Making Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly (and Why!)
In early 2015, Google released a massive algorithm update that put mobile responsive websites in a very favorable light. Google, understanding that mobile is the future, wanted to reward responsive websites and penalize those that were not structured to benefit those using mobile devices.
In 2017, approximately 75% of Google searches occurred on mobile devices. For those who don’t have a mobile-optimized website that is a tremendous amount of potentially lost business. The reason that this is potentially lost business is because people who view non-responsive websites on mobile devices simply aren’t willing to pinch and zoom, and scroll, and fight to get the information that they need. They will simply move on to your competitor.
Another aspect of the Google algorithm update was that websites that are not mobile responsive will not receive preferential rankings through search queries. Having a website that is not mobile responsive will negatively impact your rankings on Google.
So what does all this mean? It means that if you don’t have a mobile responsive website, your rankings will suffer, and even if people do go to your website, they will likely move on because they can’t read anything.
Obviously, this is a pretty big deal! So what do we do?
First Things First. Check Your Current Site.
Google has been good enough to provide a mobile responsive website checker. You simply put in your website URL, and it will tell you whether or not your website is mobile responsive. This is the first thing you should do in order to find out whether or not you need to take action.
Time for a New Website
The hard reality is that if you don’t have a mobile responsive website in this day and age, it’s going to negatively impact your business and sales. If you feel that it’s not necessary, great, go ahead and skip the rest of this article. However, if you are interested in high rankings and high conversion on your website then it may be time to invest in a new website.
The average shelf life of a website is about 5 years. Websites are a lot like automobiles. You buy a new one, you tend to it and treat it well as the years go by, tuning it up, replacing parts, etc. But eventually, you need to replace it.
It is precisely the same with the website. The reason for this is the simple fact that technology moves forward and websites design elements also change as time passes so you want your website to look fresh and current.
Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Website
There are many benefits to having a mobile-friendly website. As mentioned above, it can positively impact your Google rankings which strengthens your SEO strategy. It is also far more user-friendly and creates a better user experience for your prospective clients than a non-mobile friendly website. Both of these lead to higher traffic, and better conversion. That means more customers!
Mobile friendly websites are also much easier to navigate. Menus are designed specifically for the devices so that it is easier to find the content that a prospective customer is looking for. Another advantage is speed. Mobile websites load faster on mobile devices. The design tends to be more streamlined which leads to a speedier user experience.
What is “Responsive”?
The term “responsive”, when applied to a website, means that the design of the website is such that it will respond to any screen size that the user opts for in a natural way. If a potential customer is looking at your website on their iPad at night and they decide that they’ll look again in the morning on their desktop computer, the website morphs and responds to the different screen sizes perfectly.
Elements of a Mobile Friendly Website
What are the different elements of a mobile-friendly website? There are some key components that need to be integrated into the site in order to make it responsive. These are the major players.
1. Optimized Images
Images that are being used on the website need to be optimized to fit the responsive design and to be compressed so that they load as quickly as possible. This is good practice in any website design but is an absolute must when it comes to effective responsive-design.
2. Streamlined content
Due to the smaller screens that people will be viewing your website on, we do not want the website to be overloaded with written copy. Use brevity when creating the copy for your website, and break it up into paragraphs bullet points and lists. This makes the contents easier for the user to digest when using a mobile device.
3. Hamburger Navigation
“Hamburger” is the nickname given to the drop-down style of navigation that you see on mobile responsive websites. It is called this because of the three stacked lines indicating the menu. This makes navigation through the menu much easier than the traditional bar menu across the header.
4. Typography Selection/Implementation
The type of font, as well as the size of the font, needs to be appropriate for a responsive design. Once again, if it’s at all laborious to read, your prospects will simply go away. While it may seem like a trivial thing, it really isn’t and adds a tremendous amount to a positive user experience for your prospective clients.
A mobile responsive website in the current climate is no longer a luxury. It’s an absolute must. Not having a mobile responsive website will directly and negatively impact your traffic, conversion, and sales.
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