Is having a mobile friendly website important in 2019?

Is having a mobile friendly website important?

4-5 MIN READ.

Is my website mobile friendly and if not how to make my website mobile friendly?

Mobile devices have come a long way since we played snake on our Nokia 3310’s “back in the day”. They’re now defining how we use the internet and even how we live our lives. Since mobile internet browsing has become a “thing”, developers and business owners have tried to adapt their websites to deliver mobile friendly content to their audiences changing browsing habits. Now you might think “Is my website mobile friendly?” We have written a guide for you on what mobile friendly actually means and how to make your website mobile friendly.

Sections;

What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

According to Google to be mobile friendly, your site must;

  • Not use software that isn’t normally installed on mobile devices.
  • Display text that is readable on a mobile screen without using zoom.
  • Automatically adjust content to smaller screens without requiring the user to zoom or rotate their screen.
  • Space links apart so that they are easily clickable.

How Do I Know If My Website Is Mobile Friendly?!

It isn’t always easy to spot if your website is completely mobile friendly, thankfully here’s a <a href=”https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly” rel=”nofollow”>link</a> (I think make it a link that you need to sign up to our blog) to Google’s tool that will tell you. Simply follow the link, enter the url of your website and wait for Google’s mobile friendly analysis.

Why Cater For Mobile Users in the UK?

It’s always a good idea to create content around your audience. You then need to deliver your content in a way that is easily digestible for the user. Since “Mobilegeddon” and “Mobile First Indexing”, choosing to not cater for a mobile audience in 2019 is a bit like writing your content in a foreign language.

what was mobilegeddon?

Mobilegeddon? What was “Mobilegeddon”?

Mobilegeddon was the name given to the mass panic of web designers, developers and marketers in reaction to a new Google algorithm in 2015. The new algorithm took mobile friendliness into account when ranking search results. This would have a positive influence on your ranking for having a mobile friendly site. However, for failing to deliver a mobile friendly experience your site would be penalised in the search rankings.

Interestingly, many businesses didn’t take this on board straight away and a US e-marketing company reported clients not opting for a mobile friendly site losing over 50% of their organic traffic in the wake of Mobilegeddon!*1

Mobile First Indexing

Indexing is how search engines organise and deliver your pages in their search results. The trend for mobile searches has rapidly increased in recent years and in 2017, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time. In recognition of this, Google changed its policy in 2018 to index sites based on their mobile version, instead of their desktop version.

chart of mobile searches in 2018
Credit: Statista.com

Is Being Mobile Friendly Relevant For My Website?

Mobile friendliness has a huge influence on how your website is found online. Having a mobile friendly website is vital to your business succeeding online; it will help you get more traffic, more leads and more sales.

How Do I Make My Website Mobile Friendly?

There are so many platforms, languages and content management systems when it comes to websites that it is almost impossible to give a definitive answer. If you want to adapt a current website you will almost certainly need some technical knowledge and web development experience.

To be mobile friendly you either need to have a responsive website or deliver separate mobile web pages formatted for a smaller screen. You may have heard of AMP or “Accelerated Mobile Pages” and while these lightweight pages are delivered to mobile devices very quickly; these AMPs still need to be made responsive to be mobile friendly. We’ll talk more about AMP in future posts.

responsive web design
An example of our website that responds to the device’s screen size.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive websites recognise the size of the screen and adapt accordingly using “media queries”. Media queries determine how content, images etc. are displayed according to the screen size. If you turn your screen 90 degrees on a mobile device or reduce the window size on your desktop, you will see this in action. Images should fit to the screen width, lengthy menus condense and columned content appear above/below making it all readable and intractable on a smaller screen.

Separate Pages

By utilising “User-Agent Detection” you can direct mobile traffic to a completely different website. Most big web applications such as Facebook and YouTube use this method (you’ll often see “m.” prior to the domain name in these cases). As a site like this is completely separate, it is infinitely configurable for mobile devices. You can include additional/exclude original content, change the look and feel etc. without touching your desktop site. The disadvantage of this is that increased maintenance is required. You have to manage two different sites so repairing and updating become twice as time consuming and much more challenging.

What’s The Solution?

If your website is theme-based on a platform like WordPress, you can most likely buy a new responsive theme, “re-jiggle” your content and hey presto, job done! If this isn’t the case it is most likely you will need to pay a developer make it responsive or move to theme-based website to help protect you from future changes in audience behaviour. We would advise against creating a separate mobile website unless you have an in-house web developer or department as the ongoing costs you’re committing yourselves to can be eye-watering for most small to medium enterprises.

thanks for reading

Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve found the information in this post useful.

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References;

*1-https://www.bluecorona.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Blue-Corona-Case-Study-Why-Go-Mobile-Friendly.pdf

*2-https://www.statista.com/statistics/241462/global-mobile-phone-website-traffic-share/

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