Updating Your Website to Responsive Design After Google’s Mobile Friendly Update
When building your website, it is important for you to take into account how different users will interact with your site depending on the devices that they are using. When it comes to mobile users, such as iPad and smartphone users, the user experience of your site should be specifically tailored to those users. Making your site responsive is the best way to ensure that your site is accessible to all mobile users and won’t offer a user experience that is frustrating to use or slow.
What Is the Google Mobile-Friendly Update?
In April of 2015, Google announced that it would require all websites to upgrade to become mobile friendly. This announcement was followed by the development of the Mobile Friendly Test tool that website owners can use to determine if their websites are mobile-friendly in the eyes of Google. Google subsequently began to include mobile-friendliness as one of its ranking factors. These days, having a mobile friendly website is not only important for providing a great user experience for your users, but it is also essential for ensuring that your website doesn’t lose rank in the search engines.
Here are some tips to help you update your website to responsive design now that Google’s Mobile Friendly update has taken place.
Find a Web Designer
Google has also dedicated an entire section of its Google Developers to responsive design in order to help you learn what responsive design is about and how to upgrade your site. However, these instructions are intended for web developers. Therefore, the first step to upgrading your site should be to find a competent web design firm that can handle the upgrade of your site while also helping you to maintain or improve your search engine rankings.
Selecting Features for Your New Website
Before you upgrade, you may want to consider whether you want to simply move your old site content to new website design. Responsive designs often exclude specific features of the desktop version of the site to fit smaller device screens. As a result, it may be best to design a mobile experience that is very different from the desktop version of your site.
If your current site isn’t designed in a way that is user-friendly for people who use touch devices, then you will need to consider this fact with your new responsive design. Adding features such as swipe space, larger page elements, toggle menus are just some of the options that you will want to include to make it easier to navigate your new website on a mobile device.
Get Rid of Technology That Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Even if you update your website to responsive design, you may still hurt your search engine rankings if you don’t get rid of technology on your website that isn’t mobile friendly. While iOS does not support Flash, using Flash is generally not recommended for mobile sites. As a result, you should make sure that your website does not depend on any technologies that are likely to have conflicts with major mobile platforms.
If you like the functionality that the technology previously offered for your site, talk with your web developer about what your site can use instead as a substitute. Getting rid of technologies that are not compatible with certain platforms will also help to improve your site’s rankings by lowering the bounce rate for your site.
Another time-consuming task that you will need to include as a part of your upgrade to responsive design is the testing. Although there are some website checkers that will allow you to preview what your site will look like on mobile devices, these tools are often unable to provide real insight into how the responsive site will behave on various types of devices. As a result, you should have your web designer rigorously test your website before it goes live to ensure that it loads quickly and correctly.
Making sure that your site is mobile friendly is essential now that Google has made changes to its algorithm, which is in direct response to the fact that roughly 30% of Google search traffic comes from mobile devices. As you upgrade your website, think of mobile users first if you want to create better user experiences for your site visitors and achieve better rankings in the process.
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