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Is My Website Mobile Friendly?

by | Jan 28, 2019

If you have a website, have you asked yourself, is my website mobile friendly? The answer to this question has a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of your website. In this article, I explain what makes a website mobile friendly and how to determine if your site is mobile friendly. I also explain why it is so important that your site is usable on mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, I also have information about how I can help you update your site so it is.

What Makes A Website Mobile Friendly

Just because a website can be displayed on a device like a smartphone or tablet, doesn’t make it ‘mobile friendly’. Most modern smartphones and devices have browsers that display standard websites just like they appear on traditional desktop displays. The issues with displaying the desktop version of a site on a mobile device are image sizes, text, and navigation.

I’m sure we’ve all gone to a website on our phones that wasn’t designed for mobile viewing and experienced how difficult it is to use. The text is too small, the pictures don’t fit right, and clicking on a link or button is an adventure. This creates a terrible experience for your visitor and is one of the main reasons mobile friendly websites are needed.

Responsive Design

What makes a website mobile friendly is responsive design. Responsive design uses coding and structure to resize, reposition, and reorganize the website’s layout based on the device’s screen size. By using responsive design techniques, website designers and developers create sites that look and perform well on all devices.

An example of responsive design is this blog post. As I write and add elements to the post, I am able to preview the post in my editor on a desktop, smartphone, and tablet. I can see how the elements shift and resize based on the screen size. Observing how the design changes based on screen size, I can make edits to text size and image size so I know the site will look right regardless of the device being used. The video below shows how responsive design works and changes layout based on screen size.

The above video shows how the layout of a website changes for different devices. This type of responsive design is key to making a website mobile friendly. When you ask the question, ‘is my website mobile friendly?’, if you have a responsive design, the answer is most likely yes. But if you didn’t design the site, how do you know your website is mobile friendly? In the next section, I show you how you can check your site to see if it is truly mobile friendly.

How To Determine If Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

Testing

To find out if your site is built for mobile viewing you can simply test the site on multiple devices. First, visit your site on a desktop to see what the normal version looks like and how it is laid out. You can also adjust the browser screen size to get a good idea if it is responsive. If you size the browser window smaller and the elements of the site move and reposition like they do in the previous example video, then the site is likely responsive.

The second part of the test is to bring the site up on your mobile device. You can use either a smartphone or a tablet, but I recommend using a smartphone since tablets can sometimes mimic desktops in how they display sites. If possible, bring the site up on your phone while viewing the site on your desktop and note any changes to the position of the elements on the site. If they change position it’s a good sign your site is responsive.

Finally, the best way to test your site for mobile friendliness is navigating your entire site with your smartphone. If the design, look, and feel of the site feels right and easy to use, then your site is most likely mobile friendly. If not, you may have a problem.

Google It!

While testing your site yourself is a great way to guage the mobile friendliness of your site, it is just the starting point. Testing the site gives you an idea if the site is responsive, but the true test for mobile usability is Google. Your site may be responsive, but it might not be truly mobile friendly if Google doesn’t say it is.

Google Search Console is the best and easiest way to test for mobile friendliness. If your site is properly set up with Analytics and Search Console you should get an email from Google if they find any issues with your site. If you get an email from Google that your site/page is not mobile friendly, they also provide information for fixing the site.

I highly recommend creating a Google account and setting up Analytics and the Search Console for your website. Both programs provide great insight into your site and how to make changes to help with both your ranking and site performance. If you are not set up, contact me and I can help you set up your accounts.

Another great feature of Search Console is the mobile usability test for a specific URL. You simply enter the URL and Google will check to see if it meets the requirements. Below is a screen shot of the results page for a URL that was submitted and passed.

As you can see, determining if your website is mobile friendly is fairly simple to do. So why is it so important that your website is mobile friendly? The next section explores that question in greater detail.

The Importance Of A Mobile Friendly Website

Hopefully, you can answer the question ‘Is my website mobile friendly?’ using the methods mentioned above. But why is a mobile friendly website so important? There are two answers to this question and both are intertwined. First, a mobile friendly website design greatly enhances the user experience. Second, Google says it’s important, so…it is!

User Experience

Have you visited a website on your smartphone and were unable to get the information you need because the website sucked? What did you do? If you’re like me, you probably got fed up with it and went back to Google to find a different site that had what you were looking for. Well, if your website isn’t built for mobile viewing, this is exactly what your visitors are doing.

There is no question about it, mobile visitors make up the majority of website traffic. There is a wealth of statistics to support this fact and the trend will continue into the future. In order to take advantage of this traffic and to survive into the future, your website must be mobile friendly.

Google Search

Closely associated with the user experience are search engine rankings. Google announced in March of 2018 they started using mobile first indexing. This means they index websites based on their mobile versions, not the desktop versions. This makes a mobile friendly website an absolute must if you want to rank anywhere in the search results.

Google recognizes the shift in how internet users are searching for and digesting information. They acknowledge this shift by emphasizing mobile usability and design. The changes in Google’s ranking algorithm and indexing to put so much importance on mobile usability reflects the shift to mobile. This makes it extremely important to have a website that is built with responsive mobile design in mind.

A website built for mobile users is extremely important. If your site isn’t designed for mobile use it is having a significant negative impact on both your users and your search engine rankings. If this describes your current website situation, I can help.

How KRB Web Services Can Help

If your website is not built for mobile use I can help you fix the problem. Sites that are not responsive usually require a redesign. Some sites might be responsive, but not compatible with Google’s mobile usability and need some tweaking. You might also want to start from scratch with a completely new website. If that’s the case, all websites I design are built to be responsive and mobile friendly.

Even if your site is mobile friendly, but you don’t have Google Analytics and Search Console set up, I can take care of that for you as well. Regardless of your situation, I can help you get the most out of your website by making sure it is mobile friendly.

Contact me if you have questions or to discuss any mobile usability issues your may have with your site or to design a new, mobile friendly website.

Is my website mobile friendly?  How to find out and discover why it is so important.

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