How to make your site Mobile-Friendly ?

When you create a website, it is a common mistake to think that the website will automatically become a mobile-friendly site without having to do any extra work. And with the latest change in Google’s algorithm, organizations and business cannot afford to operate without adapting their website to render efficiently on smartphones.

Why it is time to say goodbye to this common myth?

It’s very simple. Google has finally declared that Mobile is the future, and sites that aren’t user-friendly on mobile devices will suffer on mobile Google search results, rendering their site undiscoverable.

How to ensure your site is compatible with mobile devices?

First, find out if your site is already mobile-friendly. The best place to start is the Mobile-Friendly Test offered by Google. This test shows you how mobile-friendly your site is at the moment. If Google approves its user-ability then you are already mobile-friendly and can be safe in the knowledge that you are not losing visitors.

However, if your site doesn’t receive a thumbs up from Google, we have put together some of the common mistakes you might be making on your site and how to fix them. If you steer clear of the following errors, you should be back in Google’s good books, and pass the Mobile-friendly test!

block-css-image-javascipt1 Blocked CSS, Blocked JavaScript, and Blocked Image Files

The problem:
These files promise your user an experience they won’t be able to enjoy, and Google doesn’t like that. When you block CSS your image files, Javascript, robots.txt file, Googlebot and other search engine spiders can’t render or index your website. This makes it difficult for Google to see and understand the appearance of your website on mobile devices. And, ultimately, if Google can’t see it then they can’t rank it.
How to fix it:
First of all, visit (yoursitename/robots.txt). The red alert will be anything that looks like .js or .css. If you can directly edit your site then you should get rid of these “line” items within the robots.txt. If you can’t directly edit your site, then you can change your settings (depending on the CMS you use).


2 Unplayable Content

The problem:
If videos and any other playable content is not working on mobile devices, and your users are receiving error messages, then your site is considered unfriendly to mobile users.
How to fix it:
The videos may be unable to play because of certain video players or flash-based material. A great alternative may to use HTML 5 and embed your videos, using Vimeo or YouTube, to make your videos playable on mobile devices.

Faulty-Redirects3 Faulty Redirects

Google talk about this issue:

The problem:

If your desktop site keeps redirecting your guests to your homepage, even after you click on FAQ, your mobile users make also be experiencing this when they use your site. This could be because of the desktop site servers, however, your website designers have configured the pages to redirect, and so could be at fault for this issue.
Some mobile users experience redirects because of the device they are using. For example, iPhone users, Android users and Windows phone users may respond differently.
How to fix it:
It is thankfully easy to detect and correct faulty redirects with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If you have created URLs specifically for mobile users, then make sure you test their user-friendliness by checking that your website’s pages (on a desktop computer) take users to the correct URL on their phone.
If your site has a page that doesn’t have a smartphone equivalent, the best solution is to keep your visitors on the desktop page. You can kill two birds with one stone, and not dissatisfy your mobile users. You may not have a mobile-friendly site, but your users will still get the content they have requested.
Finally, you must ensure you are investing in responsive web design. Responsive web design should always use the exact same content and URL for desktop users, as it would use for the mobile users. It is also important to ensure that it changes buttons, text size, and other related page features because of the change of the screen size automatically. Google prefers this automatic switch rather than you having a separate mobile site.

Mobile-Only-404-errors4 Mobile-Only 404 errors

The problem:
Some URL pages, which work perfectly on your desktop computer, may cause a 404 error message when accessed on a smartphone.
How to fix it:
The Crawl Errors Report section of Google’s Webmaster Tools is a great tool to help you to fix any 404 mobile related error messages. You can also try redirecting mobile phone users to a mobile page URL that can work as an equivalent.
If you don’t have a mobile page to redirect them to then, as above, keeping your visitors on the desktop may work to fix this problem. (Note: this option is still better than your users constantly receiving error messages).
You can also, as above, use responsive web design. The design will help you to avoid redirects and deliver your users the same content and make your site more user-friendly.

Application-Download-Interstitials5 Application Download Interstitials

Google talk about this issue:

The problem:
Having a mobile app gives your users multiple ways to access the content on your site, and avoids using browsers and Wi-Fi. However, if you force your content through interstitials your users will stop using the mobile version of your site and may not have the best experience with your website, and therefore your company. It is best to allow your users to choose between the app and mobile site.
How to fix it:
Some people block their users from accessing their mobile site, so they can promote their app. This doesn’t have to be the only solution. You can instead use a banner on your mobile site to advertise and promote your app, without stopping your users from browsing your mobile site. You can use your operating system support and your browser to add a HTML banner to the mobile version of your site, in the same way that you would advertise the app store with an advert.

slow-page6 Slow Pages

The problem:
Pages on your website load slowly on mobile devices.
How to fix it:
To fix this common problem you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights resource to find out if you have any existing issues that are slowing down your website. Focus on the sub-section in speed and fix all of the issues marked.

Why should you care if your site is mobile-friendly or not?

Mostly because Google has a unique ability to predict the future. The increase in smartphone use is undeniable, and Google, who is always on the periphery of technology, knows that most users will want to access content fast and efficiently on their mobile devices now and in the future.

Mobile-friendly sites are just the start. Mobile apps are also becoming increasingly important. Stay on top of Google’s plans and stay popular by adapting your website to become entirely mobile-friendly.

Why not check out our second post, as part of the Google Updates series. Featuring explanations, advice and tips on how to make sure your content is in the best shape when it comes to Google search engine results.

For further reference and more help with Google mobile, read this Google guide:

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