#2 – Mobile Responsiveness/Mobile-First Design
Does your website function optimally on a mobile device?
This became a hot topic in 2015 with Google announcing that sites that were not mobile-responsive would have negative search rankings. As we know, Google’s top priority for ranking sites is simply that they create a great user experience. Your content should be authentically written, the website should load fast, be secure, etc. With the number of sites that are viewed by mobile users, it only makes sense that your mobile view should be solid as well.
In the past, mobile responsive primarily meant that the site content reformats to fit a smaller screen – columns stack, content wraps, and NO horizontal scrolling is necessary. Today, it’s not as much about a site being mobile responsive, but about being built for mobile USE. Viewing vs. using. Things to keep in mind when designing for mobile use (aka Mobile-First Design):
- Should some of your content be positioned differently on mobile? Maybe a mobile user is wanting to see hours and directions first whereas a desktop user may be wanting to learn more about your products and services.
- Should items appear on your mobile homepage that don’t need to be on your desktop homepage and vice-versa? As in the example above, you can display a map and contact hours on the mobile site at the top, but completely remove it from the homepage of the desktop site, or put it in another location.
- Are your phone numbers clickable links that open up the phone’s dialer? Users have come to expect that when they touch a phone number, their phone will dial it.
- Are your call-to-action buttons large enough for fingers to press? These may need to display larger on mobile view as there is a difference between pressing with your finger or clicking with a mouse or trackpad.
Mobile is big and Google puts it as a top priority (but not more than security!). Last year Google announced that mobile-first indexing will now be the default for all new web domains. You can read more about all the techy stuff in this TechCrunch article if you’re interested.
Nearly half of mobile users switch to your competitor instead, after a bad experience with your mobile site.
Take a look at your website on a mobile device and see if it makes sense and is usable. Oh, also, if you jumped on the “Build a separate site for mobile” bandwagon within the last several years, it is no longer recognized as the best solution. One site that is correctly built to work on multiple devices is optimal! (That’s another blog post for another time.)
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