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BE-17-Feb-a

How to make your website mobile friendly

Does your website meet Google’s mobile usability standards? What can you do to make your site more mobile friendly?

Google has issued a warning to webmasters that all websites should be mobile friendly, following the news that 50% of the searches conducted on Google are now done via a smartphone.

BE 17 Feb 2

However, many simply sites aren’t up to scratch. Here are some tips on making your site more mobile friendly:

1. Start small

It’s no use designing your site on your desktop and then wondering why it doesn’t look great on a mobile. When designing or redesigning your site think what it will look like on various devices including mobiles, tablets and laptops.

Now you’ve got a small screen in mind, think about what the first thing you want people to see is or where you want people to click. Is it obvious where you should be clicking for more information or do you have to scroll down for it?

2. Test your site

Go through your site on a mobile and see what works and what doesn’t. Ask yourself these questions:

• Are there images that are not loading?
• Do videos work?
• Can you read all the text?
• Is the text the right size?
• Does the whole page fit on the screen or do users have to scroll around for information?
• Can you click a link without being at risk of click a nearby one? Remember, fingers are wider than mouse pointers.

It’s also worth checking how long your site takes to load on mobiles. While it may look great on a desktop with lots of Flash images, on a mobile it may well take too long to load.

A quick way to see if your site is mobile-friendly is to use Google’s testing page.

3. Intuitive design

Like any good website, it should be intuitive. Things like being able to get back to the home page, short and easy to follow menus and discrete advertising should apply to your mobile site as well as your desktop one.

Also, make sure your links work for each version. You don’t want your mobile site linking to a desktop version and vice versa.

4. Check drop downs

Drop down menus are a great way to get a lot of information into a small space. However, just because they work on your desktop it doesn’t mean they’ll work on your phone. Mobiles often cut off information in drop downs. There are mobile versions, so make sure you use them.

Bad drop downs on mobiles can be particularly frustrating for users who are trying to sign up or to buy something – two of the key objectives of any good website.

5. Check with Google

Google has developed its own checklist for webmasters to use going into further information on the technical side. This includes information on JavaScript, CSS and image files, mobile-only 404s and App download interstitials.

Read more here.