September 22, 2014

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? Google Can Tell You

According to one statistic, half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device.  With more people accessing websites using their smartphones, making sure you website is readable on a phone is not something you can ignore. Load times, readability and images often render differently on a smaller screen.  If a website is less functional when viewed on a phone versus a regular PC or laptop, many mobile users will simply leave a site.

SmallBizTrends GoMo

Now Google wants to help make sure your website is mobile friendly. Its GoMo site, launched last November, lets you test the functionality of your website on a mobile device. The site uses a tool called GoMoMeter, created by Mullen Advertising, and powered by Keynote Systems‘ MITE product, which allows users to see what their websites would look like on a mobile device. It also provides tips for improving mobile readiness of your site, as well as resources for building the mobile version of your website.

Why Being Mobile Friendly Matters

According to Google, 60% of users expect a mobile site to load in three seconds or less. More than half of users wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile site. So even if you don’t think you need a mobile version of your site, you could, in fact, be losing customers without one.

According to Nisheeth Mohan of Keynote systems, mobile users will be spending even more time browsing the mobile Web in 2012.  “Consumers are beginning to expect a desktop experience with their mobile devices,” he said, “With increased spending for mobile advertisements and marketing as well as the use of mobile for commerce, businesses must be mobile ready to leverage mobile to reach existing and new customers. Optimized mobile websites will be critical components in driving revenue moving forward.”

How the GOMO Meter Works

You go to the site, enter your URL, and the GoMoMeter will display what your site looks like on a mobile device. Answer a few questions about readability and whether you could click the links with a thumb, and you’re taken to a page that gives you your page’s loading speed,  info on images displaying correctly and text size. You’re given the option to download a free customized report with suggestions for improving your site’s mobile functionality.

Here are a few general tips from Google for making sure your site functions well on a mobile phone:

  • Keep loading times fast
  • Simplify navigation
  • Be “thumb friendly”
  • Design for visibility
To test your site’s mobile friendliness, visit GoMo.
38 Comments ▼

Susan Payton - Awards Communication Mgr.


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

38 Reactions

  1. Wow thanks for the link to GoMo. This is an excellent tool. (And possibly good for selling mobile web design to our clients.) Thanks Susan!

  2. Thanks for the link to the Google mobile site check-up tool.

    My main site did pretty darn well in the test.

    But, my site doesn’t work too well with, “Thumbs.”

    Oh.

    The Franchise King®

  3. @Joel–
    I think it depends on the skill level of your thumbs! Mine are always clicking the wrong link!

    Susan

  4. While it’s good to have a mobile site, what’s more important is to have a mobile optimized site that’s tailored for mobile behaviour and real-world usage. For example, one mobile website vendor we recently trialled and liked is Roveb. They not only helped us create an instant basic mobile website but a simple loyalty program on top of it. It’s a great way to turn mobile visitors into loyal customers.

  5. @Darren–
    Glad it helped! It’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

    @Jason–
    Thanks for your input!

    Susan

  6. Good reminder. My biggest obstacle is finding a mobile WordPress plugin that I like and that works. I’d rather not pay for it. Any suggestions?

  7. Fabulous tool, Susan. Done my testing already, thanks.

  8. @Jon–
    Hmm. I don’t. Can anyone help Jon?

    @Shefiu–
    Glad you like it! It’s so darn simple!

    Susan

  9. Wow, Google is really pushing the mobile web with this initiative. I guess it is important for them that all business websites are mobile friendly. Ours rated pretty high for lead generator (yourwebdepartment.com). How did yours?

  10. Mobile is growing as fast as smartphone penetration. The more people have access to Google at their fingertips, the more they’ll do searches. Pretty simple, so sites need to get mobile-friendly.

  11. Susan,

    Thanks for informing us about GoMo Meter. Did you know that blogs on Blogspot (Blogger) automatically recognize if you are using a mobile phone? Blogger is owned by Google.

  12. @Gustavo–
    Mine did pretty well. Yay!

