In a rare move way back in April 2015, Google forewarned the digital community that a new update was to be rolled out to indicate whether a website was mobile friendly or not. Webmasters across the globe rushed to meet mobile readiness in what has since been dubbed Mobilegeddon to secure the much coveted “Mobile-friendly” label across mobile search results.
While the “Mobile-friendly” label was subsequently dropped in August 2016, it is still imperative for website owners to ensure that their websites are fully responsive as 2016 also saw a key turning point, where mobile and tablet usage overtook desktop for the first time.
In the last 18 months plus, Google has been pushing for speed across websites both from an end-user perspective but also from Google itself – Google’s crawl budget has grown exponentially in its 19-year history and consuming budget on underperforming websites naturally makes no commercial sense.
Is my website mobile-friendly?
So how exactly do you check that your website is not only mobile friendly but is also hitting the right speed performance metrics?
The first port of call should be to run the Google Mobile Friendly test using Google’s proprietary tool at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly which – if all criteria are met – will give you a warm smug feeling through the results.
If however you fail, nil desperandum as the tool will give you clear guidelines on how to improve mobile performance. However, if there are many failed checks, the prospect of redesigning an entire site is often not only daunting but also potentially a huge financial outlay depending on the complexity of your website.
Mobile-friendly and speed – the argument for a redesign
Marketing managers, digital managers and SEOers can then face the unenviable task of trying to persuade management and key stakeholders that the investment in website changes or outright redevelopment is worth the financial commitment.
As previously mentioned, late 2016 onwards is increasingly all about speed – we all live in an “information now” society where internet users are much more demanding and one of the initial tools to test the speed of your site is https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. This gives a score out of 100 for both Mobile and Desktop – ideal targets should be in the high 70 percentiles. Workarounds are again clearly outlined and testing and re-testing is free.
Selling the need for speed and the criticality of updating a website is still hard, but one of the best means is to highlight the potential impact to traffic and again Google provides a great tool that tests mobile https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/.
This is often the best tool to show reluctant management, proving the potential haemorrhage of visitors will be something that management and key stakeholders will understand. Numbers speak and in the example below, no one will want to lose 32% of visitors.