How to make Your Website Mobile Friendly

How to Make Your Website Mobile FriendlyGoogle has announced that on 21st April 2015, they will expand the use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal for websites on mobile devices.

If your website is not mobile friendly on this date, your rankings in Google searches on mobile devices will fall, and you will lose organic traffic.  If a large % of you website traffic is from mobile devices, the impact could be disastrous to your business.

I’m going to explain all you need to know about the mobile update, how to find out if your website is mobile friendly and if it isn’t, what you can do about it.

What You Need to Know About the Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update

Here are the key things you need to know about the Mobile Friendliness update.

Your Website is either Mobile-Friendly or it is not.

There is no middle ground. If your website is not mobile friendly, it will lose mobile rankings.  Also,  mobile friendliness is assessed on a page by page basis.  If your website receives traffic on many pages then you need to make sure all of them are mobile-friendly.

M.dot Sites need special care

If you currently have a dedicated mobile site built on a subdomain like m.yourwebsite.com you are not out of the woods yet as there are potential problems that can occur with these sites.

If you have a site like this it’s worth reviewing page 10 of  Google’s Building Websites for the Multi-Screen Consumer to make sure you’ve covered all the potential issues.

There are Mobile -Friendly tests you can perform to see if your site is mobile-friendly

There are several tests you can perform to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

#1 Search for your website on a mobile device

The first test is to search for your website on a mobile device. If there is a Mobile Friendly tag next to your site, you’ve passed. mobile-friiendly-tag

 

#2 Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Simply go tohttps://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and enter the URL of your website. Mobile-Friendly_Test

 

If it says you are mobile friendly, you are good to go.  Just remember that the test can only analyse one page at a time.  You need to enter and test other pages on your site if that’s important.

To make things just a little bit more complicated be aware that the mobile-friendly testing tool is not infallible.  Alan Bleiweiss, a well known SEO has found that there can be some discrepancies between the various tools that report on mobile friendliness and usability beingGoogles Page Speed Insights Tool, and the Mobile Usability Report from Google webmaster Tools.  You can read more about these issues here.

How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Google has created a fantastic resource to help you make your website mobile friendly which you should read in detail.

They have provided a comprehensive list of guides for the various website platforms including:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla!
  • Drupal
  • Blogger
  • vBulletin
  • Tumblr
  • DataLife Engine
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Bitrix
  • Google Sites

Google recommends the following three ways to make your website mobile-friendly.  You can read more about these three ways here.

  1.  Install a Responsive Website Theme or Template on your Website:  A website theme or template controls the visual elements of your website. The look and feel.  Most,  if not all of the themes that get produced today are responsive.  Being “responsive”  simply means that the website design responds to the needs of the users and the devices they are using.  The layout of the site changes based on the needs of the users and the devices they are using.  This is the recommended and easiest approach. Read More here>>responsive-design
  2. Dynamic Serving or Install a Mobile Friendly Theme just for Mobile Visitors:  This can be used where you are not in a position to change your website design.  Instead, you can create a mobile version of your website for mobile visitors.  Google calls this approach dynamic serving. It means that the URL’s of the pages on your site  are the same on both desktop and mobile versions. Just the HTML which controls the look and feel, changes.  An example of this is Wptouch.com, which is a  is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create a mobile version of your site for mobile visitors. Read More here>> dynamic-serving
  3. M.Dot Sites or Serve the mobile site at Different URL’s: Under this approach, each desktop URL has an equivalent different URL serving mobile optimised content.  You often see this when the mobile website sits on a subdomain such as m.yourdomain.com  This is the most complex configuration. It needs to be set up correctly to ensure that Google is aware of the right mobile URL versions of the different pages.  This can and often gets misconfigured resulting in poor performance in the search results. Read More here>> separate-urls

Which Option Should You Choose?

The simplest and preferred way is to upgrade your website to use a responsive template. This is the approach recommended by Google.

However,  if changing your website theme is out of the question or you’re short on time to make your site mobile friendly,  then option 2 is your best choice.  That is installing a mobile friendly theme just for mobile visitors.

The bottom line is that having a mobile-friendly site is now critical to succeeding online.

ajax-loader