How to Evaluate Your Mobile Site

How to Evaluate Your Mobile Site

As Google’s mobile algorithm continues to evolve updates it becomes increasingly important for businesses to transition their website to be mobile-friendly. Once again, Google has renovated its algorithm to reflect its users’ needs by placing a priority on sites that are easily accessible and readable when browsing on a cellphone or tablet. Google's Latest Algorithm Update | Blueprint

It’s possible that you may not have a problem with the update and that your site’s content management system may have a mobile version of your site ready even if you don’t even realize it.

It’s also possible that your site may need to be revised with a mobile version in order to keep up with Google’s requirements and maintain healthy SEO rankings. One question is whether your site is mobile-friendly enough to meet Google’s needs.

Another question is how can you tell if your site is already mobile-compatible or if you need to update it? The answer to the first question is simple: Your site is either mobile-friendly or not. Mobile compatibility cannot be measured in a hierarchy, but rather it should follow the necessary criteria to gain the label. There are two easy ways to test your site for mobile-friendliness: An ordinary Google search and an online audit.

A Google Search

One of the best ways to determine if your site meets the new requirements is by searching for it on Google. In anticipation of the algorithm update, Google added a small tag in the search result labeling a site as mobile-friendly when you browse on your cellphone. This helps you, as a user, determine if a particular site will perform well on your mobile device or if it will load as the bulky, difficult-to-navigate desktop site.

This makes a difference as users tend to opt for a smoother user experience if they know they can get it. This label lets users know that they can browse your site with ease and with little issue. Where can you find this tag? Most search listings have the title with the site URL underneath. Under the URL, there is a gray note that says “Mobile-friendly”, followed by the page’s meta description.

Mobile Friendly Verification | Blueprint If this tag is present, then your site already meets the specifications necessary to be a mobile-friendly site and you will not need to make further adjustments before April 21st.

If the tag is not present, of course, that means your site needs to be modified to be mobile-friendly or face a drop in rankings.

Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool

Google has an online tool that enables Webmasters to assess if their site meets the specific criteria to be labeled a mobile-friendly site. This tool looks at various factors that are critical for a successful mobile browsing experience, such as:

  • Easy-to-Read text
  • Reasonably spaced links
  • No excessive zooming or scrolling
  • Doesn’t use Flash or other programs that are not mobile compatible

All you have to do is enter your site’s URL into the specified area, click “Analyze” and the tool will evaluate the page to determine it’s mobile-friendliness. If your site is mobile-friendly, it will let you know and give you a screenshot of how your site looks on a mobile device.

Mobile Friendly Notification | Blueprint

However, if your site has significant barriers that need to be fixed, the tool will point out the specific problems, such as if your page is wider than the screen or if the links are too close together. This gives you an idea of the issues standing in the way of a mobile-friendly site so you can work out the kinks.

Assess Your Site Today

As the every day user becomes more reliant on mobile technology to retrieve their information overload, Google strives to give its users what they want when searching on their cellphones or tablets. Currently, sites that are not classified as mobile-friendly will give way to competing sites that meet Google’s criteria.

Make sure your site is optimized for both a desktop and mobile audience to ensure that your search rankings don’t suffer. Staying ahead of the mobile trend will only help your brand as time goes by.

By: Blair Sanders
  • Chuniq Inpower

    Thank you for sharing this Blair! From a user standpoint, I am certainly excited for this update because I pay for my data (Verizon problems, LOL) and if I have to wait for a slow or mobile UNfriendly page to load, its literally wasting my time and money. I hope this encourages business owners to improve their sites for more on-the-go browsing. This is a win-win for all involved!

  • Jeff Cline

    Great set of action items for any business to do a relatively quick review of thier site. Thanks Blair. It may not be common knowledge but for the first time mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. We’ve become a nation of people “on-the-go”. Making your business more accessible to mobile users – especially if you provide an immediate need service like plumbers, your business should be mobile ready to capture an audience already on their phone and looking for answers.

  • Joshua Bains

    Blair’s is an important discussion for everyone with a website. Another one is knowing that people relate to content on their phones differently than content on their computers. A great angle on an investigation is how writers can create content that will work for both at the same time. My guess is that a lot of people are going to try, and say what everyone has to do now that copy is consumed on phones. But the truth will be that it’s simply easier to read in-depth copy on a larger screen when you’re not on the go. Moral being: Purchases that require long copy to sell are going to see higher sales on the computer than on the phone.

  • Victoria Vener

    This is very valuable information. There’s a certain point every evening when I shut my laptop down for the night, but my internet browsing goes on long afterward. A few years ago I would never have even considered buying things online using my phone, now I barely give it a second thought. Mobile sites are no longer optional if you want to succeed.

  • Thanks, Blair. Your post drives home the message to businesses that mobile is no longer an optional feature. It is critical to their growth. Today’s consumers are looking for products and services on their smartphones, using Google Maps to find the location, and then showing up to make a purchase. Same for e-commerce – if a customer can’t easily purchase something from your business using their smartphone then your business is missing out. A mobile-friendly site is a “must have” not a “maybe someday.”

  • Elizabeth Weaver

    Thanks for sharing this information about Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool, Blair! It’s an extremely valuable tool to quickly and easily see how a site performs within mobile devices. Since Mobilegeddon placed such an increased importance on mobile usability, every business with a website should be using it. Great insight!

  • Naima

    It is frustrating trying to navigate a website that is not mobile friendly. There’s nothing more bazar than attempting to read a page while scrolling back and forth. Mobile optimization is crucial, especially for local businesses. Great tips on mobile site evaluation!

  • Samantha Torres

    This is a great start to business owners to look at whether their site is mobile or not. But our focus needs to be more on than just pleasing the Google gods. Marketers and business owners alike need to keep the user experience and conversions at top of mind at all times.

  • Patrick Price

    Don’t we all hate going onto a businesses website that isn’t optimized for our mobile phones? We’re stuck expanding and scrolling all while waisting time trying to find what it is we’re looking for.

    Having a website that is mobile-friendly is key to increasing business because these days, everyone uses their cellphones to browse.

  • Adam Baxter

    Great insight into the ever growing importance of being mobile friendly! I feel like its a common talking subject around our company and for good reason!

  • Business people, as consumers, are part of the mobile trend. As such, they shouldn’t be shocked by growing requirement for mobile-friendly sites, performance and content. Mobile should be part of any business owner’s strategic vision. I try not to use the word “should” often, but I make an exception when I talk about mobile. Thanks for your perspectives on such an important topic.