Is your website mobile-friendly?

What makes a site mobile-friendly?

At one time websites were designed to look good on laptops or desktops - that was how people accessed the internet.

Now your site could be viewed on a vast array of screen sizes, from something that fits in the palm of your hand, to a giant widescreen television.

How do modern websites cope?

Some people have two versions of their site, one for mobiles and one for desktops.

Google and the other major search engines recommend a different approach...

Responsive Web Design (RWD).

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Websites that use RWD adjust the way they look according to the dimensions of the screen.

Desktop layouts may have generous space around the content to make it easy on the eye, where smartphone formats avoid wasting space.

Menu panels may be replaced with a menu button as the screen gets smaller, so you only see the menu items when you want to.

Mobile formats use smaller image files to save bandwidth, and images may even be omitted altogether if they are not absolutely necessary.

Items that change as the mouse hovers over them don’t work on a mobile. Your finger cannot be seen hovering, even when it is only millimeters above the screen.

Layouts change with screen size to avoid anyone having to scroll left to right. Scrolling up and down is fine.

Short fuse

One consequence of people browsing large websites on small screens is that they get very frustrated, very quickly if they can’t find what they want.

If someone is visiting your website, they probably need a tradesman like you, so they will want to contact you easily.

Mobile visitors don’t just want to find your phone number near the top of the page, they want to tap it to make the call.

Disappointed visitors tend to leave very quickly.

Does it affect my search ranking?

Google, Yahoo, and the other major search engines need to be popular to be successful.

This obviously involves showing relevant results for search queries, but things are more subtle than that.

If someone is searching from a mobile device, but the search engine keeps returning results that don’t work well on a mobile, they might consider switching search engines.

Your search ranking may not be as good on a smartphone as it is on a laptop/desktop, particularly if it only works well on the big screen.

Do I have to rewrite my whole site?

Although Google recommends using RWD, such that your full website is available to all visitors, regardless of the device they are using - this may not be the best answer for you.

Rewriting your existing website could be time consuming, and expensive if you are paying for the work.

Mobile visitors will generally just want to ensure you provide the services they are after, and then call you.

A cut-down version for mobile visitors can actually make good sense, if you already have a desktop version you are happy with.

You can get a mobile-friendly version of your website at SomeoneLocal.

Once you have a mobile version of your website, you can put automatic redirects in place on your main website to take mobile visitors to the appropriate version.

Your mobile website at SomeoneLocal
Automatic redirects

Do I really need a website?

You may be busy enough picking up business through referals, but being online makes it easy for people to find your up-to-date details, should you move or change phone number.

You can get a mobile-friendly website at SomeoneLocal.

Because we use Responsive Web Design, it will also work as your desktop version as well.

We can host your website at SomeoneLocal, at no extra cost, so you don’t even need to worry about finding a domain name and arranging hosting.

Your website at SomeoneLocal