The Complete Guide to Mobile-Friendly Websites

Mobile Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design

Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
      2. What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
      3. Hold Up! What is Mobilegeddon?
      4. Fast Facts about Mobile
      5. Why You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website
        1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
        2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
        3. Web Design
        4. User Experience (UX)
      6. The Simple Truth to Winning on Mobile


Your website is much more than just words and pictures. Your website is a reflection of your brand and what sets you apart from the rest.

But if your customers are pinching their phone screens to read text or waiting too long for pages to fully load, then they are more likely to become impatient or frustrated. This leads to a bad mobile experience for users.

Worse, they decide not to return to your website.

Uh-oh! Nobody wants that.

Surely, there’s something that can be done to fix that?

Definitely, and here’s the solution: updating to a mobile-friendly website.

What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?

responsive web design with jigsaw pieces

The most distinguished feature about a mobile-friendly website is that it is responsive, meaning that it automatically adjusts to fit to the screen size of any mobile device.

Other key components of a mobile-friendly website include:

          • Easy navigation – scroll seamlessly on a keypad or touchscreen
          • Legible text and links – read and click without needing to pinch or zoom, especially for impaired users
          • Horizontal and vertical orientations – view websites upright or sideways for a more flexible layout
          • Large buttons – more enticing for customers to complete call-to-actions, such as “Get Started” or “Signup Today”
          • Fast loading time – perhaps Best in Show for its improved speed
          • No Flash – does not use Adobe Flash, which has been highly prone to malicious cyber attacks

Especially since Mobilegeddon – Google’s algorithm update in April 2015 –  more and more businesses have made the switch to having a mobile-friendly website.

Hold Up! What is Mobilegeddon?

Webmasters and web developers coined Google’s mobile-friendly update as “Mobilegeddon,” a phenomenon that was predicted to significantly drop the search rankings of non-mobile-friendly websites.

Although slightly overhyped, Google will penalize websites that produce bad mobile user experiences. Trends alone show us that Google continues to show favor to mobile-friendly websites.

For example, when you conduct a mobile search, you will notice a “mobile-friendly” label for sites that are optimized for your phone. Not only are these websites ranked higher in the search results, but users are also more likely to visit them over non-compliant sites.

In2itive Search is mobile friendly

A more recent shift in mobile is the deployment of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which aims to deliver lightning fast, mobile optimized content.

Google also announced that it will roll out a new mobile-friendly update in May 2016.

Is your website mobile-friendly? Find out now with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

Fast Facts about Mobile

On top of Google’s ongoing updates to its mobile algorithm, more people are using their smartphones to discover businesses and make e-commerce transactions.

group of people using their mobile devices in a circle

Here are some fast facts about mobile:

          • Nearly 200 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones by January 2016, according to comscore
          • Google Search and Google Maps reached 50.2% and 48.7% of all U.S. smartphone users, respectively
          • Over 40,000 searches queries are answered by Google EVERY second on average, according to Internet Live Stats
          • 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on their smartphones, according to Google
          • 50% of smartphone users visit a store within a day of their local search
          • 74% of mobile customers are more likely to return to a website if it is mobile-friendly, according to Google
          • 67% are more likely to buy a product or service from a mobile-friendly website
          • However, 50% said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website is not mobile-friendly

With such an expansive market, it is no question why businesses are making the switch to mobile.

Why You Need a Mobile-Friendly Website

If you are still unconvinced, here are some benefits to how having a mobile-friendly website can strengthen your overall digital marketing campaign:

mobile friendly search icon

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a powerful marketing strategy for building and maintaining a strong online presence for your business website.

As more consumers search for your products and services on their smartphones, your business will rank higher in the search results. And with the “mobile-friendly” label, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

Other great SEO benefits include: having a reduced bounce rate, or percentage of users leaving your website without visiting another page; and reduced click back time, or time when people click the “Back” button on their web browser.

Read more about 7 SEO Advantages for Your Business.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

The biggest objective for pay-per-click ads is to drive users to a specific landing page to complete a transaction.

If you have a user-friendly landing page, awesome! You should experience high conversions. However, if your landing page has a poor mobile user experience… well, we wish you the best luck!

PPC ads are also measured by a quality score (QS), which rates your keyword and overall ad quality. The higher the quality score, the less you pay at ad auctions.

One of the key factors to influencing the cost is the landing page experience. Broken record here but yes, it needs to be user-friendly.

Web Design

WordPress is our favorite leading platform for creating websites for a great number of reasons. One of them being that, in response to Mobilegeddon, it has encouraged its theme creators to develop responsive layouts.

Best part: they listened!

In addition to being responsive, web design has become more minimalistic, fluid, elegant, and sophisticated in functionality. With the right layout, your business website can outshine your competitors.

User Experience (UX)

Online or offline, you should always strive to foster and maintain trust with your customers.

However, one bad online user experience is all that it takes to weaken your user loyalty and trust.

Having a mobile-friendly website puts your customers first, by improving the overall usability with seamless navigation, legible content, and fast loading speed.

The Simple Truth to Winning on Mobile

Life can be difficult. Mobile makes it easier.

People are constantly on-the-go, searching on their smartphones for the most relevant and trustworthy information available.

If your business can deliver valuable content – news articles, blog posts, infographics, videos – and create memorable mobile user experiences for your customers, you build trust and brand loyalty. Google will also reward you by ranking your business higher in the mobile search results.

Failure to create mobile optimized experiences or to keep up with Google’s updates can sink your search rankings and brand reputation.

If you’re seeking to upgrade your website to a mobile-friendly web design, contact In2itive Search.

Our in-house team of amazing web developers will work closely with you to create a personalized website that will help your business grow and succeed. Don’t be shy – ask us about our website hosting and maintenance services!

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

6 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Mobile-Friendly Websites

  1. Carlos Monteblanco, thanks for writing this good content. With the AMP update and the upcoming second update on Mobile-usability after April, 2015, it\’s very clear that Google is giving high importance on mobile searches and traffic. Now if a website is not mobile friendly, than it must be remade to attract more mobile users. Though mobile friendliness does not guarantee high ranking on mobile Google SERP, still a non-mobile friendly webpage with great content may outrank another mobile-friendly page. But it\’s true that all webmasters must incorporate RWD (the best) or some other techniques to make sites mobile friendly. As a web design and SEO training company we always recommend and teach the same to our trainees.

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