Wondering how important it is to have a mobile-friendly website? According to Statistica, “mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.”
And if that’s not enough to make you create a mobile-friendly website, how about this? 80% of Internet users have access to a smartphone, which means that at any given time, a large portion of the world population has Internet access at their fingertips.
That’s over 3 billion people browsing websites via their mobile devices. Looking for information, buying products, booking services, you name it.
Doesn’t it make sense to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly to optimise for those users? We think it does, which is why we’re going to walk you through the essential steps needed to create a mobile-friendly website.
Let’s dive in.
Before we explain the steps needed to create a mobile-friendly website, let’s first look at what this actually means.
Mobile-friendly simply refers to a version of your website displaying at a different size based on the user’s mobile device screen size. It provides them with a better user experience.
At the bare minimum, responsive design is what you’ll be aiming for. It’s also what Google recommends. Which brings us to the first step in creating a mobile-friendly website.
Before you run off and create a mobile-friendly website, let’s figure out where your current website stands as far as Google is concerned.
For all you know, your website might already be relatively mobile-friendly and you’ll only need to make a few tweaks.
The fastest way to find out where your website stands is to use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. This will allow you to test whether or not your website is mobile-friendly and recommendations on what you can do to rectify any issues.
It can take a few minutes to run the test, so be patient. If all is well, you’ll get this result:
But just because Google tells you that your page or website is mobile friendly, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t review it yourself and then optimise it further.
Another tool that we recommend you use is a mobile phone emulator. This will allow you to view your website on different mobile phones. You’ll be able to quickly see if anything weird is going on and allow you to identify areas for improvement.
The next few steps will show you how to improve your website so that you can convert your mobile visitors into leads with ease.
The fastest way to create a mobile-friendly website is to ensure that you’re using a responsive theme.
It’s a quick fix and allows your website to be up and running quickly, as long as your site isn’t well established.
If your site is well established, changing the theme on your website will require a careful approach so that nothing is broken.
We recommend, particularly if you’re using WordPress, that you create a test site with the new responsive theme you’re wanting to use so that you can ensure everything works correctly and then you can apply those changes to your live site.
To find a responsive theme on WordPress, simply head to the theme area in your WordPress dashboard and type in the search bar “responsive”. This will provide you with many options that reside in the WordPress database.
You can also do a Google search and find a premium responsive theme, which will often come with installation assistance as well.
Once you’ve installed your responsive theme, you can check it using the Google mobile-friendly tool we mentioned earlier as well as the mobile phone emulator.
This will ensure that the changes you’ve made work the way you want them to.
When creating your mobile-friendly website, you’ll want to make it as ‘light’ as possible. What does this mean? Basically, every element on your website has a virtual ‘weight’ to it. From a video you upload, an image you install, or a line of custom code, every time your website is visited, all of these elements need to ‘load’ to display the content to your visitor.
Not only is this important to manage for your mobile site visitor, but Google has also made it pretty clear that the speed of a website impacts its ranking. So the slower your site is, the lower your site will rank in a search.
There are a couple of ways that you can reduce the ‘weight’ of your website.
For starters, you should look to compress the images that you upload to your website, for both desktop and mobile versions. If you’re using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that will automate this for you. Otherwise, you can use a free online tool like kraken.io to compress your images before you upload them.
If you use videos on your website, rather than uploading them straight to your website, your best option is to use a third party host such as YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia. All of these sites allow you to embed the video on your website instead, greatly reducing the ‘weight’ of these elements on your website.
The final step in creating and optimising your website for mobile is to ensure that your website is designed for mobile-friendly usage.
This means using larger fonts, removing pop-ups, streamlining your menu structure, and removing Flash elements.
Testing your website regularly to ensure it’s mobile-friendly is also a good option.
Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly means that you can capture mobile traffic leads with ease.
But if it all sounds a little overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help. At ClickSquad, we grow our clients’ brands through performance-based digital marketing strategies.
We’ll help you make sure that your website is mobile-friendly by ensuring the content and SEO strategies you have in place are working for you. We’ll also review your theme to make sure it’s working for you rather than against you. Get in touch today, and we’ll talk you through the next steps to get your brand noticed online.