• Mobile Friendly Websites Are No Longer A Consideration But Essential To Rank

    For years now we have been reminded that more people are using mobile devices to access the internet and get ready for the day that numbers will overtake desktop and laptop access. Well that day passed some time ago to the point that for many niches designing a mobile site first should be the priority, rather than the other way round.

    “M” For Mobile Day

    So “M” day has now arrived, on the 21st April 2015, Google will expand their use of mobile-friendliness within their ranking signal. In short if you do not have a mobile version of your site, or a dynamic version that adapts to the size of screen, there is a high likelihood that you will lose rankings. For some niches this is a serious worry, you may be surprised how many big names on the net have yet committed to mobile usage, assuming rightly or wrongly that it does not reflect their customer base.

    For other businesses who employed a web design company to create a website and are too busy running their business to be even aware of the change or the consequences, this is probably a bigger worry. But the bottom line is, this will be a big update and will affect a lot of search results.
    Opportunity To Help Your clients.

    Of course many web designers have been promoting mobile sites for some time now, even to previous clients in need of a refresh. Now, there is real opportunity, especially for those clients who enjoy some ranking and traffic to be informed of the 21st of April deadline. But instead of your communication being seen as a sales pitch it can now been seen as real support, making a client fully aware of a situation that could affect their rankings.

    However in the real world, what I foresee is a knee jerk reaction to lost business and trade when business owners suddenly realise their loss of visibility on the web. The “let’s wait and see” attitude will be made, with an expectation that the digital agency can sort it all out in 24 hours.

    Are You Sure You Have Got Your Mobile Design Right?

    One thing I have learned about SEO is that sometimes Google see’s things different to us. So the best way to establish if your site is mobile friendly, is to use webmaster tools, which has a very useful section scoring the friendliness of your clients website.

    It will show the pages that are not up to standard. This is what you may see in WMT’s

    Usability Error                                          Pages With errors
    1 Viewport not configured                                           10
    2 Small font size                                                     8
    3 Touch elements too close                                         10
    4 Content not sized to viewport                                 10

    Viewport

    This scales the page to the viewing size of the screen. so that all content can be seen without scrolling from side to side.

    Small Fonts

    Pretty obvious really. The fonts that can naturally be seen on a desktop are now shrunk to suit the screen size, so large fonts should be used for mobile, suggestions are given.

    Touch elements too Close

    Things like menus and touch buttons, where they are too close for anyone’s fingers to use.

    Content not sized to viewport

    If your images and div’s are sized greater than the viewport size, you end up with errors or the page just not looking right.

    Of course for experienced developers this will be very easy to sort out, the question is more about, do your clients know the importance of mobile usability and are you ready for the surge of enquires.