On the bus, on the way to work, during a break or at home in front of the TV: anyone with a smartphone - and that is now around 46% of the German population - is increasingly using it to surf and shop while on the move. In Germany, more than 30% of web search queries were already made via mobile phones or tablets in 2014, while online retail sales doubled in 2015 compared to the previous year - and the trend continues to rise ("Online purchasing behaviour in B2B e-commerce" ibi research/VOTUM 2015).
It is therefore advisable for shop and website operators not to ignore mobile surfers, but to optimise their sites for devices with smaller display sizes.
In order to always provide users with the best search results in every situation, search engine giant Google has long advised optimising websites for display on mobile devices. Since 21 April 2015, this recommendation has become a tangible ranking factor. This means that websites that Google does not classify as "mobile-friendly" are penalised in the search results of a mobile search. The lower ranking means that these sites are less visible to the rapidly growing mobile user group.
But what exactly does "mobile-friendly" mean? According to Google, the following four criteria are crucial for a mobile-friendly website:
- The site avoids software that is unusual for mobile devices, such as Flash.
- The text is easy to read even without zooming.
- The size of the content is adapted to the respective screen so that users do not have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- The space between links is large enough so that users can easily access the desired link.
Is your website already mobile-friendly?
You can check how mobile-friendly your website is with Google's in-house tool: Google Mobile Optimisation Test
This test analyses your website and makes suggestions for improving user-friendliness on mobile devices.