If you've not got a responsive mobile-friendly website, then it is definitely time you consider getting one. The importance of having a strong mobile presence online has never been greater.
A mobile website is becoming increasingly important for businesses, in particular in the aid of on-the-go e-commerce websites who want to catch the ease and simplicity of their mobile users. One of the SEO aspects that Google looks at with any website, desktop or mobile, is how a website aids the user experience (UX) and ensures the fluidity between interactions and the user interface (UI).
Get Yourself a Mobile Website
There is still a surprising number of businesses who aren't yet ready to accept defeat and opt-in for a mobile website. Many see a 'mobile website' as a completely separate website that's geared towards mobile visitors - this was the case in the infancy of mobile websites where the number of active mobile visitors was lower than it is today. So where is the drawback to this method?
Although you've got a mobile website, you've got an independent replica of your website that's segmented away from your primary website. You'll have duplicated, refined and cut-back content running on two versions of the same website. So - where is the negative to this approach? Google has told web designers and developers that it prefers websites that are able to respond and adapt to a visitors device, unleashing the storm of responsive web design.
Still not convinced?
One of the primary reasons to get a mobile-friendly website is to boost your online presence. You could be getting a fair share of traffic from mobile devices and if your website isn't mobile suitable, your users will be in for a terrible user browsing experience.
Have you ever tried clicking on a non-mobile website's link to a potential offer you want to view? How many times have you ended up on a different page entirely to what you actually wanted? Regardless of how small your fingers are, the clunky nature to a desktop website on a mobile device is a pathway to a disaster.
You finally manage to get onto the correct page - but what is that? That's a good question, but I can't actually answer it as the font sizes are tiny and near-enough impossible to read. This is a pain for users who have to constantly interact with the website, pinching to zoom in and out, moving and navigating across the website just to reach the end of the sentence.
My Website Media Doesn't Work
Yeah.. we hear that a lot. Users are puzzled as to why the video on their website doesn't load. Why would you want to display content to your users that they actually can't even see? Picture this, Netflix where you're merely presented with an error message 'Content cannot be displayed', frustrating right?
Commonly, the cause of this problem is Flash which is slowly becoming faded out of websites to a more preferred method. Their is a new <video> HTML5 tag that Google recommends to any web developer, and if they recommend you use it, then if you want a video on your website, use it.
Crafting a Responsive Website Design
For those that aren't familiar with the concept of a 'responsive' website, simply put, it is a website that's able to respond and adapt to your visitors device size. You're able to manipulate the layout of your content and serve a UI friendly version of the website across all devices. For SEO, Google prefers a responsive website over a separate mobile site. Though if you've got a separate mobile site, you're better off than not having one at all.
A responsively designed website eliminates the need for users to zoom and pinch into areas of interest on your site which aids the overall accessibility and usability of your site. A responsive design consolidates all versions of your website into a single unit meaning you can easily make updates to content without having to worry about updating the relevant mobile version. So where are the drawbacks to a responsive website?
Pulling off a responsive website isn't easy or simple. In fact, it is far from it. Consider development whereby you have an endless amount of device sizes and possibilities. How do you initially target the 'desired' sizes you'd like to alter the display for? How do you handle images, fonts, the layout?
As we've discussed here previous, optimising your website is also a crucial aspect of SEO and considering page loading times and overall performance is always a factor you need to consider. So how do you go about effectively maintaining a responsive website and ensuring its performance is on-par across all devices.
Aiding your Overall SEO
Search engines are beginning to bump websites up the search results that are mobile friendly, optimised and perform well regardless of the device.
“... To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.” - via Google Webmaster Blog
This was back in June 2013 and since then, search engines have been increasingly favouring websites that are responsive and adapt well.
If you're still wondering whether you should be concerned - if your website isn't responsive and mobile-friendly, you may find yourself facing a drop in your SEO rankings. Though this is great news for businesses and websites that are already taking full advantage of a responsive site - your ranking will improve at your competitors' expense.
We offer a complete responsive web design and development service and can convert an existing website into a responsive website, or optimise your existing responsive website. If you're interested or want to know more - then just get in touch!