Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

Just the other week I was consulting with a well known and established florist about her website (of whom I've been a fangirl of for quite some time, mind you...).  One of the things I pointed out to her was that her website wasn't mobile-friendly.  And she was NOT happy...  

I immediately started to question myself, should I not have told her this?  I felt like I was in a 'don't shoot the messenger' situation.  Even though I had never worked on her site, I felt like I had let my floral heroine down.  

So, I wanted to take the time to address this because whether you're a business owner or web designer, you should understand why mobile-friendly sites are important and what exactly makes them such.  But before we continue, check your site now!  

Why being mobile-friendly is important

mobile-usage-graph.png

In short, because Google says so.  If you need further explanation on this, read on, if not - skip to the next heading.  :)  Time is money right?

Technology is always changing...and rapidly, at that.  Not only does the whole umbrella of online marketers need to stay on top of it all, but Google and their search algorithms do as well.  And typically, they are the ones who lead the way.  Mobile usage has skyrocketed.  So, it boils down to Google wanting to give folks using their search engine sites that are easy to read and navigate.  It is worth noting though, that if you have great content and a non mobile-friendly site you could still rank high. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MOBILE-FRIENDLY?

First of all, what it does NOT mean is shrinking your website to fit on mobile screens.  (This was the culprit in my aforementioned case.)  The best practice right now is to make sure your site is responsive.    What exactly does responsive mean?  In context of this post, it's basically reformatting your content based what your site is being viewed/used on.

Now, folks, this is important because if you're using a responsive theme design - you're not completely off the hook (just mostly :)).  The following suggestions will ensure you are treating your mobile visitors like royalty.

  • Keep your page load low.  If you test below a C here, it's time to address it.
  • Don't use a pop-up that gets in the way of your content.  (I don't think a whole lot of people know about this...but now you do!)
  • Continually check your site on mobile.  Even if you've already checked, anytime a page is added, just do a quick look to make sure things are lookin' a-okay, okay?

Passed the mobile check and have followed the above suggestions?  Congrats!  You officially survived mobilegeddon!  If not, it may be time to start thinking about a redesign....