Mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets have become widespread all over the world, and smartphones are used more than PCs in many countries.
With the increase in access to the Internet from mobile devices, Google has implemented “Mobile Friendly” from April 21, 2015, to promote mobile support for websites. This time, we will introduce the benefits of mobile-friendliness, the criteria that Google evaluates, how to check whether the site supports mobile-friendliness, points to support mobile-friendliness, and so on.
* “Mobile” in the article refers to smartphones such as Android and iPhone. On mobile, the display screen size is small and the default screen orientation is almost always portraited.
table of contents
- 1. What does SEO mean?
- 2. What is mobile-friendly?
- 3. Benefits of mobile-friendliness
- 4. How to check mobile-friendliness
- 5. Key points for mobile-friendliness
- 6. How to renew the website?
- 7. Always check if it’s mobile-friendly!
What does SEO mean?
Before we talk about mobile-friendliness, let’s talk about SEO as a prerequisite.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the marketing strategies using search engines. This is a measure to improve results by increasing the number of visitors to the website from the search engine, and it is required to optimize the content of the website so that it is easy for search engines such as Google to understand. Website data collected by Google is compared to Google’s search algorithms and ordered according to how relevant they are to the keywords used in the search. If it is judged that the site provides the information that the user wants in good condition, it will be a valuable page or website on SEO, so it will be easier to improve the search ranking.
What is mobile-friendly?
“Mobile-friendly” is an algorithm implemented by Google since April 2015 and is one of the evaluation criteria for search results. This is due to the widespread use of mobile devices, which has led to an increase in the number of people viewing websites from mobile devices rather than PCs. Mobile-friendly, which optimizes websites so that they are easy to see and use from mobile devices, is regarded as an effective measure for SEO measures. As a result, mobile-friendly websites are more likely to be ranked higher than unsupported websites.
Websites created for PCs are difficult to browse when displayed on mobile terminals as they are, and operations such as zooming and page navigation are required. Various conditions such as the size of characters and the design of the screen are specified for mobile-friendly, and it is designed to be easy to see and operate even from a mobile terminal. Specifically, it is recommended that the website support responsive design. To summarize the contents so far in an easy-to-understand manner, the general features of mobile-friendliness are as follows.
- Mobile friendly is an algorithm implemented by Google.
- Mobile-friendly is an evaluation standard that checks “is the site easy to see and operate even on mobile?”
- Websites that meet the mobile-friendly criteria are more likely to improve their search ranking.
Since the implementation of mobile-friendly, the search ranking of mobile-friendly pages has been raised on smartphones. However, since the degree of influence on the ranking is small compared to other factors, it is better to support mobile to improve usability first.
In the present age when communication devices have become widespread, it is becoming mainstream to use devices such as smartphones and tablet terminals to use the Internet. Therefore, it is difficult to reach users on sites that do not support mobile-friendliness. By preparing a page optimized for browsing from mobile, we can provide the optimum experience without compromising user satisfaction.
Benefits of being mobile-friendly
Being mobile-friendly benefits not only users but also website operators.
- Websites are more likely to be rated
- It becomes easy to lead to an increase in the number of PVs and staying time
- Can contribute to the convenience of more users
● It becomes easier to improve the evaluation of the website
In the past, the page that supports mobile-friendliness on the search result screen was displayed as “smartphone compatible”. This is because if there is a display of “smartphone compatible”, the user will know that “this website is easy to see even on mobile terminals” and it will be easier to visit the site.
However, as many websites have become more mobile-friendly, the “smartphone compatible” label has been abolished. Regardless of whether or not this display is displayed, mobile-friendly sites are likely to be evaluated by Google, so they are likely to be displayed at the top of the search when the ranking fluctuates.
● It will be easier to increase the number of PVs and staying time
A high SEO rating will likely lead to an increase in the number of PVs and user stay time on mobile-friendly sites. If you want to attract a large number of users to your website or extend your stay, mobile-friendly support is indispensable.
● Can contribute to the convenience of more users
Mobile-friendly sites can be viewed smoothly from your smartphone without any special operations. Web pages created for PCs are often difficult to read from smartphones, and even if the content is of interest, it is easy for users to leave. The advantage of being easy to see for the user is also an advantage for the website operator because it also prevents the website from leaving and extends the staying time.
How to check mobile-friendliness
Google has published a tool to test whether your website is mobile-friendly. From the user’s point of view, check “whether your website is easy to see from your smartphone” and “how it looks”.
