How to make sure your website meets google’s new definition of ‘mobile-friendly’

Google recently announced that they will be releasing a mobile ranking algorithm. The update, due to come into effect on the 21st April, means that websites verified by Google as mobile-friendly will be given a higher ranking within mobile search results.

With around 50% of all Google searches originating from a mobile device, this change will have a significant impact on the rankings of websites classed by Google as ‘non mobile-friendly’ and will most likely result in a reduction in visitors.

So, what can you do to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and therefore higher ranked once the new algorithm kicks in?

Check if your site is mobile-friendly

Google has provided a clear pass/fail Mobile-Friendly Test

The algorithm will be applied to every page individually, as opposed to an entire site, so you should test multiple pages. It’s possible for your home page to pass the test and your product pages to fail, for example.

Google has control over which sites ‘pass’ and are seen as mobile-friendly, and which sites fail. So, regardless of what measures you have put in place, this is where you need to get a pass.

Making your site more mobile-friendly

There are a number of things you to can do to help make your site more mobile friendly and give yourself a greater chance of obtaining the mobile-friendly ‘label’.

It all depends on what the Googlebot detects when it’s trawling your site. This is what is looking for:

  • No use of software that is not common on mobile devices e.g Adobe Flash
  • Text that is readable without zooming
  • A site that sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • A site that places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

If my site fails, what can I do?

  • Analyse how many pages are failing the test
  • Investigate the reasons why your site is not passing (see above and Google’s page looking at most common mistakes)
  • Work with third party software to make the site mobile-friendly
  • Work with an agency or developer to make the site mobile-friendly.

If there is a significant issue with your site and there is not enough time to create a fully functional mobile-friendly version, then you may want to consider the option of making key pages conform. This isn’t ideal, as it would create an odd user experience because there would be a jar between the friendly and non-friendly pages. However if you think a non mobile-friendly site would be a big risk to your business then it may be something to consider for the short term.

In summary

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors and provide a seamless experience for your users, then it’s essential to update your site so that it’s mobile-friendly.

If you have any questions surrounding mobile-friendly design, SEO or are looking to update your site design, then get in touch.

Marketing Manager, Far’n’Beyond

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