4 Musts to Qualify for the New ‘Mobile-friendly’ Icon in Search Results

If you aren’t aware of the quickly increasing mobile market, take a look at these statistics and get busy ensuring your site can be viewed on all mobile devices. According to TechCrunch.com, the amount of mobile users has now surpassed those who are using desktop devices. (Of course, the statistics may be a little skewed, as many people use both technologies. So the great increase could also be due to the fact that more people are buying and using smart phones.)

A business man is viewing responsive design on his smartphone

According to statistics run on CNN, in 2014 Americans used mobile devices more than desktops when using the internet. A few more stats from comScore.com:

  • 76% of “millennials” own smartphones
  • 91% of U.S. adults own mobile units (61% are smartphones)
  • 143 million smart phones (U.S.) and 71 million tablets
  • Google, Microsoft and Facebook are the top three user sites
  • $4.4 billion was spent on mobile marketing (2012), which doubled in 2013 ($8.5 million). The projection to quadruple by year 2017, is a strong indication of where things are headed.

Any way you look at it, mobile-friendly websites are more important than ever before.

If your website design is more than a few years old, it is likely that it was not designed to be “responsive” to all devices. Being responsive is not only about how the site appears on a mobile device, it also relates to how everything functions and if the site is still easy to navigate and use.

A few common pitfalls, besides having an older, pre-mobile-boom, site, are identified below along with what you can do to have your site become more attuned and usable.

However, before embarking on extra work, why not take a minute to run your company’s internet address through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This test will analyze and provide an instant report as to whether the site is mobile-friendly or not. If the report states that it is not, then follow the steps below to increase its compatibility and test again.

Noobpreneur shows mobile friendly label on Google search results
© Noobpreneur.com

1. Avoid Unique Software

Even though you have probably heard the word Flash, it is a good example of software that is not common on mobile devices. Flash is an Adobe product that produces animation, games and more – however in order to work, the viewer’s device must have a Flash player, which most mobile devices do not have. Another example is Microsoft’s Silverlight technology which requires specific plugins to be displayed. It’s best to use recent javascript libraries that help build almost anything.

Don’t use technologies that are not mobile friendly. Make sure you have a separate set of styles to manage smart device look and feel and it loads and executes properly on all devices.

2. Ease- of-Use

Don’t forget how much smaller the screens are on mobile device. So it is important to use font size and a presentation that is readable without the necessity to zoom in on each item. Of course, if your design is responsive, then it will rearrange the layout so that it matches the mobile device screen size and adjusts itself accordingly.

Noobpreneur.com on iPad
© Noobpreneur.com

3. Responsive Call-To-Action

You can be sure that mobile users will find another website for making their purchases if they have to hunt and peck to find the action buttons, whatever they may be. Look at some of the most effectively-designed responsive websites, such as IKEA, Subway and Sony Pictures, and learn. Remember, users don’t want to scroll horizontally or zoom to chase links or find information.

4. Link Placement

Place links far enough apart so desired button can be easily tapped. This shows that user experience has become more important than it used to be and has now become part of the ranking factor in search engines. Google WebmasterTools sends messages to website owners with a “fix your mobile usability issues” subject.

Overall, it doesn’t take much to get your site up-to-speed for the mobile market, so don’t ignore it. It is expected to become increasingly important to successful marketing. Here are a few links that will provide a shortcut to mastering this crucial marketing element.