Mobile devices have become an integral element of our lives. Reportedly, more than 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices, which makes it indispensable for today's businesses. However, things weren't always the same. In 2018, mobile-first indexing and browsing took the lead ahead of desktop.
By 2021, several forward-thinking brands have already embraced mobile-first design to match the new crawling format. This made it even more significant for Software as a Service (SaaS) brands to prioritize optimization. This article takes a dig at valuable industry insights and discusses time-tested strategies to boost mobile SEO.
The importance of mobile optimization for SaaS companies
SaaS SEO has witnessed several advancements in recent years. SaaS companies offer web-based Software primarily through web browsers. Consequently, their websites serve as the touchpoint for customers. Mobile optimization plays a role in delivering a user experience.
A website not optimized for mobile will take longer to load and may not display correctly on devices. It could be challenging to navigate. User experience (UX) holds significance in the SaaS industry and ensuring effective mobile optimization is essential in keeping customers engaged.
Steps to optimize your website for mobile devices
From responsive design to font size, simplifying navigation, and implementing AMP, here's a rundown of the industry's best strategies.
1. Embrace responsive design
Make sure your website is designed with responsiveness in mind. This means it will automatically adjust and adapt to screen sizes and resolutions, providing a user experience on any mobile device.
By using a grid system, the design of your site will scale accordingly, ensuring it looks great whether viewed on a smartphone or a larger tablet.
2. Prioritize page speed
Undeniably, page loading is a crucial element of consideration, especially for SaaS SEO. Users may become frustrated and leave your site if your pages take too long to load. Google recognizes the importance of this factor and considers mobile page speed as an aspect of mobile SEO.
This was first rolled out in 2021 by Google as web core vitals. Later, it was adjudged as a potent ranking factor solely concerned with the performances of mobile devices. However, Google had to wait until February last year when Google's desktop Core Web Vital performance also came into being. So, it's evident that Google prioritizes mobile devices ahead of desktops in terms of speed.
Pro Tip: To optimize page speed for your SaaS site, you must reduce image sizes, minimize the use of plugins, and enable caching techniques. Make the best use of tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to easily identify areas that need improvement.
3. Opt for larger font sizes
You might come across some brand sites where one can't help but zoom in to read the text. Frankly, it's a predicament for a site that claims to be mobile-friendly. Choosing the right font size lets you strike the right balance between readability and clutter.
So, it's essential that you use the correct font size. As a best practice for using fonts for a mobile-friendly site, 16px is recommended for body text and 24px for headings. Also, choose simple, easy-to-read fonts like Verdana, Helvetica, and the classic Arial.
These fonts were exclusively designed for high readability across screens and thus make a good option for mobile devices where users can see and read words easily.
4. Restrict the amount of text for each page
Mobile users are sincerely pressed for time and like to consume content on the go. Thus, when creating content for your brand, always keep a few things in mind:
- Refrain from creating huge chunks of text. Heavy content blocks are a strict no-no for a mobile-friendly site.
- Break a long idea into several smaller sections.
- Use of headings and subheadings is a must-do. This will help users scan effectively through the content.
- Use images and infographics in line with the text to illustrate any idea you are presenting. This is essential for maximum visual impact.
- Never shy from keeping white space. You must know that using white spaces is important for a page design to strike out. It also helps the content to be easily read by users.
5. Optimize images and videos
Optimizing images and videos play a role in improving the speed of web pages on devices. Compressing images and reducing their size is essential to ensure loading times. When it comes to videos, different optimization techniques may be needed depending on the device, connection, and player being used.
For best results, using the HTML5 format for videos is recommended.
6. Simplify navigation
Simplifying navigation is another aspect of optimization. Particularly for a mobile-friendly site, the hamburger menu is a hit for all good reasons. Firstly, it takes very little space on the screen and can be tucked away in a corner. Secondly, it helps the menu items look more prominent so that users can select them easily with their fingers.
Besides, one should also ensure the navigation menu has the least number of options, or else it will confuse visitors. A good approach is to stick to the basic options like home, about us, products or services, and contact.
Another effective and popular trend is using a sticky header. For those who aren't aware, it's a kind of header that stays at the top of a page, still allowing the user to scroll down. That way, it always remains accessible no matter where you stop strolling.
This is an excellent option for a SaaS brand, especially if your product has multiple features, which means more content pages.
7. Implement AMP
Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is highly beneficial for enhancing browsing. AMP is an initiative by Google that focuses on creating stripped-down versions of web pages using HTML, resulting in loading times and improved user experience on devices.
Google prioritizes AMP pages in search results, which can significantly enhance your mobile SEO efforts.
8. Do away with disparity of content
As Google likes to crawl the mobile version of a brand site before the desktop, keeping the parity becomes important. It’s not just limited to content but also images, videos(if any), internal links, and canonical tags.
A good way to test your mobile-friendly site for parity is to run a crawl first across your mobile site and then compare the results against the desktop version.
9. Avoid pop-ups and ads
Undeniably, everyone hates ads and pop-ups on a website. More so when viewed on a mobile device, which is frustrating because of the smaller screen size. Also, pop-ups can significantly hamper the flow and impact the user experience negatively.
However, if you still have to include a pop-up (like a lead generation form) or run an ad, make sure it's conveniently small and doesn't obstruct direct viewing of the content. More importantly, there's a rule in place where Google can penalize sites with way too many mobile pop-ups.
These sites are marked to be demoted across the SERPS. So, steer clear from using pop-ups for your mobile site unless it's a mandate like a cookie disclaimer.
10. Always include strong CTAs (Call-to-Actions)
CTAs on a website are more like a signpost on the road that helps you decide your travel route. For any brand site, it is important to include strong CTAs to positively impact the user journey. Without CTAs, your users are left stranded. They remain clueless as to what would be the next step.
Subscribe? Buy? Leave a Message? Too many guesses, you see. Remember, we are working with smaller screen sizes where most thumb activity is somewhere between the middle and lower parts. So, positioning your CTA button is the key.
Try sticking to well-accepted CTA button designs, like large, round-edge ones. Also, stick to one solid CTA button for a mobile site instead of multiple ones, as you would do on the desktop version. No matter what you do, the CTA button should always be easy to find and take up a prominent position on the page.
What remained a hot topic for discussion among SEO professionals around 2018 became a reality. Fast forward to 2023, mobile-first sites for SaaS brands are a standard. Given the dynamic landscape, mobile optimization is no longer a luxury for SaaS brands.
A perfectly optimized mobile-first website can impact conversion rate and significantly outgrow the competition. Besides, it's a potent tool to rise along SERPs and boost the chance of attracting more potential customers to your offerings.
To ensure your website is optimized correctly, consider using a simple and attractive design, pay attention to the load time of web pages, use larger font sizes, optimize images and videos, simplify navigation, and implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Undeniably, prioritizing mobile optimization efforts can help SaaS companies retain their edge and deliver an exceptional user experience across all devices. Are you a SaaS brand looking to optimize your brand site for a mobile-friendly experience? What else do you think could be added to this list of best practices? Let's hang out in the comments below and share your thoughts.