Tech Tip: A mobile-friendly website test tool from Google
The tool checks the pages of your site and will make recommendations on how you can optimise your site for mobile. All you need to do is enter your web page URL and the tool will immediately generate the report for you.
People are now glued to small screens. Although smartphone perception has plateaued compared to previous years, more people still prefer to use their smartphones not only to communicate but also to look for information online. In fact in many countries, the number of smartphones has now surpassed the number of personal computers.
In Australia, IAB Australia and Nielsen revealed that in February 2016, over 13 million people actively browsed websites/apps using their smartphones, whilst 7.5 million people used their tablets to do the same. This is supported by a separate study done by the University of Canberra’s News & Media Research Centre which showed that “an average [Australian] adult spends 35 hours per month on smartphones and engages in 199 sessions per month which is four times that of people using computers.”
With this in mind, if the desktop version of your site turns out to be difficult to view and use on a mobile device, your users are more likely to abandon your site.
A site that isn’t mobile-responsive will require a user to pinch or zoom in order to read the content. This is a frustrating experience for your user who expects a more readable and immediately usable site.
What you can do
There are a few things Google checks to evaluate if your website is mobile-friendly:
- Whether your site uses software that is supported on mobile devices (e.g. Adobe Flash)
- That the site uses acceptable typography which is readable without zooming in.
- Whether content, especially images, are perfectly sized to a small screen, so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Whether links are placed far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.
To check if your page meets the mobile-friendly criteria:
- Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to check your site/page(s).
- Read Google’s updated documentation on their Webmasters Mobile Guide on how to create and improve your mobile site.
- Review the Mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools, which highlights major mobile usability issues across your entire site, not just one page.
- Review Google’s how-to guide for third-party software like WordPress or Joomla, in order to migrate your website hosted on a CMS (Content Management System) to use a mobile-friendly template.
Make sure you’re making it easy for users to order, buy or research your products and services on the go with this easy to use tool.