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How to check if your mobile web design is Google-friendly

Posted on 14 April 2017 by mark
Category: Mobile & Responsive Design, SEO Northampton, Web Design Northampton
Tags: responsive web design, mobile first, mobile web design

So, you’ve designed, implemented and launched an engaging, mobile-friendly website for your business. Fantastic!

But, hold on - is it Google-friendly?

Just because a website has been designed in a responsive fashion doesn’t mean it’s properly tuned for the most important search engine on the planet. Your business website might look fantastic on your iPhone and operate just as you intended, but there are a few things you’ll need to check to ensure it can definitely be found within search results.

Run the test

Strap yourself in - it’s time to run Google’s very own mobile-friendly test. And what better way to test a website for mobile-readiness than by using a tool made by the world’s most prominent search engine?

All you have to do is pop in the address of your website and click the ‘Run Test’ button. What follows will be a brief but incredibly insightful report on the mobile-friendliness of your website. If everything is fine, you’ll receive a nice message informing you of the fact.

On the other hand, you might be informed that there are some issues. Even mobile-friendly websites can harbour underlying technical problems that prevent them from being fully digested by search engines. Google will refer to these as ‘page loading issues’ or similar, and it’s important you take a look and inform your web designer if any are reported.

Make sure your site can be crawled

Search engines silently hunt through websites in order to index the pages within, but if there’s any form of barrier preventing them from doing so, they’ll soon give up and move on.

To prevent this from happening to your own website, run the Fetch As Google tool to check whether or not the search engine can crawl through its pages. Providing everything is fine, you can request for the site to be indexed from the same tool, as well.

Check that media works

Google loves imagery and video, but if your website features content of that kind and it isn’t designed for mobile use, it may cause you ranking problems.

Conduct a sweep of your website on your smartphone and ensure that any rich media you’ve embedded plays back as desired. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to find a solution, which may mean leaning on a third party service such as YouTube or Soundcloud to undertake the heavy lifting and provide content that works on mobile.

Make sure redirects are correct

If you have a desktop website that simply redirects to the homepage of its mobile version whenever such a device is detected, you may be confusing Google if you’re using the same redirect on every single page.

The reason is simple; because all of your redirects point to the same page, Google will only have a single point of entry to your mobile site, which it won’t be particularly happy about. You want to keep Google happy, so use redirects that point to the exact corresponding pages on the mobile site.

Bonus tip: serve mobile content before adverts

The advice above relates specifically to ensuring your mobile website plays well with Google, but it’s obviously important to keep the user in mind, too.

For that reason, you should always avoid serving ad content or prompts to download mobile apps first. Load that kind of stuff last, and you should see bounce rates decrease as fewer visitors become immediately annoyed when they have unwanted content thrust in front of them before anything else.

Need further help?

If you require assistance with any of the above, we’d love to help. We know how to tune mobile-ready websites so they become the best of buddies with Google. Get in touch today to find out how we can elevate the most important aspect of your business website.

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