15 Jan How to tell if your website really sucks on mobile
Pete Townsend was an early adopter. He went mobile in 1971.
For others of us, it took a bit longer.
If I had to pick the one most compelling report that spurred me on to update my WordPress site to a responsive design it was the blunt red warning I got by running my site through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site:
That test was one of lots of easy tools I used before my DIY update of my WordPress site to a mobile-friendly theme. It’s not hard to find out page load speed, how your existing site looks on mobile devices and how you’re doing on other SEO factors.
How I found out just how badly my WordPress site was performing on mobile.
In addition to justifying that my site really needed updating, I wanted to gather analytics so I could compare Before/After site performance once my new site went live.
I used MobileTest.me to see how my site looked on mobile. Here’s the bad news I got with views on two different iPhones before the rebuild:
Google Analytics provided more hard proof that my site was not doing an effective job attracting and engaging the right visitors. Below are my Page Views (126) bounce rate (65%), pages per session (1.64) and average session duration (29 seconds) over a one-month period for my old site:
PageSpeed Insights showed my page load time scores—from 72 to 100—were also Needs Improvement, to use the old grammar school euphemism:
And my mobile PageSpeed Scores could only be called an embarrassment:
Google Analytics confirmed I also had a “growth opportunity” on referral traffic (to earn more backlinks):
WooRank told me my top priority for fixing my site was page load speed:
But it’s always darkest before the dawn. Later in this series of posts I’ll compare these baselines to what happened when I updated my WordPress website to a responsive theme.
Collect baseline metrics on your old website BEFORE you launch a new one
If you need to persuade someone up the ladder that it’s time for a website rebuild, get some ammo from the reports above. If you’re embarking on a redesign, don’t wait to export analytics reports and take screenshots on your old site. You’ll want to do Before/After comparisons. And you don’t want to realize you should have after your old site is gone.
Learn more—like how NOT to pick a great WordPress theme for consultants—by checking out my other posts in this series, Why Updating Your WordPress Site to Mobile Responsive Will Drive You Insane.