If you’re still in denial about the importance of mobile devices, it’s time to drag yourself out of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been nearly a year since Mobilegeddon, Google’s fateful algorithm change that punishes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. If you’re a desktop user who blissfully sits in front of your computer all day, you are becoming the minority. There is a growing population, an estimated 60+%, that accesses nearly everything from their phones.
Google’s test site for mobile friendliness
Google developers have created a Mobile-Friendly Test Site where you can paste your url into a field to test its mobile readiness. It will show you what it looks like on a smartphone, and you’ll get a report that says, “Awesome. This page is mobile-friendly” or one that says “Not mobile-friendly.” If you’re not mobile friendly, it will show that:
- Text is too small to read
- Links are too close together
- Mobile viewport is notset
Time to ask yourself some hard questions
If you passed the test, congratulations. If not, here are some things to consider:
- Technology. You will want to think about when your site was created, in what platform it was built.
- Accessibility. Can you access it yourself or do you have to rely on someone else for updates? New technologies such as WordPress make it easy to add pages, swap out content and upload images.
- What about the overall design and navigation? Are they still appropriate and efficient or dated and cumbersome?
- Content. This is the tough one. Is this even relevant anymore? Has your company grown, added products, services and people who aren’t represented on the site?
To update or create a brand new site?
In some cases, you can update your site to make it mobile-friendly. But in general, if your site is more than a few years old, it was probably built in a dated technology that’s difficult to manage, and it’s more cost-effective to create a new one. If you have to wait around for your web person to surface in order to make small edits, it’s time to change the model. You could make the changes yourself while you’re detailing your instructions to him/her and save yourself time and money.
While a new website can seem like a huge undertaking, it’s an excellent opportunity to create a site that’s representative of your business as it is today. For many small businesses, their websites represent their single biggest marketing spend, yet they’re not generating any ROI, so this is a chance to change the model. Your website says a lot about you. Well-written content, thoughtful navigation and good design go a long way towards validating you as an industry expert.