Don’t Let Mobile Get You Penalised

Google has recently started testing search results for mobile-friendliness. Results from pages that load and work well on smartphones will now feature the words “mobile-friendly” in front of the summary on the search engine results page.

This is good news for those of you who have already created responsive website designs for mobile.

However this is bad news for companies who have not yet made that leap. This is because Google has indicated that mobile-friendly design will now influence search rankings with sites that provide bad mobile experiences standing to be penalised.

Key Indicators To Determine if a Site is Mobile-Friendly

Mobile-friendliness depends on four key factors. According to Google a site is deemed to be mobile-friendly if it:

  1. Doesn’t use flash or other software that doesn’t work well on mobile devices
  2. Features readable text that doesn’t need users to zoom in
  3. Sizes content to the size of the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally
  4. Links are sufficiently spaced apart for easy tapping

My Top Tips for Delivering a Great Mobile Experience

Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness is very easy to meet, however just because your site can be viewed on a mobile device doesn’t mean it is truly optimised for mobile or likely to boost revenue. In addition to the points above, here are some other factors you need to think about:

Make it fast

Mobile web is far slower than using the internet on your computer so avoid using too many heavy media files e.g. video.If using images remember to crop, resize, and adjust for best resolution and aspect ratios for mobiles.

This will save your slow loading times and stop them from navigating away due to a slow browsing experience.

Make your contact information easily accessible

People search the web while out and about and making crucial purchasing decisions. Often mobile users are looking for store hours, nearest locations, phone numbers etc. So be sure to make it easy for them to find what they want.

Limit your use of Javascript

Javascript works differently across devices and platforms, and as such can be a pain for mobile devices. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use it, but just be clever about how you use it, and keep in mind that it could affect your mobile site’s performance.

Test your site on multiple devices

Test your site on different devices and different operating systems e.g. Android, iPhone etc.

There are some great online tools available that help test usability.

How can you get the “mobile-friendly” badge?

Of course the ultimate test your site needs to pass is Google’s. Check your pages with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

Yes this is another hoop to jump through but it is well worth it, as having a mobile-friendly label in the search results will instil confidence in your brand, lead to higher click-throughs, conversions, and higher search ranking.

The time is now to make this change.


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