How to check your website is truly mobile ready

Alan Ong AO

Many of us know how important it is to have a mobile friendly website, mainly because of the increasing number of mobile users and Google’s algorithm change back in 2015. But how do you know if your website is really mobile-ready?

Your website might appear to look fine on mobile, however it might not be truly optimised. And since most users start their initial searches on mobile, it’s important that you focus on mobile first as well as mobile fast.

Here’s a number of ways you can find out if your website is ready for mobile:

1. Open your website on your phone, tablet or any mobile device

Have a comparison between the different views, and change the orientation. Ask yourself; Is content cut off? Or can you scroll and view content without an issue?

If content fits within your screen and you can scroll properly, that is a great sign.

If it is not, you may need a responsive design.

The responsive design approach makes use of flexible layouts and flexible image sizing based on cascading stylesheets that detect the user’s screen size and orientation to change the layout accordingly.

2. Test your website’s mobile load speed

Click on this and enter your company’s URL in the text box.

This link from Google tests your URL to see if it’s mobile friendly, or if it’s not quite responsive.

Some of the common reasons why a website isn't mobile-friendly are:

The text is too small. Make it easier for users by adjusting your font size for maximum legibility instead of having your users manually zoom in to read your content.

Links and buttons are too small or too close together. All links, buttons, especially any call-to-actions should be easy to locate and tapped with thumbs and fingers — it reduces the chance that the user will miss it or hit the wrong button by mistake.

Mobile viewports isn't set and the content is wider than the screen. This annoys users by having them to scroll side-to-side to read the page. Responsive design will automatically adjust the viewport based on the device.

Media files are too large. Ensure that all images are optimised for mobile. Any large video or audio files should only be fetched or downloaded on the user’s request and not on the page load. These can save a huge amount of bandwidth and dramatically reduce loading times.

3. Test all forms on your website from your mobile browser

Since a form submission (e.g. contact, enquiry, email sign-ups) is one of the most important factors of your website, it is important to ensure that they are responsive on mobile.

Is it responding properly? Can you fill out the form easily?

Try to minimise text input. Typing is slower on a mobile phone, and opens up an on-screen keyboard, which makes the viewable screen half as big. Remove any input fields that are not absolutely essential. Or, break up forms into multiple pages that only take up half of the screen, with a clear “next” button, so that users don’t have to scroll.

4. Check your site speed

Another tool from Google is the Site Speed Test. Just like the mobile-readiness test, enter your company’s website URL to get started.

It will give you a speed test for mobile and desktop, as well as detailing information on what you should fix and the things that have been done correctly.

5. Review your content and their placement

Even if your website is optimised for mobile structurally, it is important that your content reflects your mobile focus.

There should be a content hierarchy that flows naturally when users interact with your website. Keep content short and sweet. The screen on a smartphone is much smaller than that on a desktop so only include essential copy for the user to find information quickly.

And then ask yourself; Does the text flow and is it easy to read? Are all call-to-action buttons easy to click? Do users understand exactly where each link and button will lead them?

When reviewing your website, make sure that your content is placed in a way that makes sense for your visitors.

6. Leverage Mobile Specific Features

There are mobile-only features that can be leveraged on a mobile device. For example, you can make all of your phone numbers click-to-call or turn your address into a link for map navigation.

Also consider geolocation to give directions, allow users to check in-store availability to the nearest store location, offer targeted promotions and offer online shoppers prices in their local currency.

7. Test to optimise the mobile user experience

Always be testing to continuously improve the overall site experience. Ensure that it can be properly viewed on different devices, browsers, platforms and operating systems. Users can navigate easily, find information without hitting any roadblocks. There is always something you can test (A/B testing, multivariate testing, usability testing) and do better to enhance the user’s experience.

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