Google Now Shows Favouritism to Mobile Friendly & Responsive Sites
Gone are the days when you needed a computer to visit a website. Even when mobile phones became mainstream ten or so years ago, the average webmaster didn’t realize the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, let alone a responsive one.
Today, a responsive website is a must-have for everybody – particularly those involved in internet marketing. If you run any type of business website or an online store, you simply must have a responsive website for all users, whether they’re visiting via PC, smartphone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android device, etc.
What does Google have to do with it? The search engine giant now takes mobile-friendliness into consideration in its ranking results.
How can you make your website more responsive?
For starters, you will want to avoid any kind of content that requires Adobe’s Flash Player. This is because Flash is not supported by Apple and some other tablets and mobile devices. In addition to videos, you will also want to avoid the use of slideshows or image rotators that don’t function properly without Flash support.
Eliminate Need for Zooming
Visitors should be able to read your site without having to zoom in or out. Zooming in a mobile device doesn’t always produce accurate results. It can be very annoying to deal with. The best thing to do is to make the text and icons large enough to see right at the start. Since screen size may be limited, think carefully of what content and text you are going to put on the landing page.
Space Links Apart
Not everybody who uses smartphones has small hands. Not only should you avoid making text too small to read, you should also avoid crunching clickable items up. It’s annoying for users to have to keep hitting the back button because they accidentally clicked on the wrong thing. Make it easier for them to find and click on what they want.
Use Correct Scaling
On a mobile device, your website should automatically scale down to fit the size of the screen. Users do not like horizontal scrolling, and neither does Google. Vertical scrolling is fine, although you’ll still want to put the most important information at the top of the page.
The Use of CSS Styles
You’ll be better off in the search rankings if you go all the way with a responsive design for all screen types and sizes rather than just having a mobile-friendly site. Many web designers use CSS @media queries as well as behind-the-scenes techniques based on web standards. When applied correctly, CSS @media queries make it easy to change the style of a webpage based on the characteristics of the PC or device on which the content is rendered. The characteristics can be changed for anything from the display type to resolution.
Take Mobile Friendly Test
Google now offers a “mobile friendly” test that that allows webmasters to analyze a URL. You should enter your URL and have it tested so that you will know whether or not it meets Google’s criteria for a more responsive webpage. It will give you some idea of what changes (if any) should be made.
Also keep in mind that not every single page on your site has to be modified for responsiveness. Some pages might not be worth the time and investment it would take. While mobile friendliness is the new criteria for search rankings, there are still other factors affecting the rankings as well.