Mobile Usability, Tips to Improve your Website Performance on Mobile Devices
We’ll be analyzing this fantastic NEW tool recently added to Google Webmaster Tools dashboard.
This is not just a responsive design best practices checker, it goes deeper into mobile specific common issues and provides tips on how to fix them.
According to Google studies, (and our own experience too):
“web traffic from mobile devices is on the rise, and mobile visitors who have a good user experience are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites.”
Mobile Usability is relevant for optimal search results.
Google wants the web to be responsive. It is very clear that having a mobile optimized website is crucial not only for user experience but also for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which means higher search rankings.
I recommend to take a look at this tool, it is very easy to use and some of the issues are common mistakes that can easily be fixed.
To access this new tool, you need to be logged into your GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) account.
Select the website you want to analyze from your website’s list.
In the website’s dashboard, go to:
Search Traffic > Mobile Usability
Note: you may have to wait a couple days until this new tool is able to run a report in your GWT dashboard.
Mobile Usability Main window
Once you are in, you’ll see a report identifying how many pages with errors are on your website.
In the middle section this tool shows you a timeline detailing the evolution of the issues, and in the bottom section the usability error list.
The list of usability errors, is grouped by error type:
- Flash Usage
- Viewport not configured
- Fixed-width viewport
- Content not sized to viewport
- Small font size
- Touch elements too close
If Mobile Usability report finds any of these errors on any of your pages, it will appear in this list.
In our example we just had 3 of these issues on several pages.
Click on any of them to continue (for our review we have chosen option: “Viewport not configured” issue)
Mobile Usability > Specific Issue Page
You can see which pages URLS of your website have each one of the errors by clicking on the error type.
Fixing the errors
Once you are on the URL list for a specific error eg: “Viewport not configured”, click on the URL you want to work on.
A new modal window will rise, showing specific mobile usability issue related suggestions and actions.
- Check if the issue still unsolved.
This button links to Pagespeed Insights tool, so you can check if the issue still unsolved, by running a fresh Pagespeed Insights report.
(related: check our Free tools to speed up your website article)
- Guidelines for the issue. “Learn more about viewport meta tags”.
This button redirects you to google developers guidelines about Responsive web design basics.
- Solution: “Add the viewport meta tag to your pages”.
Here you’ll find the way to solve the problem: A viewport meta tag in the site’s HTML will fix this problem.
- Web Fundamentals: “Use responsive web design”.
This button redirects you to google developers Google Web Fundamentals guidelines.
Google wants the web to be faster and responsive, and that will impact also in our “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization).
Page loading speed, and having a responsive website are factors for rank higher in search results.
This new tool complements Pagespeed Insights tool, it makes webmaster’s optimization tasks easier. Also it is a great tool for site owners: they can track which pages can be improved for mobile usability and hire developers to work on those pages.
There’s no doubt that 2014 is the year where websites must be mobile-friendly.