Getting mobile-friendly: The essential checklist for businesses

From 21/04/15 mobile friendliness will become a ranking factor

On the 21st April, mobile-friendliness will become an official ranking factor. Google has spoken – the world is glued to their iPhones, iPads (and those inferior Android things) and we all need to be taking stock.

You’re probably sick of hearing about ‘mobilegeddon’ by now, so this is our guide to cutting out the noise and assessing the impact the update could have on your business.

How much mobile traffic are you receiving?

It’s fair to say that some brands lend themselves particularly well to mobile. B2C ecommerce sites are a good example, especially if the value of the products is fairly low.

However, we’re now finding that even the most corporate B2B brands experience a significant number of mobile visits too. You might find that only 15% of your users come from mobile, but if your average monthly total traffic is 30,000, this equates to 4,500 customers.

If you really want to understand the value of making your site mobile responsive, we would strongly recommend understanding how important mobile is to your business.

While mobile-friendliness will affect all mobile rankings, assessing any potential loss of business can help you identify your ROI when it comes to making your site responsive.

Assess your mobile traffic:

Google Analytics > Audience > Mobile > Overview

Analytics will break down your traffic for desktop, mobile and tablet. Pay special attention to the bounce rate and conversion rate, it will indicate whether your users are finding what they’re looking for. If you take your desktop conversion rate and imagine that this rate is the same for mobile traffic, you can get a good indication of how many sales/enquiries you could be missing out on.

Identify any issues with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to identify problems with your site on a page-by-page basis. While you’ll need to input individual URLs to see how mobile-friendly your product pages, blog and home page are, it’s a quick and easy way to identify any specific issues.

If you have a Google Webmaster Tools Account then Google will test your site in bulk and notify you of any mobile issues. You can test your site via site traffic > mobile usability.

Common non-mobile-friendly factors translated:

  • Links too close together – This will provide navigation issues on touchscreens
  • Text too small to read – A common problem when a full page is ‘shrunk’. A mobile responsive page should be digestible. This will include a short burst of copy which summarises your services succinctly and a simpler navigation menu.
  • Content wider than screen – Again, a problem with trying to show a desktop orientated page on a smaller screen.
  • Mobile viewport not set – When you minimise a mobile-responsive site on desktop, you will see the content scale down and transform. Setting the viewport means that the page dimensions and scaling will respond to mobile.

Making your site responsive: It isn’t all or nothing

Making your site mobile-responsive can be tailored to suit your business. If your budget doesn’t permit a fully-optimised site, then creating a responsive home page can provide enough information to keep your mobile customers interested.

Typically, for a non-ecommerce site, you could choose to include a short breakdown of your main services, incorporate a contact form or newsletter sign-up and display your most powerful imagery in a scaled down format.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also find that a certain page warrants enough traffic to be well worth optimising. For example, a furniture designer might wish to have a fully responsive gallery to showcase their work.

We can help you determine what your users need to see and what they don’t.

The update is expected to roll out over the week commencing 21/04/15. With the current mobile traffic levels most sites are reaping, this is expected to noticeably impact site visits and conversions.

But there’s no need to panic about the hype. We’re currently offering packages to fit clients’ individual needs, so please speak to us and find out how you can prepare for the changes. Tracey Phillips, our account manager will be happy to help (0161 368 9814) or alternatively you can email [email protected].


  • Written by on 13th April 2015 at 10:33
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