What Does Mobile Friendly Mean? A Whiteboard Wednesday Writeup
Every week we provide a new Whiteboard Wednesday video and then we follow it up with a nice little writeup. This week is no different.
If you’ve been working on your website, thinking and or researching websites, or are at all connected to the web design industry you’ve definitely come across the term “mobile friendly”. What does it mean? Why is it important? What should you know about it?
If you didn’t know it websites are now accessible via your mobile phone. Pretty neat right? Facebook, email and regular online search are now used more on mobile devices than via traditional desktops. That trend shows no indication of changing.
This makes all of our digital marketing initiatives more challenging. Mobile devices are much more fragmented than desktop computers and screen size alone is tough. Thus the term mobile friendly became important.
What “mobile friendly” means in simple terms:
It means the website is easy to use from a mobile device. Is also means the website is designed to work the exact same way across all devices. Anything the website can do while using a desktop can also be done from a mobile device.
That definition gives us a great starting point, but there is more to mobile friendly than that. Just because the website works on all devices and has the same functionality doesn’t make it totally mobile friendly.
Is the website accessible? Is it easy to read?
Is the website simple to navigate and understand?
Is the website optimized and hosted for speed?
Without those three elements, you may hit all the marks for a basic definition but your website still might not be user-friendly. Remember “mobile-friendly” is all about your users. Is your website friendly to your human visitors who are using a mobile device?
How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?
For starters use a test. Google has a great mobile-friendly test for websites and will give a good baseline to start. Visit the test here.
Secondly, use a mobile device and go through your website. Is anything confusing? Tough to use? Can you clearly read the text and see the navigation? Are the buttons obvious and easy to click? Does your website load quickly on a mobile device?
If you answered no to any of those questions you should address them because your visitors are already dealing with those issues and they are probably not as patient as you are.
Why do I really care about this?
If you don’t update your website to mobile friendly standards for your own visitors at least do it for Google.
Google has slowly been weighing mobile friendly sites with better ranks since 2016 and with each new update to their algorithm mobile indicators are becoming more and more important. All other search engines are following suit on this and the importance of having a mobile friendly website is now a major part of SEO.
If you are dependant on search engines than mobile friendly really isn’t an option.