    @Robert–
    I agree.

    @Martin–
    Didn’t know that. Makes sense, since it’s a Google product. Nice to have the compatibility built in!

    Susan

  13. There is no question: the mobile world will dominate. The rise in mobile marketing — and the fact people are turning to smartphones — has also sparked growth in the web-to-mobile industry. Our company, Womple, makes “going mobile” super easy for businesses looking to convert their websites to mobile friendly.

    This trend is here to stay, especially if Google has something to say about it. The GoMo initiative is also directing people to services just like oursto help make the transition from web to mobile.

  14. Thanks! This is awesome. I always wanted to test my site for “Mobile” friendliness but always seemed to have found nothing wrth the trouble. This one looks good and I am on my way over there. Quite excited actually as to how my site will perform. Most likely it will be totally unfriendly and hoping for some great suggestions to make it better. Thanks again!

  15. @Susan:
    The GoMo train is on its way to the city Barcelona for the World Mobile Congress next week. Full press release on the Barcelona Go Mobile comes out tomorrow. Please email me for details.

    Steve
    @tradetechplus

  16. thanks for your post, i test site : http://flutreatment.mobi
    it’s got some error and i’m tryying to repair.
    I think , a site run faster or not depends on the browser

  17. Ya, mobile version is really important to reach more possible audience. Google test really help to know the things.

  18. Agree, nowadays many many people uses mobile devices. It is very important especially eCommerce sites. We don’t want a potential buyer to leave our online store with an shopping cart just because your website does not work on mobile devices.

  19. I always used div and css, image as background, which kept my pages fast loading and easy navigating. It appears fine in the above suggested GoMo tool. But I was just wondering, if they have separate search engine for mobile phones ?

  20. Thank you. I needed to find a good tool to test my site in mobile and this Google app is pretty cool.

    Bruce

  21. Yes GoMo is the best for mobile speed testing and optimization. I come to know 75% of customers prefer a mobile-friendly site. Thanks for nice share.

  22. Hello mate I have tried to test my website on gomo site but it didn’t show either of my sites. But I can view the sites from my mobile device. Why is that?

  23. Thanks so much for telling us about this. Really pleased with my website’s mobile friendliness. This is an excellent tool.

  24. well, great but how to optimize for it? i recently install wordpress mobile pack plugin to convert my site into mobile site is it OK?

  25. Yes, it is . Google does do a very good job when it comes to monetizing and getting onto the mobiles. My blog looks perfect on the mobile too.

  26. Nice job from google. I tried for my site and found the errors to fix. Thanks for all.

  27. Responsive is a very flawed concept as people use devices differently.

    On a desktop, you may be happy with a PDF white paper as your click through, on a mobile you’d probably prefer a short video, or a presentation you can simply flick through.

    On a desktop, it is easy to have multiple tabs and windows, on a mobile that may be a lot more difficult so the flow is different.

    The power of your presentation is different by device – large graphics may be lost at small screen sizes and you have to make up for less screen space with more action to make an impact.

    How they are used is also different. If you are, for example, on a retailer’s site, you may be looking for the nearest outlet. By linking with GPS, the retailer can give that to the mobile browser as primary screen, complete with directions – but that’s much less useful on a desktop, where a printable address and map may be much more useful.

    Mobile sites have had a bad press as they have been so cut down, but Android is now powerful enough and screens are large enough for a less patronising experience.

    And don’t forget the Tablet. Many business users do their work research while relaxing with a tablet. The desktop may be their work screen (no sound, basic graphics), but the tablet is where they find out new ideas and go into buying and researching mode. A cut down mobile experience is likely to disappoint, yet they want the multi-media experience their work PC doesn’t have.

    Last point – people don’t use websites to learn about the company and the offer any more – they find out from friends instead. Boring “What We Do” sites are useless, on desktop, tablet or mobile.

    Thanks,
    Shruti

  28. my sites doesnt look mobile friendly, is this influence my seo ranking?

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