Mobile: the way to Googles’ heart

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In today’s world, the shift toward mobile internet use continues to gather momentum, with most searches now originating from mobile devices. Google has noticed, and online content producers need to appreciate how much.


Mobile is a must
As of April this year, Google has adjusted the way it ranks websites. As things stand, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, it’ll get knocked down the search results list.


What’s behind the shift?
Sites that aren’t mobile friendly don’t display well on Smartphones, with visitors needing to pinch, zoom and generally suffer through a terrible experience to digest content. As the reigning champion of search, Google’s stake in this is simple: Spare users all of that.

As a content producer, you only have one play, given how quickly people lose interest in content, and the multitude of alternatives available to them online. You have to create a smooth, mobile-friendly experience on your site.


Where to begin?

Google has a list of things to avoid when optimising your site for mobile:
Here’s a short list of tweaks to get you started, though.

  • Page Speed
    Most people expect a web page to load within five seconds on their phone. Any longer, and chances are you’ve lost them. Keep this in mind when doing your site, as well as that people will probably be on a 3G or 4G network. Google says catering for these people means making your site render in under one second, and reducing the number of requests and amount of data transferred. Other options involve deferring the loading of JavaScript until needed, and using Google PageSpeed Insights to catch page loading issues on your site.
  • Responsiveness
    Having a responsive site is industry-speak for developing one that adapts (or responds) to fit the screen in question – whether that’s a Smartphone or a desktop. For example, the full menu must be able to fit on a Smartphone screen without the need for pinching or zooming.
  • Unplayable Videos
    Google says to use HTML5 standard tags when including videos. You should also stay away from formats that aren’t supported by all mobiles. Flash is an example of one.