How to Check if Your Website is Mobile Friendly – A Non-Techy Approach (C-Suite SEO Tip #3)

You Don’t Need a Web Developer to Tell if Your Website Is NOT Mobile Friendly

This video is targeted at business managers and owners to give you a couple of easy methods to check out your company website to see if it’s mobile friendly. I’ve also done a video and blog post describing more why this is a big deal, too big a deal to simply delegate it away. (If you’re more of a “written word” type, an audio transcript follows.)

Audio Transcript

Is your website crucial to your business success? Well, then it has to look right on mobile, and you really need to check it out for yourself. If you haven’t done so, I’m going to show you three quick, easy, non-technical, and free ways to check out your website on mobile, coming right up.

Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing and the Horizon Web Marketing Academy. In our consulting work at Horizon Web Marketing we find that for most of our customers the website traffic they’re getting, often much more than half is coming from mobile devices. We can see this trend around us just culturally can’t we? Go into a restaurant or a coffee shop you see people sitting at a table, and they may be sitting with other people, but their eyes are always on their phones.

This is driving a lot of website traffic now, so what that means is if your website is not easy to use on mobile, doesn’t look right on mobile, you can pretty much write off half of your visitors, and I don’t think any of us wants to just throw away half of our visitors. Here’s the thing, if you’re a manager, if you’re a business owner, if you’re a C-Suite executive you may have delegated this to somebody else. Maybe they’ve come back and said to you, “Oh yeah, sure, our website is mobile friendly.” But really, you owe it to yourself to check out your website for yourself, and ask, “Is it really okay on mobile for people on their phones?”

Then, sometimes there’s a little bit of a barrier. How do you do that, especially if you’re non-technical yet you’re really interested and invested in the success of your website? I’m going to give you three methods, like I said at the outset.

Method Number One: Check it Out on Your Phone

Here’s method number one. This is the easiest method, and that is, take out your phone and go and check it out. Now, I hate this method personally and that’s because I’m pretty old school. When I can have a choice between visiting a website on my computer — my real computer, and not my phone — I’ll always go to my computer. So, if I have to do much in the way of browsing I won’t be doing it on my phone.

What that means is, if I check out my own website on my phone I’m going to be overly harsh on my website. The reason for that is, because I’m not very skilled browsing websites on my phone (I’m not my 13-year-old daughter), it may be my website is good enough for people who are spending all their time on phones but it’s not really good enough for me because I’m phone phobic. So, that’s not my preferred method but it is a real quick way, and unless you’re one of those few people (like my brother, who doesn’t even own a cellphone), then it works pretty well.

Method Number Tool: Use the Google Mobile Friendly Web Page Test

[click here to use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test]

Now, if you want to do it the official Google way, this is way number two, and this is also free, and it’s also easy for you to at least check out your site in a non-technical manner. Let’s take a look at my screen. If you just go and “google” mobile friendly website test Google will actually give you a way to start the check right here within the search results, and when you click on that it goes to this page here that says enter a URL to test. Now, it doesn’t have to be your home page, it can be any page within your site, and as a matter of fact you need to test more than just your home page to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

I just went and randomly chose a website, I just did a search on a town near where I live in Western Colorado called Montrose, and I just looked for the best restaurant and chose their website. It was the first one I chose, it’s this one here, real nice restaurant south of me, it’s called The Stone House. It’s a little bit too nice, I’ve never been to it. Anyway, here’s their home page. It’s not bad, this is a small business, looks okay. What I did is I took the URL, so I just copied the URL and I pasted into Google’s mobile friendly test.

Screenshot of Google mobile friendly check showing a page is not mobile friendly

Now, here’s the negative for using Google’s mobile friendly test. You didn’t see it here cause I already had it loaded in a tab, but it takes a while to process. So, every page you check you’ve got to put it in, wait for Google to process. Now, Google comes back and it tells me the page is not mobile friendly. The text is too small to read, clickable elements too close together, view port not set, if you’re non technical this won’t mean anything to you. But I’ve seen enough, I see that the page is not mobile friendly. So again, what I pointed out beforehand is really the downside to this, and that is, that this is very time consuming. Every page you want to check out, you plug it in, you sit there, you wait for Google to do its full analysis.

My Favorite Method: Use Google Chrome Developer Tools

So, I’m going to give you my favorite quick, easy, free, non technical way to do it. Let’s go to that website in a different tab. Here we are. Now this particular test I’m going to show you, what I’m going to show you here is going to work if you’re using Google’s Chrome browser. With Google’s Chrome browser they have built into it a set of what they call developer tools. Now, these tools are really geeky. Typically, you’re not going to be using them, usually it’s going to be a web developer, but there’s something really easy to use that’s built into these developer tools.

Here’s what I want you to do, look at the website you want to test and then hit the F12 key on your keyboard. Now, when I hit F12 notice how a panel has opened up on the right. These are Google developer tools and they’re very, very technical. You really don’t want to do anything with them, okay. As a matter of fact if it opens up you can resize it like this, and like that. What I do is I just resize it as narrow as I can get, and the only part I want you to pay attention to here is right up at the top. You see this little icon, and then it gives you a tool tip that says toggle device toolbar, all I want to do is click on that, and what it will do is it will show me the mobile version of this website.

screenshot of page with Chrome developer tools

Now, when I go over here notice how my cursor turns into a round circle, well this is to simulate the typical persons finger rather than a mouse. I can see just without having had to go into Google’s mobile friendly test, I can see just looking at it that the font is way too small. But here’s something else I can do that I could not do either looking on my phone or looking at Google’s mobile friendly test, and that is I can switch between a variety of popular phones. For example, this one here is Galaxy S5. Let’s take a look at this on iPhone X. I did the iPhone X. Now, notice up here it’s got a zoom, 67%, that changed, if you noticed it from last time if I go back to Galaxy S5 you see it’s 85%, well that’s because Google is trying to cram the whole thing.

It’ll shrink it down to show you if you were looking at the phone itself this is how much you could see. Let me go back to the iPhone X, you see it’s got a form factor that’s taller and thinner, and you can also see if somebody is trying to navigate around this it’s going to be really tough on a mobile device. I just tried it there, I clicked on about us, I’m going to click on the lunch menu, here’s the lunch menu. I can scroll up and down, see none of this I can really do with the other two methods, at least not easily. I can go back and forth, I can switch between different ones. If I want to see what the screen would look like at 100% it won’t fit within the browser window but I can still switch to 100%. If I actually had physically the phone it would be a little bit better but still it’s just obvious to me that it’s unacceptable.

And so, I can even, up here at the top I can rotate it. See what it would look like if I rotated the phone, rotate it back. This is extremely handy, very fast, totally free, and it’s all you need to know, is, F12, click on the icon, jump around, and then if you find that your website is not mobile friendly, well, you need to take action. Get somebody who knows what they’re doing, and get them to start making some changes because you really don’t want to leave half of your audience out of your website experience.

I hope this has been useful. At Horizon Web Marketing and Horizon Web Marketing Academy we’re all about helping businesses be able to succeed and make more money online, whether it’s through training at our academy or consulting. Subscribe for more video tips. There’s a big red button down there. It’s also going to be a way for you to get a free SEO checklist for an SEO audit as soon as I stop talking, and so I’m going to stop talking right now.

Again, my name is Ross Barefoot and I’m with the Horizon Web Marketing Academy, until next time.

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.
      

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