“Mobile friendly” is somewhat of an IT and web design buzzword that describes a web domain that has been optimised to serve an ideal experience for mobile and tablet users. These handheld devices use touch screens and have varying display sizes, meaning that a mobile friendly websites needs to be able to dynamically adapt to different formats while still giving the same experience as a desktop website.
While your website might scale for mobile phones and have touch screen functionality, if it does not offer a functional alternative to the desktop version it is not truly mobile friendly. At its core, mobile friendly means serving the complete website experience in a handheld format.
The SEO aspect
The reason mobile friendly websites are important for SEO is because the biggest search engine, Google, announced that it would prioritise sites that are mobile optimised in their rankings. This means that a website that has both desktop and mobile versions will most often rank higher than those with just the desktop version.
The reasoning for this is pretty simple to understand; search engines want to give users the best results and the best results for the majority of search traffic is a mobile version of websites. This is why so many businesses are scrambling to make sure their websites meet the criteria for mobile friendliness.
How do you make a website mobile friendly?
Making your website mobile friendly involves a variety of steps that improve its mobile functionality and performance. Let’s take a look at some of these steps.
Make sure the website scales dynamically
This means having a website plugin or some other mechanism that translates your website content into one that’s scalable for different sized mobile devices. This means that text, images and graphics need to be of a good resolution so that they look good on all screen sizes.
Make sure the website loads quickly
Mobile users are often on-the-go, so they’re lifestyle is one that’s fast paced. They’re less patient than desktop users who are more prepared to wait for a site to load.
The best designed mobile sites will fail if they take too long to load. Reducing load times can come from optimising the back end of a website and making sure multimedia content like pictures are not a ridiculously high resolution.
Use the unique features of mobile devices
Mobile devices have special features inherent to the devices that can make the mobile experience different for users. Things like push notifications and touch screen enabled graphics are examples of special features mobile sites can use.