Mobile First Approach – Developing with the Future in Mind

Mobile First Approach – Developing with the Future in Mind

Mobile phones have become an important part of our everyday life.

Er, life?
They even become integral part of our bodies!

Users nowadays use their smartphones for almost anything, ranging from searching information to buying and selling products and services.

Just to set the scene, let’s bring some serious numbers in the game.

– Users choose mobile devices 60% of the time rather than desktop or laptop devices to browse the internet.

– 40% of users are likely to move on to a competitor’s website if you fail to provide a good mobile experience to the user.

– 80% of Internet users own a smartphone.

– 71% of marketers firmly believe that mobile marketing is the next big thing for their business.

– Over 53% users abandon webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

– Mobile searches often lead to purchases. 70% of the time, users searching for products or services make a move within an hour.

Developer’s Point of View

Among the leading UX designers to raise awareness on Mobile First approach, Jon Fox says that the next generation of users is upon us. “Their context is touch, mobility and speed. Reaching them requires intuitive design. For better or for worse, they are mobile first.”

The increased usage of mobile phones needs a fresh approach, one will cater to the increasing number of smartphones. To provide greater user experience and well developed applications, developers are now shifting towards creating mobile applications first and then modifying them for other platforms.

Development Approaches

There are two techniques for mobile web development: Graceful Degradation and Progressive Enhancement. Both offer their own unique advantages, with implementation dependent upon the judgment of developers.

Graceful Degradation

In graceful degradation, development is prioritized for desktop rather than mobile. After the website is completed, it is scaled down to suit mobile versions.

While it may cater well to desktop versions, the transition to mobile platforms often ends up in loss of content and removal of features which would otherwise be essential. This causes issues for mobile users since their access to content is limited, which negatively affects their user experience.

Progressive Enhancement

As a result of majority of users surfing the net using smartphones, a new approach is being implemented called progressive enhancement. Web page is built for mobile from the start , and after its completion, it is further developed to suit desktop and other platform variants.

Since most users use smartphones for web surfing, it is appropriate to create webpages keeping in mind that you should provide thebest possible user experience. Through progressive enhancement, a webpage can’t only be built to suit mobile standards but can be upgraded easily to suit other platforms as well.

Going Mobile First the Right Way

Developing with a mobile first approach requires careful consideration of the following elements:

1. Make a list of the modules and individual features which will be a part of the mobile design. Arrange them accordingly, placing critical features under high priority and those of lesser functionality under lower priority.

2. Instead of developing the entire mobile UI in one go, develop separate features and then integrate them to create a larger module. This way, each part can be modified and chances of entire UI failing is very low. Moreover, the approach permits rapid development and is easy to implement.

3. Remember hardware and software constraints. Choose graphics which can easily be processed by mobile devices and design the UI while keeping in mind viewport size.

4. Dedicate a larger space for items which require touch, since fingers occupy more pixels as compared to cursors. Items such as drop down menus, buttons and links need to be modified to suit mobile UI.

5. Hover effects are unsuitable for mobile UI because no such feature has been created for finger touch.

6. Subject your application to testing on device during all phases of development. It yields actual results of behavior for the platform you are developing it for, which allows error identification and modifications.

Limitations of Mobile First Designing

While mobile first designing offers significantly better user experience and functionality for mobile platforms, it does have its limitations.

– Hardware and Software constraints.

– Smaller viewport size, meaning lesser data can be shown at a time. Requires data to be modified to be displayed suitably.

– Greater technical skillset required.

– Processing power of device needs to be considered.

– Building mobile UI cuts out development of certain features, whose addition proves troublesome during later stages when migrating platform to other devices.

Google and Mobile First – What will Change?

Being the largest search engine on the internet, Google is arguably the deciding factor in many things, including mobile application and website rankings. With the recent news that it will develop a separate mobile first index, it is obvious that Google has recognized the significance of catering to mobile platforms separately.

Although both mobile and desktop webpages will be analyzed, having a mobile website isn’t all so necessary. Google will check both pages and compare the content on them. If there is less on mobile version, it will definitely affect its rankings. To counter this, mobile first and responsive web designing is the best option because it allows creation of a webpage for both platforms and also adapts well to all mobile versions. 

With the changes on our doorstep, the following things need to be considered.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) will also be considered similar to mobile pages and ranked accordingly.

2. Mobile optimized webpages will be ranked first, even if they are slightly outdated with regards to development technology.


3. The new algorithmswill display Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) based on mobile page results. This means it will determine the rankings based primarily on mobile pages.

Future Proofing with Mobile First Development

While desktops and other platforms will remain indispensable, general purpose and web surfing has taken a turn for mobile platforms due to their portability and ease of use. With that in mind, development has shifted towards mobile and even Google has changed to accommodate these developments. With the number of mobile users growing daily and development progressing at a striking pace, it is only natural to assume that mobile first development has a bright future.

Asad  has been working as a digital marketing executive for almost 7 years now. He is currently working as leading executive in GO-Gulf – a Dubai based custom website company where he is working on numerous projects for search engine optimization, conversion boosting and targeting relevant audience for the clients. You can reach him on Linkedin.


11 Result Driven Tips for Outreach Link building

Search engines are refining user experience by setting quality standards for link building. It is the driving force that’s making digital marketers and consultants follow the recommended practices and play a supportive role in making the search engine algorithm understand the web pages rather than manipulating them.

Outreaching for link building has to be done effectively to brew desirable results from a campaign. One of the core secrets in outreaching is the customization of each email message according to the nature, topic, and authority of a website.

For every marketer, it is mandatory to be competitive in email correspondence as they are competing in the SERPs. You need to make them open and read the emails, the same way you are pursuing higher click through rate and visitors from search engines. In addition to the writing skills, there are several other aspects you need to know for outreach campaigns, which are discussed as below.

