One simple test will prove whether you’re thinking about your website the right way and all you need to take this test is a pencil and a piece of paper.
Simply take the piece of paper and draw your website’s home page.
Here’s some drawing music to listen to while you do that.
Are you done? Good.
Now, here’s the important question: What configuration did you draw your website in?
If you drew it vertically, as if you were looking at it on a phone, than you passed.
If you drew it horizontally, as if you were looking at it on a laptop, well …
We didn’t actually come up with this test. Camp Tech founder Avery Swartz did. In a recent Globe and Mail article, Swartz said she asked eight small business owners to draw their website homepages and all eight of them drew their sites in a horizontal configuration, just like you probably did.
To Swartz, this proved that small business owners are not yet mobile first in their thinking when it comes to their websites or their online presence in general. With mobile usage on the rise and laptop and desktop use continuing to decline, Swartz says, business owners need to stop thinking as if there are two different types of internet. There is no “mobile internet” vs “regular internet.” It’s all the same, but people are accessing it via mobile device more often than not now.
Google has already started the process of mobile-first indexing, which indexes and ranks sites based on the mobile versions of the sites first rather than the desktop versions of them. So, how well your site looks and functions on a phone is officially more important than how it looks and functions on a traditional computer.
If your site is completely responsive, than you should, theoretically, be fine. Your site will have the same content whether it’s viewed on a mobile or desktop screen and it should be arranged in an intuitive way on either screen. If, however, your site is not responsive and it’s missing content when viewed on a phone, you’re in trouble.
Furthermore, Google has also said that it is going to start taking page speed into account when indexing mobile sites as of July 2018.
If your website isn’t optimized for phones, as Swartz points out, then you’re going to take a hit on your SEO and your ranking will suffer.
What You Can Do
Test, test and retest your site on a phone. Test it on multiple phones of varying size, in fact. Any modern website is going to have responsiveness built into it, but responsiveness doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to look good and function well.
You’ll need to look at your site from a visitor’s perspective and, even better, actually recruit someone who isn’t familiar with your site to visit it and use it for its intended purpose.
If you get frustrated while using it or you find yourself longing to be on the desktop version, then you probably need to rethink your site. And, you should definitely rethink it from a mobile-first perspective.
For e-commerce sites, make sure you go through the entire process of browsing for and buying a product. Take note of whether you can use mobile payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay or if you have to enter your credit card information manually. If you are experiencing any trouble giving your business money, that means your customers are, too. You want the whole giving money thing to be as smooth as possible, obviously.
Mobile Tune Ups
You can test your website to see how well it performs with a suite of Google tools that includes its:
The tests tell you how well your site performs on mobile devices and gives you suggestions for making your site faster and better performing if your results are poor.
And, of course, if you use video on your site, you should have a responsive video player. Just like with websites themselves, your videos should be able to shift from desktop to mobile without any problem and they should be mobile optimized. One of the best types of video you can use on your site is a whiteboard animation video. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own whiteboard animation video.