Why Should My Website Be Mobile Responsive?

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While visual appeal is important, the latest search engine algorithms and consumer data show that having a mobile responsive website can be even more vital, with profound impacts on ranking, performance and ease of use.

Why your website needs to be mobile responsive

As of May 2021, mobile devices are responsible for a greater share of the world’s internet traffic than ever before – a whopping 54%.

Navigating on desktops is becoming a thing of the past, with mobile devices rapidly emerging as the most preferred method of accessing the web. This means that if your site doesn’t display well on a phone, you’re missing out on more than half of your prospective audience.

Gilligan Group’s resident UX and SEO specialist, Alistair Hinchliffe, believes that mobile responsiveness should be the first thing on the mind of anyone planning a new website or looking for ways to enhance their existing offerings.

“Mobile responsiveness has begun to take precedence as one of the biggest ranking factors,” says Alistair. “Leading search engines such as Google are now using 100% mobile-first indexing, compared to 50% back in March.”

So how does Google determine the mobile responsiveness of your site? By using a group of elements dubbed the Core Web Vitals, which are just as important as the name suggests.

What are Core Web Vitals?

At present, the three Core Web Vital components are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay (FID), which evaluate loading performance, visual stability, and interactivity respectively.

Common elements that are detrimental to your Core Web Vitals include images without specified dimensions, slow hosting, and sub-standard caching solutions. Poorly configured advertisements and other embedded elements (including clunky iframes) are also frequently identified as culprits.

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly?

If you’ve noticed that your site has been ranking low on search engines, Alistair advises conducting a self-audit to evaluate its effectiveness on mobile browsers. Open your site on your smartphone run through the following checklist:

  • Did it load in under 3 seconds?
  • Can you read all text?
  • Can you easily click buttons and links?
  • Is there any content displaying outside the screen borders?
  • Do you have a hamburger menu (one that expands from basic categories to offer more specific links) designed for mobile use?
  • Is your site’s meta data optimized for mobile? To ensure your site’s key information shows up easily in SERPS (search engine results pages), be as concise as possible – without sacrificing the quality of the information – when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.
  • Are you optimized for local search?
  • Have you implemented structured data?

“If you’re noticing problems with any of these aspects, you can be sure your customers will too,” Alistair warns.

As search technology evolves and customers continue striving for greater convenience and efficiency, it is more important than ever that your business works to offer the latest in website best practice.

Need some help bringing your site up to 2021 standards? Contact Gilligan Group’s digital team to learn more about our SEO and UX website development services.

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