On April 21st Google are making another huge change to the way they will rank websites on their search engine – and it will affect everyone.
Market stats now tell us that over half of all web searches are made on mobile phones and tablets. And a while ago, Google decided that they will show POSITIVE preference to websites that render properly on mobile devices.
Irrespective of whether your business is actually likely to have prospects looking for you on tablets and smart phones, and we have several clients in industrial sectors like this, Google WILL penalise you for not having a truly mobile-friendly website design.
Check your website FREE – Click here to take the Google Mobile Friendly Test
So, how do you make your website design mobile friendly, and avoid a Google penalty?
There are a couple of ways of going about this – responsive website design or using a completely customised mobile site, hosted on a subdomain.
Responsive Website Design
A responsive website design formats a standard website so that it can ‘intelligently’ scale the content to the screen on the mobile device. This ensures it displays properly and is generally set up in content ‘blocks’. Check out the snap marketing website and see how it changes when you drag in the browser. Responsive websites can handle any resolution so that desktop, laptops, smartphones, and tablets will all display the website in the best way possible.
Separate Customised Mobile website
Constructing a separate mobile website allows you to optimise the content specifically for mobile users. Mobile sites usually have less content and a different navigation system, because the real-estate on the screen is limited, and also because we are now used to swipe and tap to make our choices. All of the work customised mobile websites to deliver the right pages for each device are done on the server. We don’t, but if we had a custom mobile site it would probably look like www.m.snap-marketing.co.uk.
So Which Is Best?
Responsive Websites are:
- Really flexible as one responsive website design works on across all devices,
- Google prefers responsive website design, and so do we!
- Less maintenance overall.
- But can be a bit clumsy on the screen size transition points
Customised Mobile Sites:
- Can give a completely dedicated experience specifically for mobile users
- Will be the best mobile-friendly version of your content
- Can be easier and cheaper to design
- But there will be higher recurring maintenance costs because you will be effectively running more than one site
- May need reworking when new screen or browser technology comes along
It truly depends on your business model and where you are getting growth trends in traffic. So if your business is e-commerce or very much mobile oriented a customised site may be the way to go. However, it is crucial that your website is now mobile-friendly in order to rank in Google organic search, regardless of the website type.
Written by Matthew Simmons