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Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that there are currently more mobile devices in the world than there are people? According to data from GSMA Intelligence, there are over 8 billion mobile connections, which goes way over the current population.

With the number of people using mobile phones on the rise, it is more important than ever to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Given the fact that so many people are accessing the internet through mobile devices, making your website mobile-friendly will help drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.

Why is This Important?

There are a variety of reasons why making your website mobile-friendly is important, and it’s not just about SEO, but CRO too.

Firstly, Google’s algorithm update punishes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. So, not adjusting your website could hurt your rankings. Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm update, which rolled out in March this year, means that Google will start to crawl, index, and rank mobile versions of websites instead of desktop versions. This is to help Google’s primarily mobile users find what they’re looking for more easily.

The high demand for websites that are mobile-friendly is another important reason to make sure your website is suitable for mobiles. Perhaps the most important reason comes down to increasing your traffic and improving user experience. Not to mention, increased conversions.

If a mobile user was to click on your website and the images are off, navigation is tricky, and text is hard to read, they’ll take one look and turn right away. Therefore, providing them with a mobile-friendly version will reduce your bounce rate and make them more likely to convert. Surely you want to make your website as easy to use for your customers as possible?

Here are a few helpful tips and some things to think about when you decide to make your website more mobile-friendly.

Asses Where You’re at & Choose an Approach

The first thing you should do is assess where you’re at with your website and choose the best approach. You may find that your website is already mobile responsive. The easiest way to check is to simply take out your mobile and look at your website. What are the issues? Is it useable? You could even ask a friend to try and make a purchase or find some information on your website on their mobile. Was it easy for them? Doing it this way means you can get a more objective viewpoint where you can figure out what problems you need to fix.

Once you’ve determined the stage you’re at with making a mobile-friendly website, you should then choose an approach and make a plan that is right for you.

Don’t Make a Separate Mobile Site

Sometimes it may seem easier to create an entirely new mobile version of your website. But, doing it this way can create real problems when it comes to issues like duplicate content.

So, don’t be tempted to do it the simpler way, as it won’t pay off very well in the long run.

Use Responsive Design

Using responsive design is a great way to make your website suitable for many different devices. Responsive design means that your website will respond to whatever device it is being accessed from and will change its layout accordingly. For example, you can use a WordPress responsive design theme that works for all devices.

This way, you can enjoy flexible text styles, images, and website navigation. Thanks to this, the layout will be easy and simple to use, no matter what device it is being accessed from.

Responsive web design on mobile devices phone, laptop and tablet pc

 

The Viewport Meta Tag

This is where I’m going to get a little more technical. You’ve been warned.

A browser’s ‘viewport’ is basically an area of the window in which a website can be viewed. If the viewport is not the same size as the rendered page, then the browser will typically provide users with a scrollbar, so they can view all the content.

For mobiles, pages have to fit narrow screens. Without the viewport meta tag, mobiles will render pages at desktop widths and scale them to fit mobile screens. But, adding the viewport meta tag can help you to control the width and scaling of the viewport of your website. Plus, most browsers support this tag.

The tag looks something like this:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1”>

Watch Your Sizing

When you’re making a mobile-friendly site, you must always be thinking about the size of your text and images. They are often the most important part of your website, right? So, make sure your text is readable on a mobile device and your images aren’t too big or too small.

It is also important to make sure your buttons and other features are a good size. All of this will go into how easily people can use your website on their mobiles.

If your website incorporates video content, using embedded YouTube videos is a fantastic way to get around issues regarding viewing videos on a mobile.

Let People Use the Desktop Version

Even when you’ve made a beautiful mobile-friendly website that works great, it is always good to give people the option to use the desktop version. You may see this on other websites as a link that says “go to full website” or something to that effect.

Although the majority of mobile users will prefer a mobile-friendly site, you should make sure that your users still have the choice, for whatever reason.

Make it Fast

Page load speed is an important element of SEO anyway, so you should already be doing everything you can to improve this. But, with mobile phones, there can be issues with network connections, which may make it more difficult for people to access your website. If you put a little more focus into making your mobile-friendly site fast to load, you can help reduce your bounce rate or waiting times for users with dodgy connections.

Consider Autocapitalise & Autocorrect

Depending on the purpose of your website, you should consider how autocapitalise or autocorrect is going to affect your user experience. For example, if your website features an internal site search that is being accessed from an iPhone, you may have products or services that will be changed by autocorrect when typed into your internal search bar. This just makes life more difficult for the user to find what they’re looking for.

Similarly, you may find that your users can access information or products more easily if their searches are automatically capitalised.

To solve this, you will need to assess what will work for your users and figure out if you’d be best turning off or leaving on autocapitalise and autocorrect.

Test, Test, Test!

If you are unsure about anything regarding how your website is viewed on a mobile, the simple answer is to never stop testing. If you want to know if something is working, as I mentioned earlier, just get out your phone and have a look!

After each change, each update, test your website and make sure it is working how it should.

 

To wrap up, the ever-growing world of smart phones, tablets, and other devices means that people are always having to adapt. Bearing these things in mind will help you to create a mobile-friendly website that is easily usable. If you need any more help when it comes to your business’ website, feel free to contact Colewood today to see how we can help you.  

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