By now, you have probably heard – your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
Digital marketers have been talking about it for years, although the subject really didn’t get much attention from the average webmaster until Google unleashed Mobilegeddon in 2015. The update gave priority in the search results to websites that were mobile friendly.
After this update, those with older websites began to take notice. Businesses started to see their websites fall in the rankings and lose traffic. Suddenly, everyone wanted their site to be mobile friendly.
Here we are, four years later, and there are still many business owners who are running older websites. If you fall into this category, you probably want to take the time to upgrade your website as it’s more important now than ever.
Why Is Being Mobile Friendly So Important?
You are probably wondering why it’s so important to have a website that’s mobile-friendly? Aside from pleasing the Google gods and ranking higher in the SERPs, why is it necessary?
Think about the last time you performed a Google search on your smartphone and came across a website that was not mobile friendly and was difficult to navigate. You probably noticed that the entire page was shrunken down so small, you can only read the large headings and must zoom in and swipe around to find what you are looking for.
Did you stick around the page very long to find what you were looking for or did you click on the “back” button to return to the search results because you knew that there were other websites to choose from which offer content that is formatted in a way that is easier to read and navigate?
Unless you already knew that the website was a great source of information, chances are you clicked the back button and clicked on the next search result.
Having a mobile-friendly site ensures that you provide a great user experience where users remain interested in staying on your site.
While you may be thinking that only a small portion of internet users are on mobile, nothing could be further from the truth. Today, more than half of internet users worldwide are on mobile. This number is expected to grow to nearly seventy-five percent over the next six years.
How Do I Know If My Website Is Mobile-Friendly?
You may be wondering if your website is already mobile-friendly.
If it’s been 10 or more years since you originally built your website and you haven’t done any updating, it’s very likely that your website is not mobile-friendly.
Visit your website on your smart phone and observe how it loads. Is everything small and hard to read? This is a clear indicator that it’s not mobile-friendly.
If you’re still not sure, you can use this tool which was created by Google to test your website. Simply enter your domain and it will run a test and report the results.
Updating Your Website to Make It Mobile Friendly
You have discovered that your website needs to be updated. The next question that you may ask is how difficult is it to convert your website to one that’s mobile-friendly?
The answer is, it depends. It depends on the complexity of your site and how long it’s been since it’s been updated.
A simple 6-page WordPress website with basic content will be much easier to convert than a website with dozens or hundreds of pages that was created with a lot of custom coding.
With a basic website, you can usually change the theme and then redesign each page so that it displays properly. A more complex site will take a lot more time to transform.
The good news…
The good news is that there are more options than ever when it comes to mobile themes.
I can recall, only a few years ago, when building a mobile site wasn’t so easy. You created a “mobile version” of your website on Duda or a similar builder and then redirected any traffic that came from a mobile device to your mobile site. The domain was typically structured as m.domain.com.
While you can still do it this way, we prefer to redesign the site using a responsive theme. Doing so, there are no third party services involved. It also means that your site will load faster because there are no redirects which take precious seconds, seconds that many visitors are unwilling to wait for in today’s fast-paced high-speed online world.
Most themes that have been recently built will be responsive. Some are free while others are paid for.
When choosing a theme, check the reviews and make sure that it’s responsive, offers the look that you desire, the ability to customize, and is not bloated with unnecessary coding. Also, check to ensure that the theme is updated regularly. Themes are created by different developers and if they decide to abandon a project, you will likely run into issues down the road and not receive any support.
While updating your website so that it’s mobile-friendly is much easier today than it has been in the past, it can still be time-consuming – especially if you are not familiar with the platform. Because of this, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
Hiring A Digital Marketing Professional
Today’s website building tools make it easier than ever to design or redesign a website. The question is, do you have the time to dedicate to learning the platform and creating the website and do you have an eye for design and the ability to effectively get your message across?
If you answered “no” to either of these questions, you may want to consider hiring a marketing specialist who does this type of work every day.