5 Tips to make your site Mobile Friendly

‘Mobilegeddon’ was major Google Algorithm change on the 21st April 2015. After that date , Google will highlight mobile friendly sites in their algorithm, to the detriment of non-mobile friendly websites.

If your site is mobile friendly then please move along. If you’re concerned about mobile friendliness then read on…

How does Google define Mobile Friendly?

Mobile friendly isn’t just about being responsive. It also covers the speed of site loading, the viewport (i.e what is the page focus on a smaller screen), the spacing of links and more.

You can check if a site is mobile-friendly by clicking on the link below. This will take you to Google’s official checker. Do bear in mind it will take a minute to run.

In the long run, you are going to need a mobile friendly website. With mobile Internet access starting to outstrip desktop usage your site may already deliver a bad customer experience and poorer conversions than your competitors.

How much traffic am I getting from mobile?

Before we start panicking, it will be worth checking to see how much traffic you are currently receiving on mobile devices. Google Analytics can provide an overview in their audience tab. Just select ‘devices’ to see how your site is accessed.

To identify mobile organic traffic you can add a secondary dimension to your source report splitting out mobile and desktop traffic.

What can I do to be more mobile friendly?

Here are some quick fixes that can be done without too much technical know how.. None will be the magic bullet but will get you started.

1. Make it Faster!

Assume your mobile audience has 3G at best. How long will the site take to load? Do they need so many images?

Try optimising your images to make them smaller. A tool like Image Optim could help you decrease the file size on images without losing resolution.

Hook up CloudFlare. You will need to change some DNS settings to make sure you know what you’re doing. Cloudflare is CDN – content delivery network. It can stand between your site and the visitors acting as a proxy. With this in place you can optimise elements to make them appear smaller. Effectively Cloudflareis taking your site and making a lighter version of it, then serving that to your visitors. Your site will remain the same but the experience and speed will be better.

2. Set a preferred width for your site.

This is called ‘Viewpoint’. On a desktop take your site in the browser window and resize it to the narrowest width possible. Now add this meta tag to your site’s header.

<meta name=viewport content='width=700'>

Where your width is the narrowest possible. If you don’t know how to measure the page, this page will help you measure.

3. Increase the font size

The font on this page is too small. We’re working on it so thanks for reading this far! If you are on a WordPress installation you may be able to change the font size in the appearance section.

4. Make sure addresses and phone numbers are clickable.

Remember, if someone is viewing your site on a mobile device they may be after something specific like your address or ‘phone number.Make sure your visitors can click to get what they need. Some browsers may do this automatically but it won’t harm you to add the code in. Here is the code we use on the V4 site. <a href=”tel:0208 133 7434″><i class=”icon-phone”></i>0208 133 7434</a> You can also add your address to Google Maps and copy the ‘share this link’ into your address code.

5. Cheat with a Mobile Plugin!

WordPress has a number of mobile plugins. The Wp Mobile Touch is a good place to start or the latest Jetpack plugin. Installing the plugin will essentially provide a mobile version of the site which will appear to mobile users. This won’t be the same as a bespoke mobile device but it may be a useful short-term fix. You should still check the points 1-4 to make it easier for overall mobile optimisation.

Conclusion

Depending on your business, audience and current mobile traffic this ‘mobilegeddon’ may not be the disaster some were hyping. However, it is the most important signal (and by no means the first!) that mobile first needs to be your strategy.

Developing a mobile site doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of your site but depending on its age and scale you may want to consider it.

For SEO, the ongoing algorithm changes may signal time to review your site to see how well it is performing and what areas need improvement. Our BlueJay SEO Audits can be the ideal starting point to help you understand how well your site is optimized.