Why Your Local Business Website Needs to Be Mobile-Friendly

Local Business Mobile-Friendly Website

Are you still running your local business with a website that was designed in or 2009 or Before? If so, it’s time to update your website to meet google mobile-friendly algorithm released On April 21, 2015.

What Does “mobile-friendly” Mean?

“Mobile-friendly” means that your local business website delivers an optimum user experience, no matter what device a visitor may be viewing it from. If people who visit your site from a mobile device need to zoom in or pinch their screens in order to navigate, or if the exact same version of the site that displays for desktop computers shows up on a mobile device, then your site is not optimized for mobile use.

Why Should You Care?

US smartphone penetration is up to 75% as of the end of 2014. Late last year, mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic for the first time. And according to Nielsen, 87% of mobile users used their mobile device for shopping activities like searching for a product or service, pricing comparisons, or brick & mortar address search.

Beside Usage, read what google says
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

What Makes a Site mobile-friendly?

  • It avoids use of software that doesn’t work on phones (like Flash). 
  • It makes links and buttons large enough and far enough apart to be easily clicked with a finger. 
  • It uses text that can be easily read without zooming. 
  • It sizes content so there’s no horizontal scrolling needed and no zooming required.

How do I know if my website is mobile-friendly?

It is actually really simple to test your local business website and check whether it is mobile friendly or whether you need to upgrade it. I recommends the following tools:

Google Mobile-Friendly Test – this is dead-easy, all you need to do is input the URL of the website you would like to check, hit the blue “analyze” button and the tool will determine whether your site is mobile-friendly, or whether you need to make improvements. It will also show you a mobile site preview.

Google Search Console Mobile Usability Report – you can use this as long as you have signed up for Webmaster Tools. The report will list any errors in mobile usability that your site has (or report none as below…). Related: How to Fix Common Mobile Usability Issues

Mobile Responsive Design Testing – This is a cool tool designed by StudioPress for checking your mobile-friendliness. Put in your website URL and see how it looks across different devices.

How to Get a mobile-friendly Website?

If you’ve done the tests as above and found that your business website is not mobile-friendly, here are a few steps for getting your site up to scratch:

Create a Mobile Version of Your Current Site: While this is a simple way to bring your site into compliance, it requires you to have two separate websites. It can be difficult to update two sites, and users may get frustrated if they find less content or information available on the mobile version versus the desktop.

Use Mobile Plugins on Popular CMS Platforms: The most popular website content management systems — Wordpress, Joomla, or Drupal — all have bolt-on solutions to make your site mobile-friendly without needing two separate versions. Some include additional ways to customize the mobile experience to not only provide the content, but incorporate other features best used on mobile devices.

Use a Mobile-first Responsive Design: The solutions above are just stopgaps until you can redesign your site by deploying a mobile-first strategy using responsive web design practices.

Designing the site with a mobile-first approach requires planning about how it will be used on mobile devices — an exercise that helps prioritize what content goes on the site. It also begs the question that, if it isn’t needed on mobile, then should it be on the desktop version?

Responsive design furnishes the best possible experience at the mobile level but allows for enhancements to the site’s design and functionality as it increases in screen size.

Final Thoughts

If your Local Business Website is fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely to see some organic ranking and visitors. If you want to optimize your business website for local maps ranking read my Local SEO Guide.