Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? 11 Best Practices To Ensure It Is

Published 14 June, 2023 Updated 20 July, 2023

Mobile friendliness is crucial for a positive user experience, and if you run a business website, you want to take all measures to ensure that it is easily accessible via mobile devices. So, what are they?

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? 11 Best Practices To Ensure It Is

Is your business website mobile-friendly? Your answer to the question should be a definitive YES. Technological advancements have transformed how we use the internet, and gone are the days we sat in front of a computer screen to access the internet and information.

With a mobile phone, we can now visit our favorite websites, shop, pay bills and interact with one another on the go. Therefore, it only makes sense to make sure that your website is also fully accessible via a mobile device. Otherwise, you could miss a significant portion of your target audience and, consequently, potentially lose paying customers.

But what does it mean to have a mobile responsive website, and how can you ensure your website is ready for mobile users? Continue reading to discover best practices that will help ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

Key highlights

  • With 60% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, making your site mobile-optimized increases your business exposure to a higher percentage of internet users. 
  • Google analyzes the mobile version of the website’s content to determine search rankings, which means you must ensure your site is mobile-friendly for optimal visibility on the search engine.
  • A mobile-friendliness test tool can help evaluate a website’s mobile usability and provide a report of usability issues visitors may experience. 

What is a mobile friendly website?

When a website is optimized for mobile devices, mobile users can view and perform interactions without obstacles. A fully mobile-adaptive website should possess the following attributes: accessibility, fast loading speeds and easy navigation.

  • Accessibility: An efficient user experience is an essential quality of a mobile-responsive site. Website content should be accessible and also easily legible on a mobile device. Visual elements should adapt to the mobile screen size so that users would not need to pinch and zoom to see things clearly. 
  • Fast loading website speed: A mobile-optimized website should also load fast on mobile platforms. This is because mobile devices are meant to allow quick access to information on the internet. So, if a website loads slowly, that purpose is defeated.
  • Easy navigation: Finally, a mobile-friendly website should be easy to navigate on a smartphone or tablet. This involves adding clickable menus, links, buttons and other elements to make browsing the website intuitive and hassle-free.

4 reasons why your website should be mobile-friendly

Undeniably, it is more important now than ever before to make your website usable on smaller screens. Before we jump into actionable steps you can take to ensure a mobile responsive design, let’s look at the top benefits of making your website accessible via mobile devices.

Greater reach online

During the first quarter of 2023, 58.33% of website traffic came from mobile devices. This means a higher percentage of internet users visit websites using their mobile phones and other portable devices. So, if your website is not optimized for a small screen, mobile users will not access it, which can significantly limit your reach. On the other hand, a mobile-responsive website can increase your exposure to a larger portion of your target audience. 

Better search rankings

Google confirmed that the mobile-friendliness of a website affects its ranking back in 2015. Today, this remains vitally important for Google searches, which means that mobile-friendly websites are more likely to rank higher in the search results. In conclusion, if you offer a mobile version of your website, you can rank higher on search engines and boost traffic.

Higher conversion

In today’s tech-savvy world, customers expect websites to be mobile-friendly. Making your website mobile-adaptive helps customers perceive your business as modern and up-to-date. So, if a desktop user can also access your site properly on a smaller device screen, your business might appear more credible and, in return, you will have higher chances of driving more conversions.

Increased engagement

Mobile-friendliness translates to a pleasant user experience where customers do not have to pinch, zoom or scroll excessively to navigate content on small screen sizes. Why does this matter? Easy navigation will keep your visitors on the website for longer if they can easily find the necessary information and complete a desired action.

The benefits of having a mobile website are clear, but we can also look at this from the perspective of disadvantages. If your website is not accessible via mobile devices, you can expect the following:

  • High bounce rates 
  • Reduced engagement
  • Lower conversions
  • Decreased search engine visibility
  • Poor user experience
  • Negative brand reputation

How to test if your website is mobile friendly

You may be wondering – how do I know if my site is mobile-friendly? There are several reliable testing tools that allow assessing a website’s mobile responsiveness. To run the test, all you have to do is enter the website’s URL into the dialog box and click a button to proceed.

Depending on the test tool in use, your site will be graded with a score or a statement that informs whether your site is mobile-adaptive or not. The tool might also provide you with a report on any mobile usability issues detected during the test.

Here are a few popular free test tools you can use:

Mobile friendliness test performed using Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test demo

It is important to note these tools might provide different results. Use the data as a benchmark and work to improve the mobile experience for your site visitors. 

