Much has been said about the importance of having “mobile-friendly” websites. Once a trendy tactic, it is now more of a necessity—over half of all online searches are done on mobile devices, and mobile-friendly websites show higher in mobile search results than their unfriendly counterparts. That’s a lot of search volume at stake.
Redesigning a website takes time and money, though—so what do you do when you can’t overhaul the site just yet? There are quite a few ways to convert your website to a mobile friendly version, suited to different companies’ needs. For instance, you can run pages through an online converter, or you could find a CMS that automatically publishes mobile-friendly pages.
But before we get into that, there’s one question that should be answered:
How Can You Tell if a Page Is Mobile-Friendly?
One quick fix is to simply run it through an online test, such as this one from Google. Just plug your URL in and wait a minute or so for the test to return its findings. If your site is lacking, it will also let you know the specific issues and suggest resources for improving it.
For a more detailed analysis, check your website’s analytics. This will let you know what devices visitors use to find your site, and also what they try to do when they get there. It will give you an idea of which fixes to prioritize—a solid complement to the mobile-friendliness test.
Finally, you can test it the old-fashioned way, so to speak: access the site on both desktop and mobile, then compare loading times and ease of task completion. You can look into fixes based on the problems you notice in actual use. After all, your end goal should be user experience, not ticking boxes on a test.
Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly
- Site Converters
One way to get a mobile version of your site is to simply take an existing page and run it through a conversion service, such as bMobilized. This method is straightforward in the short-term, but may not be as practical in the long-run.
As with creating a mobile-only version of your site, you’ll have to monitor each page on different devices. Specifics may also have to be adjusted after the fact, so while it might save time, this isn’t always a guarantee.
- Content Management System (CMS) Options
Or instead of converting pages after they’re published, you can also choose a CMS with options for publishing pages that are automatically mobile-friendly. Most major CMS have these, such as Wordpress’s WPTouch, which allows for paid upgrades; and Joomla’s Joomlashine. Google has a guide for getting your mobile pages published right, including links for various CMS.
Of course, it’s a good idea to keep testing and improving even if you use these automatic options. Keep running analyses and testing out adjustments to your site based on your users’ mobile behavior patterns.
- Enabling AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) afford you an even bigger advantage in mobile searches. They’re optimized to load as quickly as possible, ensuring users have an excellent experience—which would encourage them to return. AMP with rich content takes this even further: in search results, they show up at the top of the page in a separate, eye-catching carousel.
Some CMS allow you to publish pages with AMP already enabled. HubSpot’s Content Optimization System (COS), in particular, gives you the option of enabling AMP on all blog posts or to specific ones. This is on top of the usual options for mobile-friendliness, which gives you a lot of control over how your pages show up on mobile. Better yet, there’s a range of options for migrating your website to HubSpot.
- Start from the Top: Redesign
The most comprehensive fix, of course, is to redesign your website with mobile in mind. This is where you get to respond to the particulars of your users. Do they access your site primarily on mobile or on desktop? Are there certain actions (e.g. making purchases, downloading offers, etc.) they do more often on one or the other? These become the cornerstone of your mobile design approach.
The two dominant approaches to designing websites with mobile in mind are the responsive approach and the mobile-first approach. The first deals with creating websites that respond to queries from different devices and respond accordingly: it shows a version of the site that best fits the device accessing it. The second allows for this sort of adaptability, with the added constraint that the mobile version is designed first; extra features are added on to enhance the desktop version.
The mobile-first approach to web design is great because it ensure that even on the simplest version (i.e. mobile), your users are getting an optimal experience—as opposed to starting the other way, with desktop, which may result in a mobile site that struggles to hold itself together after features have been cut out. That said, mobile-first isn’t the only option. Companies whose target market are most active on desktop may with to start their designs on desktop and create versions that respond to mobile devices.
Boosting your web presence, whether on mobile or desktop, starts with knowing your website in and out. Check out our SEO packages and get started with optimizing your website: