How To Fix Google Search Console Mobile Usability Issues

How To Fix Google Search Console Mobile Usability Issues

When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), your website is the hub from which all your content radiates out into the world. Like how a tree has its roots as far away from its trunk as possible, your website should be mobile-friendly and have a clean, non-cluttered white background so that Google and other search engines can see all the content on your site. But if you’re struggling with a combination of low organic search traffic, low or slow-loading pages, and a badly designed web design layout, then those same issues might be hurting your SEO too. Not being seen on search engines is effectively hiding your website from the world, so here’s an overview of how you can fix Google Search Console and mobile usability issues.

Google Search Console basics

Before you even start to work on the mobile usability issues, it’s important to have a quick initial rundown and understand what Google Search Console (GSC) has to offer. There is a suite of tools within google, including Search Console, which is a free service which gives users an overview on how their website is performing. On top of reporting your website’s performance metrics, Google Search Console also allows you to use its tools for site optimisation, such as search engine optimisation, content marketing, and analytics. There are many beginner-friendly guides available, and the one from Google itself is straight forward and easy to follow. Odds are though, if you get an email from google search console about a mobile usability issues detected, you’re already familiar with the overview, and looking for the following answers.

How to fix mobile usability issues

When Google crawls your website, they’re looking at the site’s mobile friendliness. If your site has a lot of broken or complicated menus, too many ads, or it’s not easy to navigate on a mobile device, then Google might not be able to find all the content on your site that is important for search engine optimisation (SEO). To fix this issue, you can try using responsive design techniques. This means that if you have a website with multiple pages, make sure each page will render properly on a mobile device. However, unless you’re a website developer, you may get many emails to fix common issues.

If you’re confident that your site is well optimised for mobile users, then it is likely you are getting the following three errors:

  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Text too small to read
  • Content wider than screen

The first step would be to look at the effected page, run a mobile friendly test, then ask google, ‘mobile usability and usability issues’ for guides as a start to attempt to fix the issues. There is a lot of information available, including tools within Google Search Console.

How to fix mobile usability issues

Clickable elements too close together

If buttons are close together, it may make using your site on mobile impossible – expect that you’ll get an email of a mobile usability report flagging the affected page.

Text too small to read

Make sure your font size is large enough. Text should be no smaller than 16 pixels, otherwise it will be too difficult to read on a small screen. You can then ‘validate fix’ for google to recrawl your site. If google finds the error has been fixed, your website design is complete.

Content wider than screen

If your site isn’t compatible from a mobile usability perspective, the viewport will not display images correctly. If this error occurs, make sure to move the elements on the page in from the edge, as they may be wider than the screen. This will avoid mobile users needing to do horizontal scrolling on the pages affected.

If you have addressed where each one of the issues occurs, now you can try to ‘validate fix’ and see if there is another issue report.

Validate fix by asking Google to crawl the site again

Validate fix by asking Google to crawl the site again

Test your website on a desktop computer and see if the mobile usability is improved. Probably not much has changed, but this time Google may see the mobile usability issues have been fixed, so you can them to validate that by asking Google to crawl your site again. You will find this in Analytics > Search Console > Mobile Usability Problems. If Google can’t find anything wrong with the mobile version of your website, it will be listed as “fixed” and you can use this as evidence that your fix was successful. This can take some time, so you can expect another email from the google search console team saying the same thing, even though it is going through the validation process.

After going through validation, there are still mobile usability issues detected

If after doing the initial validation, the affected pages could still be flagged with ‘mobile usability’ issues. The next solution is to use CSS elements. You can increase the mobile user experience in your Squarespace website, WordPress, or other server, by doing the following steps. Have your web developer insert this code into your header, which should automatically apply it to every page of your website.

After going through validation, there are still mobile usability issues detected


  :where(body, iframe, pre, img, svg, video, canvas, select) {

    max-width: 100%;

    overflow: auto;

    word-break: break-word;



This code is telling Google that where the elements such as an image, iframe or svg appear on affected URLs, to only let it have the width of the page or screen size, hide the rest, and makes sure long words are wrapped to the next line. Now ‘validate fix’ and get google to confirm that you no longer get this error. It will take up to 2 weeks to process the request. If you have applied the CSS elements on the site to fix the issue, you may see something like this, which means that its considered as fixed, but still in the process of validation.

Need help to fix the issues of Google Search Console and mobile usability issues

Need help to fix the issues of Google Search Console and mobile usability issues?

The mobile usability of your website is just as important as the desktop version. If your users have an experience that’s frustrating, time-consuming, and even confusing on their phones, they are less likely to return. However, fixing issues with mobile usability isn’t always so straightforward. A lot of things need to be considered when it comes to designing for smartphones. These include the different kinds of phones, operating systems, and screen resolutions available, so you need to get it right from the start. If you have any questions about how to fix Google Search Console mobile usability issues, or would like to know how to improve your live page, minimise your plugins, or need help with your WordPress site, Jezweb are experts in web development. We can go through issue details and aspects of your website that are causing problems with Google’s algorithm and give you an insight into how to fix those issues. Call us today to explain how SEO errors can happen, to set up your site to use cookies, or explain our couple of theories about google search results.

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