Whats mobile friendly

What is mobile friendly?

Seo > Mobile > What is mobile friendly?

Updated: June 7th 2015

Mobile friendly web pages

What exactly makes a page, as Google calls it, "mobile friendly"? 1

The truth is that virtually any webpage on the internet will show up and work on just about any mobile phone.

You can even get a screen shot of what your webpage or blog looks like on a mobile screen by using our mobile SEO tool.

Whats mobile friendly

Just because your site appears on a mobile phone, does not mean your site is mobile friendly.

What makes a site mobile friendly?


A site is mobile friendly when it.

  • provides content that works on a phone
  • does not need pinching and zooming
  • is easily readable on a small screen
  • is easy to navigate with a finger, not a mouse
  • is helpful to someone using a phone

Making a site mobile friendly

To make a site mobile requires a few steps.

  1. Choosing a mobile method
  2. Updating your website code
  3. Ensuring that your content works on a phone
  4. Optimizing your site for speed & mobile

Choosing a mobile method

Google recommends responsive design. 2

There are three main ways a website become mobile.

  • Responsive design (recommended by Google)
  • Dynamic serving
  • Mobile URLs

Responsive design

The Google recommended way. Responsive design means that a website is coded to work on any size screen, large or small.

Good things about responsive:

  • No SEO downsides or added steps
  • Many quick options to make it happen
  • No special skills required to implement
  • Google recommends it

For most people (like those using wordpress for example) the easiest way to make your site mobile is basically buying a theme or template.

With a responsive design theme you will have almost all mobile issues already solved for you.

Good places to buy modern responsive themes and templates are..

Dynamic serving

Dynamic serving means that when someone visits your website or blog they are given different content depending on what size device they are using. This means if someone is using a smart phone, they are given the small version of that page and when they are using a desktop they are given the large version of the page.

Whats mobile friendly

Dynamic serving has very specific use cases, and it requires much cost and work. That cost and work may be worth it if you absolutely need specific features or content that is massively different for a mobile user.

Good things about Dynamic serving:

  • Allows smaller file size
  • Allows very specific and tailored mobile content

Bad things about Dynamic serving:

  • Requires at least two versions of your website (mobile / desktop)
  • Requires technical help
  • Requires additional steps that can endanger SEO or rankings if not implemented well
  • Higher cost and harder to implement

Mobile URLs

Mobile urls are webpages and addresses specifically for mobile users. If you have ever seen a web address like "m.example" you have seen a mobile url.

Mobile urls, like dynamic serving, have very specific use cases. Mobile urls are often used for device specific pages like "iphone page" or "ipad page".

The main users of mobile urls are large companies who have a great deal of design and tech resources.

Good things about Mobile urls:

  • Allows ultra specific and tailored mobile content
  • Allows targeting of exact devices
  • Allows a deeper integration to a device as it is designed for a specific device

Bad things about Mobile urls:

  • May require several versions of your website (iphone, ipad, etc.)
  • Requires technical help
  • Requires additional steps that can endanger SEO or rankings if not implemented well
  • Higher cost and harder to implement
  • requires redirects which are slow on mobile networks

Mobile methods speed and performance

Speed matters on mobile much more than it does on desktops. This is because mobile phones are using mobile networks, unlike our desktops which are using a nice dedicated internet solution. Mobile networks have many performance issues.

To find out the details of how each mobile method works as far as pagespeed and performance goes see my mobile pagespeed article.

Why even worry about mobile?

Because more people are using the internet through phones than they are computers. It is the new reality.

by Patrick Sexton

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