Google is actively working to ensure that mobile users have a pleasant and intuitive experience on your websites.
We have previously discussed the sort of signals Google uses to rank mobile websites. Now Google has integrated a new element in their Webmaster Tools platform, dedicated to mobile web.
This new section is called Mobile Usability, and it can be found under the Search Traffic menu. Here you will see all the issues that Google deems important for mobile user experience.
This tool will show you usability issues with your mobile website. It does not necessarily measure the effectiveness of a website that’s been optimised for mobile. Rather, it considers the sort of things that people will see when visiting your site from a mobile device. All issues are listed, and through addressing these, you can greatly improve the user experience for all mobile users.
For example, on the above image you can see that Google has found 174 pages for which Viewport has not been configured. This means that the site in question has nearly 200 pages for which the meta-tag data required for responsive mobile pages simply does not exist.
It is possible to see precisely which pages are suffering from these problems, which obviously makes them a lot easier to fix.
Why is this important?
The presence of Mobile Usability in Google Webmaster Tools proves, without a doubt, just how seriously Google takes the issue of mobile user experience. Through outlining errors this clearly, they’re essentially saying that there’s no longer any excuse for having a site that doesn’t take the unique requirements of mobile users into consideration.
Talk to your web developer about making your site more mobile friendly. First, though, it might be a good idea to check your Google Analytics account, to determine just how much traffic your are receiving from tablets and mobile devices. Most likely, you’ll notice that a large proportion of your traffic already comes from mobile devices. But if it doesn’t already, it will soon. Now is the time to act – don’t leave it until it’s too late.