Mobile friendliness is an undoubtedly critical quality of any successful website. If you do any amount of marketing online through your website, then you need to make mobile friendliness a top priority. Otherwise, a lot of your visitors are going to bounce when your pages take too long to load and aren’t formatted correctly.
Web users often follow the path of least resistance, and don’t want to work to resize your pages or scroll left and right to read text. And as you may well know, losing leads for silly reasons is just bad business. But past creating mobile versions of your pages, is there anything else you can do?
How do you know your site truly is mobile friendly?
Today I’m going to show you some tools to help you gauge your website’s performance on mobile devices.
Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool
The first and rather obvious testing tool you should use is Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. It doesn’t delve as deep as some of the other tools we’re going to look at, but hey...it’s free! All you need to do is copy and paste the URL of a page you want to test, and after a few seconds, it’ll spit out a high-level ranking, such as “Page is mobile-friendly.”
Furthermore, it will produce a screenshot preview of what the site would look like on a mobile device, and offer a site-wide mobility usability report page. You can also directly view the page’s source code, and the tool will provide some flags if it detects usability errors.
For instance, when I ran a test, the tool was able to inform me that the page only partially loaded, and that some elements failed to load on a mobile device. It was able to show me the exact CSS font that failed to load, which is fantastic from a troubleshooting perspective.
W3C’s Mobile Friendliness Tool
However, in addition to great training content, it also has a MobileOK Checker tool. The tool will not only assign a rating to your page’s URL, but it will also highlight any issues and rate the types of errors you have (critical, severe, low, etc.). It will even tell you exactly what’s wrong via alerts it automatically generates, such as problems that affect mobile users such as unfavorable width or height attributes in the code.
It’s certainly no substitute for an audit by a professional, but if you’re a do-it-yourself type and just want to look for any potential oversights, the W3C MobileOK Checker is a rather useful tool.
Unlike the previous two tools, the next tool we’ll be discussing, BrowserStack, is not a free service. If you want to use it, you’ll have to pay for it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Services that cost money are offered by businesses who continually strive to improve the quality of the service to beat competitors and respond to industry changes.
So, while it may be more expensive than a free service, it does have a lot more of cool and useful features. One thing I really like about it is that it will actually create a screenshot of the web page you’re testing to show you exactly what it looks like from a mobile perspective. What I absolutely adore about this tool, however, is that you can test mobile friendliness on a wide variety of mobile devices simply by scrolling through and clicking on the device.
Whether you want to test a page on an iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus, or any other version and variety of mobile device, it only takes a click. You have the option to test via portrait or landscape, and you can even perform live interactive testing. I do wish it were free, but anyone who’s curious can sign up for the free trial.
Google’s PageSpeed Testing Tool
Google also offers a tool called PageSpeed Insights, which, as the name implies, was designed to help users make their web pages fast on mobile devices. Of course, this tool has the advantage of being free to use, and it allows an individual to compare page load times and optimization between desktop and mobile devices.
It assigns a numeric value between 0-100 for both versions of your page, and even provides optimization suggestions if your page gets a low score, like pointing out scripts and CSS resources that slow down page rendering.
SmallSEOTool’s Mobile Friendly Test
Though I can’t say I was crazy about the ads, SmallSEOTool’s Mobile Friendly Test is another great alternative to see if the mobile version of you site is up to scratch. I tend to prefer Google’s tools over SmallSEOTool, but I can’t deny it’s a great free tool to use to help identify any weaknesses in your website.
Like the other tools, you simply need to enter the URL of a website or webpage and click a single button. It will rate your site from 0-100% and provide you with a mobile preview. However, this tool isn’t nearly as in depth as some of the competing (and free) Google tools.
Google is Watching
With Google's mobile first index now in action, it's important that you have a mobile-friendly website. With out it, you can expect mobile users to bounce, which in turn means less conversions and decreased revenue!