August 11, 2015 Hilary Somers

Does it really matter if your site is “Mobile Friendly”?

Yes-We're Mobile FriendlyYup, it does really matter. A lot. There are two reasons. The first is that a mobile friendly site looks and works a lot better for your visitors. I’m sure you’ve experienced viewing a non-mobile friendly site on your phone. Even with a big phone screen, it’s hard and frustrating to navigate a non-mobile friendly site. On a mobile friendly site visitors easily access the content, and effortlessly navigate ecommerce offerings and purchasing funnel.

The second reason is Google. Beginning April 21 2015 Google announced that it was “expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”, and that the change would “have a significant impact in Google Search results”.  What this means is that if your site in not deemed mobile friendly by Google, your search ranking will decrease, which means customers may not see your site listed when they search for relevant keywords. Or your site may be listed below a competitor. Which would be not good at all.

So, it’s important, even critical, for your site to be mobile friendly.

What does Mobile Friendly really mean?

Mobile friendly means that your site gives a good user experience when viewed and interacted with from a mobile device. Things like:

  • Formatting the content so the visitor only has to scroll up and down, and not side-to-side on a tiny screen
  • Making the text big enough to be readable on a phone screen
  • Spacing links far enough apart so that a finger can click just the link desired
  • All of your site’s cool features work
  • And lots of other technical stuff the Googlebot cares about

So, how do you know if your site is mobile friendly?

To determine the mobile friendliness of your site, do these two things: First, the quick and dirty method: look at your site on your phone, or, on a larger device, squish down your browser window until it’s as narrow as column as it can be. (This is how it looks on a large phone). Now, try to navigate your site. You’ll know if our site is NOT mobile friendly – it should be obvious because it will look bad and be hard to use. Here’s an example of a site that is not mobile friendly:  

This page is not mobile friendly – See how the text is cut off on the right side?

 

 

But even if it looks good to you, it might still have non-mobile friendly components, so that’s why you next need to ask the expert, Google. Use Google’s free tool to analyze your site. Plug in your urls and Google will tell you how it sees them.

Here’s an example of results you don’t want to see:

mobile-friendly-test

 

If you don’t pass the Google test, don’t despair. With WordPress it’s relatively easy to modify the theme to make it mobile friendly, and there are also some free WordPress plugins to help with this.

For new sites built on WordPress, there is no need to worry. Any modern WordPress theme will be mobile friendly out of the box.

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