Google Mobilegeddon: How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

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  • 4/21/2015
    Since 2013, Google has stressed the importance of mobile-compatible websites. When the company announced it'd be giving further preferential treatment to mobile-friendly websites starting today on its webmaster central blog, it wasn't much of a surprise.

    The new algorithm will favor sites with large text, easy-to-click links and pages that resize to fit any screen. Some are calling it Mobilegeddon, but the biggest danger comes to small businesses that don’t have the budget to create a mobile site. Google reps say this update won’t affect desktop results, but with almost 60% of online traffic now coming from mobile, it’s important to make sure your site is ready for mobile viewing.

    If you haven’t made your site mobile friendly yet, it isn’t too late. Here are some ways that you can update your site without breaking the bank:

    1. First thing first, run a Google Mobile-Friendly Test
    Google Developers offer a quick and easy test to see how mobile friendly your site is. This is a simple yes or no test – there is no middle ground. Pages are evaluated individually, so a quick way to see all the pages from your site is to do a “site:” query for your domain. In the Google search bar simply type “site:www.yourdomain.com” to see this listing.

    2. Make phone numbers on site click-to-call
    By making phone numbers on your mobile site clickable, users can easily contact you without having to remember or write down the number. To add click-to-call on your site, check out this code tutorial

    3. Make location and addresses clickable to launch a map application
    You want to ensure that it’s easy for users to find your location. Similar to above, linking an address to a map application is simple. Google Maps also offers a way to create your own map with multiple locations, if your business has them. You use the same code format as you would for linking phone numbers, but with a minor tweak. Find the details here.   

    4. Change the containers on your pages from “fixed width” to percentages
    Websites tend to use fixed widths when dealing with containers (tables, divs). A three column layout may have three distinct divs that have a definitive pixel width as well as margin or padding to maintain a certain balanced look on a desktop or laptop. Smartphones, since they have much smaller screens, might have some problems displaying the content that falls outside of the viewable area or they try to shrink everything to fit, which renders the site illegible. Changing those container widths to percentages should allow browsers on various devices with different viewing areas to resize and flow the text as the window sizes change.

    5. Simplify to single-column layout
    Keep all of your content front and center for your visitors by simplifying your design into a single-column layout.

    6. Speed up slow mobile pages
    Not only does a slow site annoy users, it hurts your mobile SEO ranking as well. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to discover what pages have issues and address ones marked as “Should Fix.”

    Still have questions about making your website mobile friendly? Drop us a line! We're always here to help.


    This article was featured in our Optimization Update email series. For more articles like this, sign up for our marketing trend-forward email subscriptions here or follow us on Twitter @thundertech.


     
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