"This is the year of mobile".
This proclamation is heard every year in SEO, paid media, and web design circles. So much so that it's getting a little tired at this point.
Yet, as we redeclare each year "The Year of Mobile", it's not that the prior claim was made incorrectly; it's just that with each passing year, mobile becomes more important than it was in the year that preceded it.
So what are we to do? Do we bestow The Year of Mobile title anew upon each successive year or do we just accept that each year will progressively become more mobile — and more portable — than the last? Do we make peace with the fact that there will be no zenith when mobile is more important than it ever has been and more important now than it ever will be in the future?
Whichever way you're leaning, it's clear that the web has been on a mobile path for a while. But are we really honoring that and acting on that information?
As web professionals, I'm willing to bet that most of us spend the majority of our time working on desktop or laptop computers; we're not mobile-first by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that the majority of our website visitors, blog readers, and paying customers are using mobile devices while they interact with us. Could it be that our default mode of working, our beloved way of getting sh*t done, keeps us removed from the mobile experience? I think it's very possible. I'd actually say that it's more than likely.
At UpBuild, we're talking about this shift a lot and exploring how we can more intentionally walk in the shoes of users on mobile devices, but we still have a long way to go. Will Hattman, one of our Senior Marketing Strategists, wrote a great post about this that I'd encourage you to read. Beyond that, here's a little homework for you if you're game:
If you're not already on mobile, open and read this newsletter (and any links you choose to follow) on your mobile phone.
Do the same with your company's latest newsletter. How does it hold up compared to on desktop (where it was likely composed)?
Search for your brand name on Google's mobile search and visit your homepage. Imagine you've never been to the site before and ask, "is there clear direction telling me what to do next?"
See what Google users in countries with slow mobile connections might be seeing when they visit your site. Google Weblight transcodes pages to load faster in many non-US countries; the trouble is, it doesn't always produce great output. To check yours out, head to this test URL and replace https://www.yoursite.com with your full homepage address.
True Story: I spent a month in Brazil in 2016 and I was getting these transcoded pages all the time when I did a search on my phone, even on wifi. It drove me crazy, but that's the everyday experience of folks over there.
Extra Credit: Let us know what you learned by replying to this newsletter!
Thanks for coming along with me on this thought journey. Until next time, happy optimizing.
Founder/CEO/Geek-at-Large at UpBuild