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.
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