Back in April, Google rolled out its latest search algorithm change. This new algorithm penalised rankings for websites that were not mobile friendly. It took the web by surprise and many businesses saw their rankings drop suddenly on mobile devices. It was termed ‘Mobilegeddon’ which is a portmanteau of “mobile” and “Armageddon”; the bringer of the end of non-mobile friendly website rankings.
A site can be classified mobile-friendly if its content displays well on handheld devices. By introducing it as a priority in search engine rankings, Google adapts to the latest trend among user browsing habits. According to Google, nowadays more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.
The smart way to design your website
Being mobile responsive and friendly is not only important because of good search engine rankings, it also brings more visitors to your site, which will result in an increase in conversion rates and revenue. It improves user-experience too!
When planning your website, always keep in mind that prioritising content and focusing on the core functionality will result in a better UX (user-experience) for both mobile and desktop versions. With Google’s latest search algorithm update, there’s a strong incentive for you to improve user-experience on the web.
Test your sites
To get the perfect UX, you will first need to test the mobile-friendliness of your sites. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is the perfect tool to analyse your website and provide feedback. Just visit www.google.com.au/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ to test your site.
Mobile Friendly site:
Non Mobile Friendly site:
There’s also Google’s Mobile Usability Report which provides you with a more detailed analysis of your site for any mobile usability errors. You will need a Google Webmasters account to use this tool.
Tips for a mobile friendly website
1. Make your site responsive
The best way to have a mobile-friendly site is to make your website responsive. Many content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla all have responsive themes and site templates ready to go. You also have the option to use Bootstrap and integrate its libraries into your own websites.
Responsive websites dynamically adapt the site to suit different viewports on devices from mobile phones to desktop monitors. All it does is add styling rules to the webpage using CSS to determine the appropriate layout that changes according to the size of the screen and the orientation of the device.
2. Use a secondary mobile site or theme
Sometimes it’s not viable to resize your site if it has too much information displayed. To tackle this problem, using a secondary mobile-only site or theme can help. This is the alternative to responsive design with your website having two versions: one for desktop and one for mobile. You will also require two URLs: www.example.com for desktop and m.example.com for mobiles.
Most content management systems have plugins or extensions that automatically detect if the user is browsing from a mobile device and loads the secondary mobile site or theme.
3. Make your Android app indexable
If your website has a separate mobile app, you can make that app indexable on the Android platform. When a user enters a search query into the Google search bar, the search results will also return contents from your app.
To use this feature, you will need to add support for App Indexing into your app. Doing this will also help improve your site’s mobile search engine ranking. If you don’t have an Android app already for your business, it may be worthwhile to consider creating one in the near future.
4. Know how to design for mobile
People interact with your website differently on mobile. Most people usually have less time, and on smaller screens it’s harder to browse through the content. Because of this, choosing the right typography and spacing is important.
Keep in mind when you create content for your website to create shorter headlines, paragraphs and use more sub-headings. Also include extra spacing between links so that users can easily tap on them.
Lastly, it’s really important to use legible fonts on your site. By keeping the typeface simple you’ll help users to read your content on small screen devices. Font size also needs to be taken into consideration. The general rule of thumb is to use 30-40 characters per line on mobile.
All websites that Fireworks build are mobile responsive and pass the Google Mobile friendly test. Our testing processes are very thorough, as all new websites are tested in all modern browsers and on all of the latest devices to make sure they look amazing and work perfectly.
To get a quote or to talk to someone about upgrading your website, give Fireworks a call today on 1300 660 160.