It’s a fact that most people use their phones more than their laptops or desktops. In fact, one statistic says that 58 percent of all searches are now done from mobile devices. With this in mind, we can only conclude that making your site mobile friendly is more important than optimising it for desktop searches. So how can you prepare?
Take the following six steps to make sure your website is ready to accommodate the mobile-friendliness trend.
Step #1: Know Google’s Algorithm
Stay on top of Google’s ever-changing SEO algorithm. This may be difficult as it changes all the time. In 2015, Google rolled out a mobile friendly update. What did it say? It said that mobile friendly pages would now rank higher on search engines from mobile devices. Mobile-friendly means texts that are easy to read when scrolling, that everything is readable without tapping or zooming, and that tap spaces are placed appropriately.
Step #2: Know Google’s “Mobile First” Policy
If you think your business may be immune to this change because you don’t have mobile searches, it isn’t. This is because Google now has a “Mobile-First” policy, which ranks all pages based on the mobile-version of your page. That means it is imperative that every website, whether mainly searched on a mobile or not, must be mobile friendly.
Step #3: Make Sure Your Website Complies with “Mobile First.”
The “Mobile First” policy is very particular. So, make sure your website loads quickly and loads resources across all devices; that it displays all content of your site; and that is has working internal links that properly redirect users.
Step #4: Make Sure Your Mobile Site is Configured Correctly
There are three ways to make sure your website is mobile friendly:
First: you can have different urls for your desktop site and your mobile site. One way is to have a “M.” version of your site. This, though once a big deal, is not completely necessary.
Second: “Dynamic Serving,” will configure your website in two ways: one for your desktop, and one for your mobile. Basically, a different HTML/CSS code is displayed depending on the device a person is using. Experts at Backlink.com say they feel “Dynamic Serving” is a much better approach than using an ‘M.’ address.
But perhaps the best configuration to use is “Responsive Design.” With this method, your website is automatically laid out to fit any screen dimension. It is probably the most used because it configures all your content on a single URL, there are minimal problems with SEO, it is very user friendly, and there are no redirects.
Step #5: Make Sure Your Mobile Site is Optimised
You may think that if your site is configured for mobile access it must be optimised; but that is not true. Making your mobile site fully optimised means that is it in the best condition for SEO. All of the first four steps should have helped you get the content ready. Now, you’ll want to use the Google Search Console tool to check the site’s mobile usability. The tool will let you know whether any errors were detected.
Another tool is Google’s Mobile-Friendly test. This test will give you a full report, along with additional resources like open site-wide mobile usability, and access to other mobile-friendly pages, and group discussion forums.
Step #6: Avoid the Pop-Up
Though by this step you should be good, you also may still have some features on your site for which Google’s algorithm will lower your ranking in the SERPs (search engine results page). A major offender for mobile-friendly sites are pop ups. Perhaps you are an e-commerce business or a newsletter that uses them regularly? This is acceptable for your desktop site; but make sure you don’t have them on your mobile site. They will get your site penalised.
Finally, make sure that your content is readable for mobiles. This means at least 14 point fonts, short paragraphs, line length between 50 to 60 characters, and lots of contrast between the background of your site and the text. Then be prepared as the mobile market reaches out and finds you.
Feel free to contact us, if you have any struggles or need any advice on your website and content needs — firstname.lastname@example.org.