Why Hamburgers are Fine…

In this instance, hamburgers are the little squat stripes you’ll see on a mobile website to indicate a menu. Google has said that hamburgers are fine to use – although they’re sometimes called accordions!

It’s fair to say that the first thing that we all do when we want to know something is reach for our phone and Google. Or maybe you ask Alexa, or use your laptop, iPad or even the smart TV. But we all reach for the internet nowadays.

As the majority of users are now making searches from mobile devices, you should know that Google is rolling out its ‘mobile first’ indexing. That means they are using your mobile website to create your entry in the search engine.

What does that mean?

Well, if you’ve got a responsive website you’re pretty much fine (as long as you’re doing everything else that you should be).

Jones Harris mobile website with hamburger menu
Jones Harris mobile website with hamburger menu

You can tell if your site is responsive by getting hold of the side of the page with your cursor and pulling it inwards. If it keeps changing shape, no matter what shape you make it, it’s responsive. It means that it will fit whatever device someone looks at it on.

It also means there’s only one version of your information and that’s what appears on your mobile website and everywhere else.

If you’ve got different desktop and mobile sites then you need to get working. When mobile sites were first introduced it was common to have a second, different version with pared down information.

If you’ve still got that arrangement you need to know that Google will be indexing your second, pared down version of information as your primary source. They might not have done it just yet but they will, and that will affect your search ranking.

All of those thousands of words which you lovingly crafted on your desktop version will become invisible…

Looking After a Mobile Website

If you think that you can build a mobile website (or any other type) and then forget about it, you’re wrong. Every website needs maintenance, updating, and keeping in line with changing technology.

The best way to make sure that you’ve got a good company website is to make it part of your regular routine to work on it and learn a new skill to help you to improve it.

Start by looking at your own website through the eyes of a reader. Ask a few clients, suppliers, friends and members of staff what they think. Have a look at it on your mobile phone and tablet – you’d be surprised how many people don’t.

Back to the Hamburgers…

Oh and the hamburgers. As mobile devices are small and our attention span is usually somewhat limited when using one, everything that you add needs to be really clear.

  • Use clear text in a reasonable size.
  • Write in a simple and engaging manner.
  • Make your buttons big enough to click.
  • Leave white space between sentences, photos, etc.

The hamburger menu is a universally recognised way to denote a menu which expands when clicked. They first appeared on mobile websites, but are becoming increasingly common on desktop sites too.

The usually secretive Google has confirmed that the use of the hamburger menu is perfectly acceptable to use from a search engine optimisation point of view.

So when your web designer asks if you’d like a hamburger, don’t ask for pickles!

Would you like some advice?

If you’d like any advice about your website, mobile responsive versions, selling on the internet or IT in general, just get in touch with us here at Jones Harris for a no-obligation chat.

We’ve got a huge network of clients and contacts which we can link you up with, to solve just about any problem that you could think of.

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