3 Essential Testing Tools to Ensure Your Mobile Site is Ready for 2017
When the holiday shopping frenzy dies down – and (hopefully) even the busiest small business retailers get the chance to take a bit of a break to actually celebrate the holidays themselves – the chances are that many will consider taking a look at the state of their business going into a New Year. If they do any selling online at all (and most do now) that should include their website, especially in light of a rather big announcement from Google.
On November 18, Google announced that as of 2017 they will be implementing a sweeping algorithm change that has, in reality, been coming for a long time. In a statement the company proclaimed; “Most people are searching Google using a mobile device. To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first.”
That means that having a mobile friendly website is more important than ever before. But that’s OK, because you have one already right? As we mentioned, this is something that has been coming for a long time. What constituted a mobile friendly website as little as a year ago may not cut it now. So how do you really determine the answer to this now very important question? Below are three great tools that can help you.
Google Mobile Friendly Test
This test is more about how a search bot will see your site rather than a customer, but for the new search results this is the test that Google will be demanding that your site can pass.
As tests go, it’s very simple. Enter your website address, click a button and let the Google Bots go to work. If they return a green light then in terms of SEO at least you are in a good place. A red light is obviously bad, but at least the tool will then break down for you exactly what you are going to have to do to put things right.
Take the Google Mobile Friendly Test here.
Google’s Page Speed Insights
Google has not said that they will stop indexing the desktop side of your site, they are simply intending to give mobile versions preference. The one thing they do demand – and so do your customers – from any version of a website is speed. You may have the prettiest website in the world but if it is not also fast and functional that means very little.
The Google Page Speed Insights tool has been around for a while now but this is not a test it once and forget it type tool. To keep up you should be adding new products – and new content – to your site all the time, and each and every one of these new elements could slow your site down. Get into the habit of checking once a month or so and when Google makes recommendations to speed things up take them on board and implement them, as both Google and your customers will appreciate it.
You’ll find the Page Speed Insights Tool here.
What a site looks like to search bots is one thing, but your customers aren’t searchbots and they don’t care about code. What Keynote MITE has to offer is a way to see, in real time, how your site looks and functions on specific devices and via specific browsers as well as how changes you are considering might affect that .
For a free tool MITE is very comprehensive. It keeps up with the latest device trends -for instance, how an iPhone 7 ‘sees’ a site really is different to the way its older siblings do – but it also understands (which Google sometimes does not) that not everyone has a state of the art smarter than smartphone in their back pocket. Some people are still managing fine with an older smartphone and some are still firmly committed to the even older flip-phone type technology. And these people still shop online so the fact that MITE can tell you what they are seeing to can be a big help.
Check out what Keynote MITE has to offer here.