Google ranking is important to most businesses. Given the targeted traffic that Google can deliver to your website, it is highly recommended that your website is Google friendly / Search Engine Optimised.
Yet many websites, especially ones built a few years ago, are not Google friendly / Search Engine Optimised. While there are many facets to fully optimising your web site for Google, the one of interest here is mobile usability.
Google cares how mobile users experience your website
Most old websites do not include mobile friendly viewing options. This is important because Google now cares how mobile users experience your website.
In Google’s words, “Because global web traffic from mobile devices is on the rise, and recent studies show that mobile visitors are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites, mobile usability is now relevant for optimal search results.” – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6101188
Pages that have mobile usability errors, are not seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and ranked lower for smartphone users.
3 common mobile usability issues with old websites
One of our clients had a website built a few years old and it had mobile usability issues (all 88 pages). After we redesigned and redeveloped the website, those issues went down to zero (see Google Webmaster screen shot below).
What did we change? Well, a number of things but the three of the more common issues are listed below.
- Removed Flash: If your website site is older than 2 years and it has an image slider / animation, chances are it is built using Flash. The problem is that most mobile devices do not support Flash. So you should replace Flash based image sliders with HTML5, CSS3 and Jquery based animation.
- Configured the Meta Viewport tag: This tag tells browsers how to adjust the page dimensions and scale the page to optimise viewing across different devices.
- Text too small & links too close together: Font size and element spacing needs to be optimised for mobile viewing.
How to check the mobile usability of your website
If you would like to do an official check, you can use Google’s tool below:
Generally, if your website is older than 2 years, chances are it is not mobile friendly.
If you would like us to review your website for mobile friendliness and other improvements, feel free to contact us for a 1hr free website review and consultation today.