Google is constantly updating their algorithms and the way that it looks at a website. One of these updates concerns the way that the search engine looks at responsiveness: basically, how easy a website is to navigate and read for a user. Google now uses the concept of ‘mobile friendliness’ as a ranking signal, which essentially means that people are rewarded if they have a site that is well-optimised for a mobile platform.
It’s easy to understand why Google prioritises mobile friendliness: in 2015 users searching on mobiles devices overtook desktop searches. Recent figures suggest that 60 – 70% of users are searching and browsing on mobile devices and tablets. In this article we’ll outline what these changes mean for you and your website, and how to ensure that you stay ahead of the curve with it comes to Google’s algorithms.
To put it simply, you should be paying attention to optimising your mobile site as much – if not more than – for desktop. Make sure to test it thoroughly after any design changes, on as many different mobile device resolutions as possible.
A site like Quirk Tools allows you to test your website in different resolutions on your mobile. You can see how it looks on an iPhone or Android phone – even a Blackberry! It’s a neat tool and a great way to spot any errors you’ve missed yourself.
Do you already have a responsive site?
For your site to be considered fully responsive, every page should be easy to navigate without too much scrolling or zooming. You should also find that they are fluid and have plenty of different resolutions. This effectively means that it doesn’t matter if you are viewing a site on the screen of a laptop, on a tablet, or on a mobile – the resolution will be adjusted and it’ll be just as easy to navigate the site on any of the three platforms.
One of the most obvious benefits of having a responsive website is that it improves the user experience: essentially, how enjoyable is the time a visitor spends on your site? Is it easy for them to find what they need? Ensuring your customers or website visitors have a positive experience is crucial in securing return visits and reducing your website’s bounce rate. A great way of getting feedback on your site’s user experience is simply to ask your customers: ask what they liked, what they didn’t, and give them the chance to make suggestions.
Adjusting your site to be fully responsive can be a cost-saving measure too: it saves you from having to create another, mobile-friendly site and makes maintaining and updating content much more streamlined with fewer opportunities for error.
What should I do if my site isn’t responsive?
If you’re not confident in coding to a high standard, hiring a developer to help you is a good start. You can cut costs by outsourcing this process, using a platform such as PPH. The bottom line? Taking your user experience is essential in maintaining high website traffic and keeping your users coming back for more, so spend some time looking over your site as soon as you can.
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