It’s been said before that for your business website to be successful today, it needs to be mobile friendly. You know that because we’ve said it a whole bunch of times, and we’re not the only ones.
Industry experts go on and on about it, and Google itself—the big dog in online search—has made mobile friendliness one of its main aspects in ranking websites. Play friends with mobile: Go to the head of the class. Refuse to pay ball: Find yourself left behind. For good.
If you’re wondering whether you have a mobile-friendly site, Google also makes it very easy to find out. Just go to this link.
The tool rapidly analyzes whether the page is mobile friendly. It couldn’t be simpler. You’ll either get a congratulations message or a list of improvements you’ll need to make.
If you punch your site into the tool and Google determines the site’s not mobile-friendly, you’ll see something like the following:
That’s pretty helpful, right? Google really (really, really, really) wants websites to be mobile-friendly, so it’s all about making it easy for you to determine what you need to do to make it so.
Google’s also taking steps to highlight websites that are particularly friendly for use on mobile devices. Not only Google started asking mobile users to rate their mobile search results, but it has also started displaying a label in search engine results pages (SERPs) that tells the user whether or not the website listed is mobile friendly.
Along with the new label and the testing tool, Google released several new mobile-oriented resources: a mobile usability report (in Google Webmaster Tools) that reports on any major issues across your entire site.
There’s also new documentation on how to create or improve your mobile-friendly site and a how-to guide for third-party software, such as WordPress or Joomla, on how to use a mobile-friendly template (in the Webmasters Mobile Guide).
A website that is not mobile-friendly runs the risk of being penalized in the SERPs, as Google has stated clearly on its Webmaster Central blog. Google also points out that your site must meet the following criteria to be labeled mobile friendly:
- Avoid unfriendly software such as Flash, because it isn’t common on mobile devices
- Have a font that is large enough to read without zooming
- Properly scale to fit the device’s screen without scrolling left or right
- Have links that are spaced and easy to tap on
Recently, users have noticed various icons and indicators identifying particular sites as being mobile friendly (or not mobile friendly). It seems that Google, as usual, is playing with a few different concepts before settling on one. (Which it likely will swap out with another in six months anyway, because that’s just how Google rolls.)
In any event, the criteria we noted are all focused on Google’s central theme: user experience. If your website doesn’t meet these standards, it won’t receive the new label, and this puts you at risk for being penalized in organic rankings.
Making your site mobile friendly must be a top priority when considering ways in which to improve or modify your website, particularly since it will directly affect your organic search engine rankings. Contact Ring Ring Marketing if you need help with your website redesign.