11 ways to make your website mobile device friendly

Now that you know why it is important to make your website mobile-friendly, let’s go over actual steps that you can take to ensure better accessibility for those reaching your website via mobile devices.

1. Implement a mobile-first approach

Google adopts a mobile-first indexing approach to search rankings. That means Google’s search algorithm uses the mobile version of website’s content for indexing and ranking in the search results instead of the desktop version.

In light of this, the smart approach might be to create your website for mobile devices first and then optimize it for desktop users. 

2. Create a responsive layout

A responsive layout allows a website to adjust design and fit it for different screen sizes. For example, this allows changing from a two-column to a one-column layout on a mobile device.

You may be able to use a website builder or a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to design your website using a responsive theme

3. Compress images

Heavy images can decrease your overall mobile website speed. Therefore, it is best for mobile-friendly sites to use small images to decrease the loading time and data usage. Free tools like Optimizilla or allow you to compress an image to a smaller size

Visual editing software or free plugins can be further used to optimize images as well. Additionally, lazy loading can be employed to make sure that images only load when they are needed. 

4. Use accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

A way to decrease a website’s loading time is to use accelerated mobile pages (AMP). AMP is a framework that increases a website speed by compressing site data and restricting HTML/CSS and JavaScript. This can result in pages loading up to four times faster than regular mobile web pages, improving the site’s ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages). 

The process of enabling AMP depends on the CMS in use. Website owners can use the AMP plugin for WordPress-based sites, while for non-WordPress sites, it is possible to create AMP pages from scratch.

5. Remove pop-ups

While pop-ups may be effective on the desktop versions of websites, the opposite may be true for mobile devices due to their smaller screens. Since pop-ups can be difficult to close on mobile sites, you may need to restrict pop-ups from triggering on mobile screens to make your website mobile-friendly.

6. Use a large and readable font

When designing a mobile site, you need to consider font size and font style seriously. Testing different fonts on a mobile device is important, as some are more readable than others. So, make sure you use standard fonts for a mobile site, avoid experimenting with new fonts and consider using black font color. 

7. Space out links

It is recommended to space out links to make them easier to click, which can improve the overall user experience on mobile screens. Also, limit the number of links and avoid too many redirections. If a link takes users to another site, make it clear that they are leaving your site.

8. Unclutter your website

To make a mobile-friendly website also a user-friendly website, avoid clutter by limiting the number of call-to-action (CTA) and navigation options. Using white space helps keep content organized for mobile users. Additionally, you can remove outdated content and use a hamburger menu instead of a long list of navigation options.

9. Place buttons strategically

It is advisable to make call-to-action buttons easy to spot. Buttons should be large enough to be tapped with a thumb and placed toward the bottom of the page. Aside from making them bigger, another way to make them easily identifiable is to put them in strategic locations, like the middle of the screen. 

10. Use the viewport meta tag

The viewport is the visible area of a web page, and the viewport meta tag controls its scale to display correctly on different devices. It tells the browser to fit a website’s width to the device width/screen size of your site’s user.

11. Run mobile-friendliness tests

It is important to evaluate your website’s usability on a mobile device. Using test tools, such as the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool or any of the other popular tools listed above, can provide answers and further insights regarding areas needing optimization. Get in the habit of performing frequent tests to make sure everything’s in order at all times.

WAcademy websites – fully functional on mobile devices

Building a website is a challenge not all small and up-and-coming businesses are ready to face. Especially not when continuous upgrades and optimizations are required to ensure that their websites are as efficient as they can be. The good news is that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) do not need to stand alone in this obstacle course.

At WAcademy, we offer free web design services to business owners looking to establish an online presence. How are we able to offer this for free? We design websites at zero cost in exchange for an opportunity to provide our interns with real-life projects and real-life experience. 

The WAcademy internship program is based on the relationships we foster with our SME clients, without whom we would not be able to nurture the next generation of skilled web designers. In this mutually beneficial relationship, our motivated interns, under the supervision of experts, apply custom website design to create unique, fully-functional websites and, simultaneously, build their professional portfolios.

WAcademy interns build websites on WordPress, a popular and powerful content management system that allows creating a stunning website using a mobile responsive theme. That means WAcademy website owners do not need to worry about making further improvements to ensure mobile-friendliness.

We are ready to create a custom, mobile-friendly website, and we have more web design tips to share. So, are you ready to work with WAcademy interns? Register today, and our team will contact you shortly to provide you with all the details!