Why you need a mobile-friendly website
On April 21, Google updated their search algorithm. They started pushing mobile-friendly websites up in the rankings. And they started penalizing sites that did not adapt to mobile devices.
This much is clear: being mobile friendly is a critical aspect of online businesses now.
What makes a site mobile-friendly?
Mobile-friendly design is also known as responsive design. It means that a website will offer visitors an experience tailored to their device, whether it be a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Desktops and laptops get the full experience with large images and multiple content areas. Tablets and smartphones have smaller images and larger text while links and buttons are optimized for touch.
How to make your website mobile friendly
To ensure that your website or blog will not get penalized, you need to make it mobile-friendly. Here’s how to ensure your website meets Google’s new standards.
Is your site mobile-friendly? Check to see if it meets Google’s standards
Check for free with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Enter your website address and click Analyze. If it passes you’ll immediately see “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”
And you’ll be good to go.
But if you website does not pass, you’ll get a Not mobile-friendly message like this:
Google will tell you why your site is not mobile-friendly, with reasons like:
- Text too small to read
- Mobile viewport not set
- Links too close together
- Content wider than screen
If your result only has one suggestion you or your developer can take care of it easily. If you there are more than 2 things to fix, try one of the following solutions:
Solution #1: Install a mobile plug-in for your website
Plugins are a viable short-term solution, especially if your site uses WordPress. But there are 2 major drawbacks:
- You have minimal control over the plugin
- The mobile-friendly version may look bland and generic
Using a plugin is a great short-term solution to avoid Google’s penalties. But having a mobile site that looks different from your desktop site may be jarring for customers.
A proper long-terms solution will require more time and effort with a new responsive design.
Solution #2: Switch to a responsive design
Both WordPress and Drupal offer a wide variety of responsive themes. There are both free and paid options available. This approach works well if you have a simple site without a lot of custom content. Sites like business blogs and brochure sites are ideal for this.
If you have more complex needs you may want to hire a designer to redesign your site from scratch. This costs more than using or buying a template but it is a long-term investment in your business.
Is your website mobile-friendly? Let me know in the comments.
I’ve made sure that all my websites have been mobile-friendly since 2010. How about you?