With so many articles, tweets, and advertisements claiming to help you reach mobile users, it has become more important than ever to know if your website is mobile friendly. But that can mean a lot of things and if you ask an agency or web designer, you are likely to get more than you need.
Below are 6 ways to check if your site is mobile friendly and what to do about it.
The goal of a responsive layout is that a person not have to pinch and zoom when they view your site on a small screen. There are different ways to make a website responsive, the method that works best across all devices is called ‘fluid-responsive.’ The reason this is important is that you can no longer assume that people only visit on a 10″ iPad or a standard iPhone. Instead, the multiplicity of devices ensures that a wide varieties of screen sizes will be used to visit your site. Does your website respond appropriately to all screen sizes in order to make the most use of available space? This can be tricky to get right and some developers just don’t check to see how their work displays on, say, a small Amazon Fire tablet… Be sure to review your website at many sizes. You can even re-size your browser window to see how it works.
If your mobile site is redirected to another domain such as m.yoursite.com, then you’ll want to test natively on as many devices as possible to make sure you are getting it right.
What to do: Be sure to utilize a theme or template that says that it is responsive, or speak with a designer or developer about what it would take to make your current site responsive.
Accelerated Mobile Pages & Instant Articles
Google and Facebook are interested in getting people on mobile devices to fast-loading content on mobile friendly websites. There are new standards to ensure that your website provides these alternate, stripped-down versions of your pages and posts to serve up to visitors when they are on those devices. Make sure your website is capable of providing these.
What to do: Familiarize yourself with AMP and Instant Article requirements or leverage a plugin solution for WordPress such as PageFrog.
How long does it take to load your website on a phone? You might be surprised at how long it can take a video or large image to display properly on a mobile device. Be sure to test these resources as anything longer than 2 seconds will start to drive traffic away, especially if they have other options in their search results.
What to do: Test you site load times at Pingdom to identify where the large files are causing problems.
User Interface/User Experience
There is a fine line between something looking great on mobile and actually functioning correctly. Menus, links, phone numbers, and addresses should all display in a way that is easily accessible and usable for your mobile visitors. Drop-down menus function differently on different devices as well, so you have to test. Does clicking on a menu item show the drop-downs or immediately navigate someone to that page? Can someone click to call you? Do they have to scroll down a very long page to get a map link? Run through these scenarios to identify areas for improvement.
What to do: Consider adding redundant menu items for your top level pages, or talk to a developer about improving what you find.
Your new website might look fantastic with that huge font on a desktop, but does it create endless scrolling and three words per line for a mobile visitor? You can target different screen sizes and provide the appropriate font size for each. Well-sized type is a major factor in whether a site is truly mobile-friendly to the user.
What to do: Provide screen-size specific styles for your type through a custom style sheet and media queries.
Add-Ons, Pop-Ups, & Modals
Pop-ups are a fact of life—you probably got one before reading this—but they tend not to be very mobile friendly. You must test whether that new tracking software, marketing automation code, or form submission process works the way you expect on your site for mobile users. You can have a site that hits all of the items above perfectly and one darn marketing intern (yes, blame the intern) can screw it up with a small add-on.
What to do: Be sure to test any of these add-ons before implementing and ask any service provider for the ‘responsive’ solution.
So if you’re able to spend as much time testing your website as you just did reading this article, you should be able to identify some areas for improvement to help make your website mobile friendly. Get to work and you can make an impact on how Google sees your page and how visitors actually engage with it.