or promote to users? Place any top posts or stories alongside the most important (in your opinion) affiliate adverts, and make sure the page is not too "busy" - in other words, do not stack lots of differing images and text fields, and keep the number of words used to a minimum.

Use a platform that offers inbuilt mobile optimization
If you're not a technical genius (and most of us are not), you won't want to spend days coding a site when someone else could do it for you. That's why WordPress themes are so popular with website publishers. A lot of themes, particularly the paid themes, are designed with automatic mobile optimization. This means that whether a user logs on using desktop or mobile devices, the site will likely be readable.

Check out our article on the best WordPress themes for casino affiliate marketing sites; a lot of these are also effective for other forms of affiliate marketing. If WordPress isn't your thing, try Squarespace - the site makes it easier to build your own website than WordPress, and though there are fewer customization options, the user interface ensures simplicity at all stages.

How to Check Your Website is Mobile-Optimized

Make use of both the Google Mobile-Friendly Test and the Bing Mobile Friendliness Test Tool. If you want to get a great search ranking on these market-leading search engines, you should take heed of the advice they offer for your site.

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