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Is your Association Website Mobile and Tablet Friendly?

Lynne Newbury - Project Manager

Google has definitely noticed that more and more users are accessing websites via their mobile devices and tablets, and they have predicted that mobile and tablet searches will exceed desktop in the very near future. Therefore towards the end of 2014 Google announced that mobile user experience would be considered in their algorithms.

Google believes that 'users' searching on mobile should get the most relevant and timely results for the device they are searching with. They have therefore added tags such as 'mobile friendly' to their search results. When you are using a mobile device and searching on Google this will mean that non-friendly mobile sites will display lower in the results than those that have been given the mobile tick.

What Features is Google basing their Mobile Algorithm?

Some of the website features that we take for granted on a computer screen that really don't work for a mobile device include:

  • flash usage - flash files will not render properly on most mobile devices and therefore the site will often prompt the user to download flash to view the file, which is not possible.
  • popup promotions - same as flash - you often won't be able to view the full popup or open it in a new screen to continue.
  • fixed width screen sizes - the code of a website includes a viewport - or size of what to display - to get the mobile tick you need to not give a size, but say match to the device width.  This will ensure menus and text are not cut off
  • tiny text - if the font is set to too small a size, it can mean that the vertical space makes it hard to read on a mobile and everything will look squashed together.  Google recommends that 16 CSS is a good base size.
  • links placed too close too each other - fingers on a mobile screen work very differently to using a keyboard for a computer and you need to leave enough space in your design to account for this.
  • mobile domains - if you have a mobile site it will have an m.domainname.com.au this lets google know there is a mobile version - responsive sites don't require a m. domain, they use different code. If your DNS is not set up correct to display the m. version on the appropriate devices, then you won't receive the mobile friendly tick.

Get Your Mobile App Indexed in Google

In the past, Google has made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and able to be viewed on more modern devices. They have now made it easier for 'users' to find content from Apps in the search results. The deep link on the text shows in the Google results and when the users clicks on the link they will be taken straight to that page on your App.  This will help get a user to download your App.

If your organisation has an app - learn how to get it indexed with google.

Increased mobile-friendly website search results

From April 21st, 2015 Google will be expanding the mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The change will affect all mobile searches in all languages across the globe as well as search results. The outcome will see users able to access high quality search results optimized for their device.

Unsure if your Association Membership Website is mobile friendly?

Test your website on the Google mobile-friendly test, chances are if you don’t have a responsive or mobile friendly site you will fail the test. If you do fail it will give you a few reasons why which could include: text too small to read, links too close together and mobile viewpoint not set. 

Where to Begin?

After checking if your site is mobile friendly, a good step is to check on Google Analytics, and view how many users are actually accessing your site via mobile devices. Monitor this over a period of a few weeks or months and see if the percentage is increasing. An increase in mobile searches would be a normal outcome for many association and organisations.

If you are looking to take your website responsive/mobile and tablet friendly and not sure where to start, talk to our product specialists as we are currently building a responsive association website for a new client.

Learn more aobut whether your organisation is Better off with a Mobile Site or Responsive Web Design?