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Designing a Mobile-Friendly Website

How to build Mobile-Friendly Websites

According to Thomas Petty, President of Bay Area Search Engine Academy, there are three ways to build mobile-friendly websites:

(1)    Using the latest Cascading Style Sheets, a website design that is mobile-responsive can be set up by you. This mobile device display’s optimization method is preferred by Google and allows for the rearranging, displaying or hiding of information across various devices. The devices include smartphones and desktop PCs. Petty claims that the content is simply hidden or rearranged depending on which device, but all content is equally served.

According to Arham Khan, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at High Q, a design that is responsive will allow changes to be made in one place and be shown through all platforms. In this way, a “great user experience” is provided and the mobile content is more streamlined and elegant.

(2)    A website can be created by you that will serve various CSS and HTML content as well as formatting using the same URLs on certain devices. However, Petty points out that this approach “is accepted but much more complicated to maintain”. That is why the responsive design is preferred.

(3)    Another method is for you to create a mobile-specific and separate website that has a different URL. An example could be According to Petty, this option is the least desirable because it requires you to maintain a mobile as well as a desktop website. He further explains, the problem is “It’s easy for things to get out of sync, and you double your website maintenance”.


7 Mobile-Friendly Website Tips and Resources

Thomas Petty, Jayson DeMers and Arham Khan, search experts, offer tips to optimize mobile sites of both individuals and organizations.

Petty suggests you begin by working on your main, high-traffic pages first in order to make them mobile aware. This is especially important if the pages are pertinent to mobile search.

According to DeMers, many websites today are created using open-source WordPress. If this is the case, it should be easy for you to use plugins such as WPtouch to optimize for mobile. In addition, Web hosting services such as Bluehost and HostGator offer the total mobile-optimization package to clients.

Petty warns businesses that they must recognize that different audiences use different type devices. For example, a mobile user may not want to see the same info a desktop user would be looking to see. He cites an example of a restaurant that offers a different version on their mobile site than their desktop one. The desktop version includes the phone number, but the mobile site does not. What a mistake! If a person is out and about, the device they will use to make a reservation is a mobile one, but it doesn’t include the phone number.

Khan points out that if you haven’t gotten started yet, do it now. You must optimize you site sometime before April 21st. It will take time for Google to index and crawl the optimized for mobile version of your site. If you wait until the night before, Google will simply not have time before the changes in the algorithm roll out.

You can find more mobile optimization details at Google Mobile SEO guide at:

You can get Mobile Usability Report with Google Webmaster Tools. For more details refer to:

As you may have done with a temporary mobile-friendly website, you can refer to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Validation Utility at:


What to Do after Google’s Mobile Friendly Test

If you receive the message “Awesome! This page is mobile friendly,” you can relax since your work is done. However, the “Not mobile friendly,” message indicates you have work to do. Google may make recommendations such as enlarge text, spruce up links or make sure you set the mobile viewpoint.

If the text indicates you have work to do in order to be mobile-friendly, select the link to Pagespeed Insights. At this page, you will learn what you need to fix on your website and how you can fix them. It will also highlight certain areas of your website to show you how they look on a mobile device. You may want to go to Pagespeed Insights even if the test indicates your site is mobile-friendly since their analysis will give you suggestions for getting your web pages to load more quickly.

If the test shows that your page must be improved, Google will provide suggestions. On the results page, you’ll find links to help with a CMS or content management system whether someone else built your website or you built it yourself.

Another way to check your site is to actually do a search from a mobile device. By doing this either from a smartphone or tablet, you will learn whether your search result gets a “Mobile-friendly” label.

You should check where your website lands in the search result rankings now and after the new algorithm is put into place. In this way, you can compare the two rankings. It is most likely a good idea to continue checking for several weeks after the new algorithm is working.

Continue to test, test and test again. Test over and over again from several different kinds of devices such as a desktop, tablets and various smartphones.

If you need more information, have questions, or would like to receive guidance, contact the Mobile Website Professionals here


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