Tips for Ensuring Your Site is Mobile Friendly
Having a responsive website that works across many platforms is one of the leading indicators for driving business development, expanding customer outreach, and improving retention. In fact, mobile-friendliness is one of the five major signals used by Google for their ‘page experience’ metric which also includes Core Web Vitals, safe browsing, no intrusive interstitials, and HTTPS.
According to web development company Sweor, it takes users about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about your site. Roughly 57% of users won’t recommend a business to others if their mobile website is poorly designed, and at least 63% of all retail website business hits come from mobile devices. When you consider these statistics together, the value and importance of having a responsive website for mobile devices is clear.
This guide will share some tips and tricks to help you optimize the mobile experience of your website, boost credibility, and improve acquisition.
Mobile Friendly Test By Google
Google’s easy to use tool quickly and effectively crawls your website with a Googlebot smartphone and tells you explicitly whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. If it determines your site is not mobile friendly, it will outline the various issues in need of fixing. It typically takes less than a minute to complete and can tell you if the text is too small to read, if your clickable elements are too close together, if the viewports have not been set, and more.
Considering that Google now takes your mobile design into account when ranking your site in the search index, it is more important than ever to ensure a positive mobile experience for your users. If you’ve noticed a drop in your Google ranking, this tool is perfect for checking if the problem lies in your mobile design.
Another easy way to check mobile-friendliness is to visit your site on a computer. Using virtually any browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox you can simply right click the page and select “Inspect.” This will open up a panel on the right side of the browser displaying the HTML and CSS for the page. At the very top of this panel is a button in the shape of a smartphone/tablet which toggles mobile emulation. It can instantly show you what the page looks like when visiting from a mobile device, and the dimensions can be altered to adjust for devices of various sizes. You can display the page in landscape, and you can even adjust for performance on low-end, mid-tier, or high-end devices.
If you prefer to take your information in visually, mobiReady is a great option. Much like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, simply enter your URL and let mobiReady work its magic. Once it has finished compiling its test results, it will display your site on devices of various sizes and specs side-by-side for easy comparison. It will then give your site a mobiReady score on a scale from 0 to 5 based on how they compare to the top 1000 ranked Alexa sites.
The test checks everything from caching control to cookie size, internal CSS directives, stylesheet placement, and more. It organizes your results into three categories: passes, minor fails, and major fails. You can click on the issues for a detailed breakdown of the problem, as well as tips on how to fix it. mobiReady’s results are laid out in an easily-understood way and best of all, it’s completely free.
MobileTest.me is another useful service for testing mobile responsiveness. Although it requires a paid subscription of $9.99 per month, MobileTest.me allows you to test your site across over 100 different mobile devices and tablets. It features responsive and mobile emulation modes, unlimited testing of any webpages, and the ability to easily share detailed testing results. Other features are being actively developed, such as a special ‘showcase’ mode and a performance measurement dashboard.
ViewPort Resizer is a simple and effective extension for your internet browser that allows you to test mobile resolutions of any webpage with the click of a button. You can easily test your site against the most popular mobile devices in both vertical or landscape modes. Although ViewPort Resizer is not intended to fully replace emulation on its own, it’s a great tool for testing statuses, transitions, and text lengths on the fly. It’s totally free, supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera browsers, and has over 720,000 users across 190 countries.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool analyzes your site and gives it a score between 0 and 100 based on how mobile-friendly it is. It diagnoses issues, outlines opportunities for improvement, and ranks performance in a number of metrics including speed index, first contentful paint, largest contentful paint, total blocking time, and more. PageSpeed Insights really digs into the data, and is therefore probably not the easiest tool to use for absolute beginners. For more experienced developers who want a deeper dive into how to optimize your mobile site, PageSpeed insights is a great choice.
Kassidy Jezierski is the Operations Lead at Lithios. She works to clearly communicate the capabilities and optimal engagement opportunities between Lithios and its clients. In her free time, she enjoys finger-painting pictures of lambs and docile sheep.