Balance between web design and development: the success of e-commerce
In 2018, when Google finally decided to use the Mobile First Index after a year and a half of testing, it meant a true revolution for companies. From this moment on, Google was going to base its search results solely on the information it found on the mobile versions of websites. This new indexing method meant companies had to remodel the design and development of their web portals to adapt to not only the algorithm change from Google, but also to the new consumption habits of users.
According to a study from IAB Spain, almost 70% of the time we spend on the Internet is on mobile devices; 2 out of every 3 minutes we spend on the internet we are using our phones, instead of a computer or tablet. The trend is unstoppable and online commerce must think about the design and development of e-commerce on mobile screens from the beginning.
Here’s some advice for beginning the transformation:
Web development and programming: adapt your responsive webpage
Use mobile patterns: You have to keep in mind the size of the screen and use a mobile pattern so the page is not overloaded. It’s a way of also checking the legibility of the content in all formats.
Calculate the page’s loading time: When transforming a responsive webpage, there are determined elements that can slow the page’s loading on mobile devices, depending on the way it’s written. You have to optimize it so it doesn’t slow the loading with unnecessary resources.
Simplify: The desktop version of a webpage gives us much more liberty to play with the design and effects. For the mobile version, we must filter the necessary and strengthen the clarity in the structure, content, and pleas to the consumer.
Email service/e-commerce needs to respond to the new consumption demands of the user to keep being effective, and here’s where web design and development play such an important role.
Tools for web development
Google helps web developers through the Google Search Console tool, from which it filters warnings and advice about how to improve the web design in a way that guarantees a good positioning. To push businesses to the Mobile Friendly philosophy, Google has modified the Search Console panel so that it can control the errors from both the site and the mobile version. If you open the tool, you will find two windows in the control panel: mobile and desktop.
Googlebot, the search robot that the search engine uses, has received the relevant changes in its algorithm to see websites as any device, so it not only reads the source code, but also renders the pages and queries the style sheets (CSS).
With this modification, Google's intention is to optimize search options from any device, as it has been proven with Google Analytics and other tools that, increasingly, the increase of users with mobile devices and tablets has displaced those with traditional resolutions.
Web development options for e-commerce
There are various options that can be used in web development as a solution to get a responsive e-commerce design. These would be the two main options:
Host the version for these type of devices on a subdomain
To understand it better, an example would be this: www.companyname.com. This is not the recommended option, given that it makes us manage two sites instead of one.
Through web development, adapt the design to both devices
This means placing relative rather than absolute proportions on the sizes of different containers, images, etc. within the source code and CSS, as identified by the browser from the device being used. This is in addition to adapting the HTML5 tags so that the browser can identify the different parts of the site with more ease. It’s important to choose the best development framework according to the concrete needs of each project. In this way, we only use one URL and, therefore, will only have to manage one site.
What advantages do we get from e-commerce?
When it comes to applying the second option of web design and programming, there are advantages, both for the user and the main search engine:
Simplifying the actions that you must do for the positioning of e-commerce
Improve the usability of the web, and save in various departments (SEO, marketing), duplicating the time and efforts needed to complete the actions.
For the search engine, it’s much easier to index the pages with one URL, as it doesn’t have to pass through various versions with the same content from one site.
Avoid possible penalizations for content duplication and have a better control of the site structure.
The study of Google algorithm behavior (which is constantly changing, on the other hand) and the recommendations that the technological giant has launched direct us towards the option of adapting the design for all devices through web development, with custom websites that host the e-commerce sites.
Here, the authority variability comes into play: Google now puts more weight on the authority of the domain and the page when it comes to positioning, and a responsive design facilitates the achievement of authority by bringing together all citations and external links on one page and not on two.
Some time ago, Google put page ranking aside to put more weight on variables like ‘dominion authority’ and ‘page authority’, which are connected to the reputation and citing of other pages on ours. There are different online tools and downloadable extensions for the main navigators with which you can consult the authority of your pages: SemRush is an example. Keeping this variable in mind, reviewing it, and also improving it will be useful for your e-commerce.
If what we are looking for in e-commerce is getting the highest possible number of sales through generating more organic traffic with strategies of Inbound Marketing and SEO/SEM support, adopting a mobile friendly design that responds to the priorities of both Google and the users is just as important as the rest of the tasks. Web development must go hand-in-hand with design and complement it to avoid penalization, whose result will be a loss of positioning that pushes us away from possible clients that would be interested in our product if they had found us. And we can’t let even a single opportunity escape.
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