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On May 2, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that the company is trialling an updated mobile friendly test. In his post on Google+, he stated:

“Search Console is currently experimenting with a revamped version of the Mobile Friendly Test, which will eventually become a part of Search Console going forward. Some Search Console users will see this new version as we gradually roll it out during this test period and learn more about its usage. The new tool will be linked from the mobile usability report in Search Console.”

Google’s experiments with their testing tool aren’t surprising given the growth of mobile in recent years. Just last year Google confirmed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”.

Nowadays, a mobile-friendly site is not optional — it’s a necessity. Our Creative Director, Andrew Blenkinsop, shares his tips for creating a mobile site that works for both your users and Google.

Restructure your content

Mobile users have different search intent to desktop searchers. Those sitting at a desktop computer will generally have more time to browse, while mobile users who are on the move need easily digestible information they can access quickly. As such, you’ll need to restructure your site’s content to prioritise the most important parts.

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Think about what mobile users want from your site and make sure your structure your content and mobile web design to reflect this. For example, a recent Google study found that 50% of local searches on a smartphone resulted in a visit to the store within one day. Clearly, addresses and contact information are important to mobile users, so ensuring these details are clear and easily located on your site will be beneficial.

Don’t water it down

While you may need to restructure your content, you shouldn’t resort to watering it down to cater to a mobile audience. It may seem like the easy option but doing so will sell your website short to mobile users — they won’t get the same experience as those on desktop. Make any user feel subordinate and they’ll get the information they require from somewhere else.

You should have the same content on your mobile site as you do on your desktop site. Essentially, you are rendering your content for mobile users, tailoring your site to meet their needs.

Consider load times

Slow load times are frustrating for any user regardless of their device, resulting in high bounce rates and lost interest. However, on mobile devices, it’s especially important that your site loads quickly. While on the move, smartphone users will usually connect over a 3G or 4G mobile data connection, so it’s important that your pages load quickly to avoid users disengaging.

Make it responsive

Also related to the performance of your site is how responsive it is. If your slow load times haven’t driven your users away, unresponsive buttons and pages certainly will, so you’ll need to make sure your site is hiccup-free.

While your priority may be to ensure your core pages are mobile-friendly, jumping between mobile and desktop pages will hamper the user experience. Make sure that all pages are suitable for mobile devices and carry out thorough testing to ensure all elements are fully functional.

For help making your site mobile friendly, contact Mediaworks on 0191 404 0100 or email info@mediaworks.co.uk.

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