The newsLINK Group - Building Mobile-Friendly Websites

Editorial Library Category: Marketing Topics: Mobile-Friendly Websites Title: Building Mobile-Friendly Websites Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Google began rolling out its mobile-friendly update on April 21, 2015. Mobile- friendly websites will get a rating boost for providing high-quality results that are relevant, that have readable text without the need for tapping or zooming, and that don’t contain unplayable content or horizontal scrolling. Editorial: Building Mobile-Friendly Websites 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Google began rolling out its mobile-friendly update on April 21, 2015. Mobile-friendly websites will get a rating boost for providing high-quality results that are relevant, that have readable text without the need for tapping or zooming, and that don’t contain unplayable content or horizontal scrolling. There’s a reason Google is making this move. After all, as much as 60 percent of the online searches being done today are performed by people who use some kind of mobile device. That percentage (which will probably continue to increase) delivers a clear message: as people continue to move away from using a desktop computer and increasingly use mobile technology instead, it’s not enough to just have a website. The website also has to be mobile friendly. According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, the update only affects search rankings for mobile devices. However, it also affects the search results for all languages, and applies only to individual pages rather than to an entire website. What does it mean for a page to be mobile friendly? This is one of those few areas in life that have a yes or no answer. There is no gray area. Google determines your website ranking by evaluating 200 different factors during its Mobile Friendly Test and then gives you an answer. The test can be found at the following address: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly All you have to do is enter the URL for a website page and click the Analyze button. Google takes it from there, and either passes the page or fails it. If you prefer, you can also select Get Started from the menu at the top of the page, and learn more about how to make pages on a site mobile- friendly, either on your own, with third-party software, or by working with someone with the necessary technical expertise. Fortunately, compliance gives you important benefits. A good website provides an optimal online experience for anyone using it. Optimal experiences, of course, mean better results for the people who use your website. Equally fortunately, Google is providing guidance for the best ways to build a mobile-friendly website: It has to be responsive. This isn’t new. It is just part of what has become the traditional standard for website design. Part of what a responsive website gives you is lack of dependence on a particular device. Content must be served dynamically, meaning it will display differently depending on how a website is being viewed. A browser will identify itself as the browser being used, including the version and the operating system, using its user-agent string. This allows for content to be customized on a webpage so it will display differently on mobile devices versus desktop browsers. The website should also use Google’s new technical and UX tools and guidelines. There’s a quick test to determine whether your website is responsive. Grab the side of your browser window with a site open and shrink the width. It’s responsive if it automatically changes how it's displayed. Design guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following practices: Give links plenty of room around them so they are not too close together. Use recommended font sizes (Google doesn’t like anything under 16 px). Use the “rel=canonical” property correctly. If you have never used this particular property and need a little more information, Joost de Valk wrote an explanation on February 12, 2015 at yoast.com that tells you what it is and gives you some guidance for how to put it to work. Keep an eye on how fast your website loads.

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