Designing a responsive website is now an essential requirement in order not to disappear from the Google search results page. This is why design and development play an essential role in creating successful e-commerce.
It was 2018 when Google decided to apply the Mobile-First Index, after a year and a half of tests and trials, bringing about a real revolution.
From that moment on, Google has based its search results exclusively on information obtained from the mobile version of the web pages.
This new indexing method has forced a remodeling of web portals in the design and development, to adapt not only to changes in the Google algorithm but also to the new consumption habits of users.
According to a study, almost 70% of the time we spend on the Internet we do it by browsing from mobile devices; every 3 minutes spent online, 2 are done by our smartphone, followed by computer and tablet.
The trend is constantly growing and e-commerce must take into account, from its conception, to design and then to development, having to put the mobile versions in the foreground.
Web development and programming: adapt your responsive page
- Use dynamic templates. Always keep the screen size in mind and use a responsive framework so that the page doesn’t overload. It is also a way to check the readability of content in all formats.
- Check the page load time. When you turn a website into responsive there are some elements that can slow down the page loading on mobile devices compared to the desktop version. It must be optimized so as not to delay loading.
- Simplify. The desktop version of a web page gives us much more freedom to play with the design and effects. For the mobile version, we need to filter the essentials and simplify the structure, content, and call-to-action.
The e-commerce service must be able to respond to new user requests, only in this way will it be able to function at its best.
And to achieve this, web design and development play a fundamental role.
Web development tools
Google helps web developers through the Google Search Console, which provides alerts and advice on how to improve web design to ensure good rankings.
To push companies towards the Mobile-Friendly philosophy, Google has modified the Search Console panel so that it can check for errors in both the desktop version and the mobile version. Opening the tool, in fact, there are two panels: mobile and desktop.
Googlebot is the web crawler used by the homonymous search engine to scan (both for mobile and for desk) the sites present on the network. It scans thousands of websites every day by simulating the users’ journey. Furthermore, it is not limited only to reading the source code but also renders the pages and consults the CSS or style sheets.
Thanks to this change, Google has been able to optimize the search options for any device.
As demonstrated by Google Analytics, the increase in users using mobile devices and tablets is increasingly replacing the use of traditional tools.
Web development options for an e-commerce
There are several options that can be considered in web development as a solution to achieve responsive e-commerce design.
Host the mobile version in a subdomain of your site
To understand better, an example could be this: http://m.companyname.it. Unfortunately, this is not the most recommended option, as it forces us to manage two sites instead of one.
Adapt the design to both devices via web development
Use relative rather than absolute proportions for different containers, images, etc. within the source code and CSS, so that it is identified by the search engine of the device used.
We also need to adapt the HTML5 tags so that the search engine can more easily identify the different parts of the site. It is important to choose the best software development framework based on the specific needs of each project. In this way, we will use only one URL, and therefore we will manage only one site.
What are the benefits of e-commerce?
By applying the second option, that is, by adapting design and programming, several advantages are obtained, both for the user and for the main search engine:
- Simplify the actions you need to take to position e-commerce.
- Improve the usability of the site, saving a lot of work for different areas (for example SEO and Marketing ), without duplicating the time and effort.
- It is much more convenient for the search engine to index the pages of a single URL, as it does not have to go through multiple versions with the same content from a single website.
- Avoid possible penalties due to the duplication of content, maintaining greater control over the structure of the site.
The study of the behavior of Google’s algorithms (in continuous evolution) and the recommendations that the technological giant itself has launched, allow us to adapt the design to all devices through the personalized web development of pages hosting e-commerce.
This is where the variable of authority comes into play: Google now places more weight on domain and page authority when it comes to ranking, and responsive design makes it easier to achieve authority by bringing everything together on one page and not two.
Google has long since set aside the page rank of pages to give more weight to these variables of ‘domain authority and ‘page authority, which have to do with the reputation and citation of our pages by other websites.
There are several online tools and downloadable extensions for the main browsers, with which you can check the authority of the pages: SemRush is an example. Taking this variable into account, reviewing it, and improving it, is certainly very useful.
If what we are looking for in e-commerce is to obtain the greatest number of sales possible through the generation of greater organic traffic, with Inbound Marketing strategies and SEO / SEM support, we will need to adopt a mobile-friendly design that meets the priorities of Google and users.
The web development must go hand in hand with the design, they must complement each other to avoid being penalized with a consequent loss of placement and removal of potential customers.