Making your site mobile friendly

Remember Google’s mobile friendly algorithm update in April 2015? Labelled “mobilegeddon” in SEO circles, Google’s changes were designed to favour sites optimised for mobile devices.

Google’s reasoning is to make browsing as easy on mobile devices – such as smartphones and tablets – as it is on PCs and laptops. Websites not mobile friendly have too-small text and too-close links which lessons the user experience.

Research shows that we’re all spending increasing volumes of time on mobile platforms and it keeps rising. So, to keep your clients and prospects happy, you need a mobile friendly format.

Fair enough, but how exactly should you go about it? These 4 handy hints should do the trick…

1. Is your site responsive?
Check your web analytics (via Google Analytics – check out our article on this subject on the Infolaw website) to see what proportion of site visitors come to you via mobile as this will help determine how you might need to consider your design needs.

A responsive design will begin with your desired desktop design or layout with certain elements dropped as the screen size shrinks (for tablet then mobile).

2. Test how mobile friendly your site is currently
There are a number of free-to-use tools to test whether your site is already mobile friendly. Google’s mobile friendly test site is an obvious place to start. Go to https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze”. Results will show the points you need to address for touchscreen use.

There’s also Google’s PageSpeed Insights (visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights, type your URL in the bar and click “Analyze” again) which will calculate how quickly your pages load on mobile. Look at your “user experience” and “speed” rankings (out of 100) as well as your “Should Fix” and “Consider Fixing” lists to resolve any issues.

The speed at which your site loads is fundamental, especially on mobile. Any delay will see your browser’s patience snap and go elsewhere.

3. Find out what clients using mobile devices actually want
Next, think about what clients want when they visit your site so you know what your mobile version should look like. Check your web analytics to look at:

  • What pages are most popular?
  • What proportion of visitors use mobile devices?
  • Which pages do visitors tend to jump to from your home page?
  • What are the most-used drop-down navigations?

4. Keep your mobile design as simple as possible
Based on the above analytics, provide less text, smaller images and fewer menu options accordingly. Here’s a quick checklist:-

  • Include sufficient white space around buttons to avoid users accidentally clicking the wrong link
  • Make form-filling easy with drop-down selections and limited text entering
  • Avoid dense copy and small font size because they’re harder to read on smaller devices
  • Decide which features are a necessity and which you can lose

You’re always welcome to instruct us for guidance.

 

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