10 Steps to a Google Mobile-Friendly Site

It has been a little more than a week since Google’s much-hyped mobile friendly mobile friendly algorithm rolled out. Prior to that, we were all busy ensuring our websites were in compliance with Google’s mobile usability algorithm.

But what now? Has the gala ended? Certainly not. Post the arrival of Mobilegeddon, it is time that businesses took steps to check how the changes are impacting their website and ensure all is being done to optimize how listings appear on a mobile SERP and take necessary steps to ensure everything is in place.

Here is a comprehensive checklist for ensuring a Google mobile-friendly site.

1. Test Whether Your Pages Are Mobile-Friendly or Not

Google has a simple tool to help you check whether your website is mobile-friendly. This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

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2. Check in Google Webmaster Tools Account for Messages Pertaining to Mobile Usability

Alternatively, log in to your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Go to Search Traffic > Mobile Usability. Here you will also find steps on how to fix these issues:

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3. Check your CMS specific recommendations.

  • WordPress
  • Joomla!
  • Drupal
  • Blogger
  • vBulletin
  • Tumblr
  • DataLife Engine
  • Magento
  • Prestshop
  • Bitrix
  • Google Sites

These are the popular CMS integrations listed in specific recommendations by Google.

You can check whether your CMS is in the list and implement the changes accordingly.

4. Check Site Speed and Load Time

Page loading time is now one of the pivotal factors when it comes to mobile optimization, as according to Google, “We must deliver and render the above the fold (ATF) content in under one second, which allows the user to begin interacting with the page as soon as possible.” Visit Google’s Page Speed Insights to find out what on your site is responding slowly for desktop and mobile and fix it.

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5. Ensure Your Website Doesn’t Use Flash 

Flash-based content is not mobile-friendly. If you want to include animations, you may consider using other technologies like HTML 5. Also make sure that your website doesn’t contain scripts that do not work on mobile.

6. Make Sure That You Use Standard Fonts for the Content on Your Site 

Fancy fonts might take time to load on a user’s mobile device. Use standard fonts for content. Also make sure that your font sizes scale properly within the viewport, and the users don’t need to pinch to zoom.

7. Optimize Your Images

Again, anything that takes a long time to load should be avoided. So optimize your images accordingly to avoid further difficulties.

8. Keep a Tab on Your Redirects

Ensure that you maintain a 1:1 URL relationship if you have a mobile version of the desktop website. Checkout Google guidelines for the same.

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9. Make Sure That You Haven’t Blocked JavaScripts, CSS, or Image Files 

You site’s content will not be indexed properly if the Googlebot is not allowed to retrieve JavaScript and CSS, so it is recommended to allow Googlebot to retrieve the same.

Double check your robots.txt for issues if any.

10. Use Mobile-Centric 404s

Ensure that the pages of your site open on both desktop and mobile so that desktop pages don’t show an error page to mobile users while redirecting.

So, these are the some of the important steps to help you avoid your website getting clobbered by Google, and to make sure that your website is compliant with the Google mobile usability requirements.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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