● Mobile-friendly test
・Mobile friendly test (transition to external site)
Mobile-Friendly Test is a check tool provided by Google. Check if the URL you entered is a mobile-friendly site. By using this tool
- Is the font size too small?
- Is the viewport set?
- Are the tap elements too close to each other?
- Whether the content size corresponds to the viewport
You can check whether it is optimized for browsing on your smartphone by following the items such as. It also shows why and what to do if the website you check is determined to be “not mobile-friendly”.
● Google Search Console
・Google Search Console (Transition to an external site)
If your website is registered in the Google Search Console, you can check if it’s a mobile-friendly site in the Mobile Usability Report section. If it supports mobile-friendliness, it will display “No errors found for mobile users” and if any problems are found, the page with the error and its contents will be displayed.
Mobile-friendly metrics are subject to change or addition by Google and may deviate from the mobile-friendly page. It is important to check whether it is mobile friendly regularly and take necessary measures each time.
Key points for mobile-friendliness
What do you need to be aware of to make your site mobile-friendly? Let’s check the points to support mobile-friendliness.
● The letters are not too small
Even on the small screen of a smartphone, the characters should be large enough to be read without zooming. The same display as a website for a PC is too small to read from a smartphone. In addition to the size of the characters, keep in mind that there is appropriate space between lines.
● Do not use Flash
Since smartphones do not have a compatible browser, you must download the app separately to view the content created by Flash. Furthermore, even on PCs, the need for Flash has decreased since the advent of HTML5, so avoid using Flash as much as possible when producing in the future.
● The viewport for mobile devices must be set.
the viewport is a meta tag that controls the display area of the terminal in the header part of HTML. By setting the viewport, the content can be displayed in the width and height suitable for the mobile terminal, and if the viewport is not set, the display will be the same on the mobile terminal as on the PC. You can check if your viewport is designed with a mobile-friendly test.
● The elements to be tapped are not too close
On smartphones, tap a button or link directly with your finger. Therefore, if multiple links are lined up nearby, there will be many mistakes. Adjust the distance between the buttons and links so that you can tap them accurately.
● Can be viewed only by vertical scrolling
When using a smartphone with one hand, scrolling left and right is inconvenient because it is difficult to operate. Therefore, adjust the width of the content so that you can read the whole by scrolling vertically.
● Do not use interstitial ads
Interstitial ads are ads that are displayed over the content. It makes the content, which is the original purpose, difficult to read, so it is no longer considered mobile-friendly.
There are several ways to implement a website that can accommodate different sizes of display screens, both PC and mobile, but Google recommends “responsive web design.” This responsive web design is a method of switching to the optimum display according to the screen size of PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. with the same URL from the operational point of view, but please refer to the following page for more detailed information.
■ Why is Responsive Web Design Effective for SEO? Benefits and precautions
How to renew the website?
The environment surrounding the Internet has changed significantly, so if you continue to operate the website without updating it, it will gradually become difficult to use and the design will become obsolete. If you find that “difficulty in using the site” or “old design” is noticeable when making a website mobile-friendly, why not consider renewing the site? The following effects can be expected by renewing the website.
|Expected effects of website renewal|
|Improvement of design||You can change the design so that the corporate image is positive|
|Functional improvement||You can add functions that improve user usability|
|Improved content structure||You can organize the same content on one page|
|Supports smartphones for the entire site||Mobile friendly support on all pages|
Renewal is also effective when the amount of information to be posted increases and the composition of the content becomes complicated. In some cases, it is possible to reduce operating costs and labor by renewing and organizing, and redesigning information.
● Renewal procedure
- 1. Check the usability of the homepage
- 2. Analyze issues numerically
- 3. Goal setting by the renewal
- 4. Determine the ordering company
- 5. Planning
- 6. Production/delivery
The general procedure for renewing your website is as described above. In addition, it is expected that the domain will change and the URL of the content will change during the renewal. If it becomes difficult for users and search engines to find a new page, it may affect the site’s rating and search result ranking, so be sure to set a redirect setting that automatically transitions to the new URL when the site URL changes. Let’s go to. Please refer to another page for more information on how to renew the website.
■ How to successfully renew your homepage. Check how to select a supplier and costs
Always check if it’s mobile-friendly!
Mobile-friendly is one of the important SEO measures, but it is important not only to improve the search ranking just by supporting mobile-friendly but also to enhance other SEO measures and contents.
In addition, Google’s evaluation criteria are updated regularly, so if the evaluation points are changed, the items introduced this time may be evaluated as “not mobile-friendly”. Keep up to date with your website as it improves and renews, and check for the requirements while testing for a mobile-friendly site.
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