Google & Mobile Friendly Websites etc

There has been a lot of news recently about Google & mobile friendly websites, I’d like to spend a few minutes giving you the low down about this…

Google are now penalising websites that do not offer a positive mobile browsing experience. 

There, I’ve said it.

They are doing this because stats tell us that more & more people are browsing websites from all manner of devices; from tablets, to phones, to watches – the days of accessing the Internet solely from the desktop computer in the back bedroom are long gone.

Sadly, many websites have not adapted with the times. They are difficult to view on smaller screens. Such websites need to be updated – urgently (hint: my company can help!)

The plan of Attack

Making a website friendly to (say) mobile devices should involve three steps:

  1. Make it responsive
  2. Make it Fast
  3. Optimise the content

Make it Responsive

Responsive websites have a design which ‘flexes‘ as you move between different devices. E.g. the design looks different between desktop and mobile as it has been optimised for those differing display characteristics. This really helps.

If your website is not responsive, people have to resort to pinch and zoom on a small screen. Understandably, frustration quickly sets in.

Tip: Why not check out Google’s mobile friendly website tool

Make it Fast

However, responsiveness on its own does not heal all wounds. A website can be responsive and not be mobile friendly. How so? Imagine if the images were huge? Or the raw size of pages was simply bloated (remember that many people on smartphones are on slow, costly data plans – they won’t thank you for that needlessly ornate homepage!). Or that your $5 a monthly hosting actually turns out to be pretty poor quality (odd that).

Optimised web pages & fast hosting etc are essential. Page loading time is critical to a positive user experience.

Tip: Here is a great online tool for testing your website speed.

Optimise the Content

We’ve already mentioned in the previous point about making sure your images are optimised etc. However, it goes beyond that. We need to really whttle down the content & messaging on the website to the essentials; ask yourself, is this piece of content really adding value? If not, strip it back. Less is more. Not only will your mobile users will thank you, so will every other user.

Many businesses & organisations are now designing their websites with a mobile first mindset – if you get it right for mobile, the rest will follow.

Hope that helps you plan your tactics


Note: this blog post was originally featured on the Action Business Club website.

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