1. Search for relevant blogs and websites

Link building is performed to let the users and search engines find new web pages. It helps the users to navigate through websites, which means relevancy is a must. For example, if you are running an online bookshop, you need to aim for back links from academic institutes. Not fashion and beauty websites, for sure.

Search for business and blogs that talk about something similar to your core products or services. The second most important factor to consider while reaching out relevant websites is about the uniqueness and usefulness of your ideas. How your ideas can add value to their websites? You will have to brainstorm ideas according to their topic, categories, and their readers’ interest. Every website has a set of rules and guidelines, and they do not accept content that is irrelevant to their business or audience.

2. Try custom searches to know more about a website

A highly saturated niche or the market has often covered a lot about those topics and products you have just started. So, you will have to come up with something new. It happens most of the times that you outreach for a guest post idea, but the website rejects by saying that we have already published ideas similar to yours.

To save your time, search a topic or title within a website to know either it is already covered or not. if covered and you still insist to write about it, evaluate how you can refine it to contribute a better piece of writing.

For example, you intend to reach with the topic of marketing tips, you can narrow down the search by typing marketing tips in Google. The results will reveal either to proceed with the idea or not.

3. Review the websites before you reach out

The high authority websites have developed a tone and a content structure. You need to review how they are interacting with their audience through their blog and how you can add value with your contribution. You need to have a look at the categories and topics they discuss.

A quick overview can reveal you the way to convince them about your ideas. You can also match your expertise and available resources to provide them quality content according to their expectations. Most of the guest postings websites greatly rely on rich visual content. Check it you can supply featured images and copyright free visuals to glorify the posts.

4. Write a catchy email subject

Write an appealing email subject that clearly indicates your purpose of outreach. Be different than the routine subject lines to look genuine and not like just yet another spammer or your like a lawyer of your insanely wealthy late cousin from Nigeria you knew nothing about. Remember, the high authority websites of any niche are received hundreds of such emails daily. If you are not adding value to your mail subject, you are simply reducing open rate of your campaign.

5. Customize every outreach email

A single email format, with general content, is recognized as a spam because the readers do not find anything specific to their website. And, they receive so. much. of. those every day, with exactly the same top-shop vibe, saying the same thing. Therefore, trashing your email or marking it as a spam will be an instant decision for your readers and mail recipients.

To stand out from the rest of the bulk emails, you need to customize, optimize add value to the content of the subject and the body of your email. Let them know about the quality of content of their own website and what compelled you to write them and wanting to contribute as well.  

The blogger’s community is open to support, motivate and appreciate quality work of fellow bloggers. Moreover, they like to have a critical analysis of their content and not merely appreciation remarks. So, you can either add a point to their recent post in the comments section or discuss the same in email. It is quite helpful in making them believe in you.

6. Justify your originality

Fact: You are not the only one who’s outreaching people for guest blogging. There is literally a mountain of people doing the same, and all of them are in an inbox fighting with you in the inboxes at this very moment. They have a set pattern with a content sample to reach every website alike, which do not work at all. To have your say, start by greeting an editor or staff member, and mention anything about their work, product or blog. They will come to know that you have really gone through their website.

Additionally, you need to include any of these factors in your outreach email:

– Talk about their recent or most visited post

– Polish your email signature with name, role or profession, you can even add a suitable photo of you or photo gif for an extra cool impression

– Use professional email address (e.g. [email protected]). Please do.

7. Set up Google alerts

Google alerts is an amazing tool to know what’s going on, what ‘s trending in your business. It requires you to create simple alerts for your business keywords, products, blogging niche, or industry. And, Google will let you know when something relevant to them emerges.

8. Engage social followers

Social media is an impressive medium for link building outreach. The followers who frequently share, comment, retweet or pin your content can easily be retargeted for an enhanced back linking. The selection of a social media website depends on the nature of your business.

For example, Pinterest is highly popular among the fashionistas, designer, jewelry makers, art and craft, and handmade projects. Be sure, you are on the right platform and engaging the right form of audience. the benefit of using a social network that owns followers of your interest, you can further engage them by offering guest blogging, reviews, infographics, etc.

9. Mention links to your featured work

Every website needs to tie up with a credible website. Mention the links of your previously featured work to let them know the credibility of your profile and business. Make sure the links you share are working and not broken because webmasters do cross check the links. It not only a formality to include previous links but to give an idea that you have built a portfolio that is worth reading.  

10. Use a customizable email template

Using a template is recommended for achieving consistency throughout the communication. The established brands are habitual to endorse their logos, slogans or social values of each and every document that belongs to their company. A template gives them an opportunity to configure a standard email structure and customize the content each time reaching out to influencers.

11. Always proofread your emails

The editors do not tolerate spelling and grammar mistakes in formal communication. It signifies the writing skills of the person sending out emails, which may have sort of a negative impression of the outreach. The editor may consider it as an evaluation either to approve your idea or not. So, make sure to edit and proofread every single email before hitting that send button.
Tip: And even if you accidentally tap Send, use Gmail feature to undo mail sending in the next 30 seconds.

So, this would be it. For now.

The outreach backlinking needs strong nerves to know how to interact with different webmasters, the way they react, and how to reply them according to the situation. It requires determination to convince the publishing and editing staff to give you a chance to show your expertise and get a link back to your website. In light of the above tips, you can craft an impressive outreach campaign and take it a success.

Paul Simons is a well-versed digital marketing consultant who likes to share his expertise by writing informative posts. With 7+ years of experience, he is helping business to improve user experience and conversion rate. Currently, he is serving FMEAddons that specializes in custom WooCommerce plugin development services. Among the numerous successful projects, WooCommerce CSV Export plugin is worth mentioning here.

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