With Google’s plans to launch the Mobile First index in 2018 fast approaching, not to mention their increased focus on site speed, if your website doesn’t work well on mobile then you really need to make this a priority. We’ve put together our top tips for making your website mobile friendly below, but really you’ll need to put together a complete strategy to keep in line for when Google’s Mobile First index comes into play – contact us to see how we can help on 01256 881637.

Be Mobile Friendly

Yes, this may sound a bit obvious, but is your website even mobile friendly? Have you checked, using the Google Mobile Friendly Testing tool? If this is something you still need to get sorted, we’d recommend doing it pronto!
Depending on your website build, you can install various plugins that will create a mobile friendly version of your site that will hold you steady until a dedicated mobile site can be built. You’ll need to make sure your mobile version ticks Google’s boxes and that, where possible, you take into account any flags raised for viewports, image sizing, and anything else Google flags that may impact your mobile performance.

Check your Site Speed

Google is focusing on site speed more than ever before so check yours using the Google Site Speed Checker – this checks both mobile and desktop versions of your site; pay attention to both, but particularly the mobile version, as Google will be ranking your website based on your mobile site performance above desktop when the Mobile First index comes out next year.

Common site speed issues tend to be centred around JavaScript & CSS above the fold, large images and lack of resource compression. It isn’t always going to be possible to fix all of these issues, but if there are fixes you/your developers can do then we’d recommend getting them done!

Review your Meta Content

Google have recently made the length of the meta description tag content that will be shown in the SERPs longer; now admissible up to 320 characters (inc spaces), meta descriptions can be more descriptive than ever before, so it’s best to review these (and your Title tags) to take full advantage of the space. This will have the bonus of refreshing one of your site elements that is used for rankings – Google likes to see updated meta content every so often to keep things fresh and up to date, and of course, unique to each page.
If you have separate mobile and desktop versions of your site, then you’ll need to roll these changes out across both.

Place Unique Content Above the Fold

Mobile users don’t want to hunt around on a smaller screen for content, so make sure your unique and appealing content is as far up the page as you can. Special offers, call to actions, informative content – all of this needs to be clearly visible to keep people interested for longer and clicking around your site.

If you have an analytics package installed, it’s worth using this to identify the primary source of traffic – is it mobile or desktop? If mobile, which devices are most commonly being used? Once you know this, you can try to tailor your layout to the majority.
It also goes without saying that you need to use clear, easy to read typefaces that can be easily seen and read quickly. Fancy text may look good but if it’s causing people to leave then it’s not working for you.

Test your site

Test your site out on others, especially mobile users. Have everyone in the office look at it and give feedback – and don’t be offended if they disagree with changes you’ve made. If you can, use objective testers who haven’t used to site before, and get them to undertake specific processes to make sure the functionality is all working.

User testing is extremely important and you should carry this out regularly as a matter of course on all iterations of your site.