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Creating The Best Mobile Friendly Website

Difficulty: Intermediate

Is your business website mobile friendly? If it’s not, you could be damaging your business and you wouldn't know it. As a result of the 2014 Google algorithm update dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’, websites will receive a penalty if they are not appropriately optimised. With mobile use becoming more and more popular, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is mobile user-friendly. But how exactly can you do that? There are certain steps you can follow to make sure you won’t have to worry about receiving a penalty.

Don’t create a separate website

In the past, the best practice included creating a separate website for your mobile website from your main website. This meant you could ensure your mobile website had the correct elements on it, and didn’t include any that wouldn’t load properly. However, doing this nowadays will cause further problems with Google. The search engine already penalises websites for having duplicate content, so having two websites with the same content is a sure way to alert Google. Furthermore, it’s difficult to judge which elements to include on a mobile website and what to exclude. Instead, just focus on optimising the one website.

Choose a responsive design

Instead of having two different websites, you want to have a website with a responsive design. This means all the elements within the page - URL, HTML and images - remain the same. With a responsive design, the CSS will give different rules based on browser width. Essentially, the website will be able to detect whether or not a user is accessing the website through a mobile device or not, and adjust the page accordingly. Having a responsive design means website developers won’t have to do as much work when initially creating your website.

Font and button size

To have an appropriately formatted website, you have to make sure you’re using the correct font and button size. Otherwise, you will be negatively impacting the user experience, and therefore your search engine ranking. If your font size is too small, users will have to zoom in to read the text. To avoid this, make sure your font is set to at least 14px.

Buttons on mobile devices can often be annoying if they’re not designed correctly. If they’re too small, you end up clicking on something else and are taken to the wrong page. Apple’s own guidelines recommend button sizes to be at least 44px by 44px. By abiding by this guideline, you can be assured more people will be able to click on your buttons and you will be making more conversions.

Only use high-quality images

You want to make sure your website looks as good as possible. To make it a high standard website, you need to have high-resolution images. Mobile users require a higher resolution for images than that of desktop users. If you don’t use good enough images, they will be blurry and pixelated when viewed on mobile devices, and leave a bad impression on viewers.

However, while images need to be of a high quality, you need to ensure they are not too large in byte size. Large files will slow down the load time of your website and increase the chance of users leaving your website.

Allow users to view desktop version

So you’ve made what you consider to be the perfect mobile version of your website. However, it’s best to avoid constraining your audience and allowing them to select “view desktop version”. There are people who will prefer to navigate through your website in its desktop version. It’s important that you think about their user experience as well, and allow them to view your full website while on their mobile.

Test your website

Once you have finished designing your mobile user-friendly website, it’s important to make sure you test it. After all, this will let you know whether you have optimised it correctly, or whether there are still factors you need to change. Fortunately, there are many tools available which you can test your website on. Google has its own Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is enter the URL of your website, and the tool will tell you whether or not the website is mobile-friendly. It even gives you a preview of how the landing page looks on a mobile device.

Following these steps will allow you to create a website that is completely mobile user-friendly, and avoid receiving a penalty.


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