A mobile-friendly website meant that everything was accessible on a smartphone. Was the website easy to resize? The list goes on. Mobile traffic has increased so much that many of our clients see 70% more visitors to their websites via smartphones than computers. Your market will determine whether you see 30-70% of your traffic from mobile. This number is growing each quarter.
Mobile friendliness cannot be an added feature to your website. It must be a fundamental part of your site. Most readers should consider their online business and online presence as mobile-first. This means that every page and interaction must be designed for mobile first, and then work out how it will look on computers.
Google’s announcement that its algorithms would rank websites based on how the mobile version looked at the end of 2016 signaled a fundamental shift in the way website owners viewed their mobile sites. Your mobile website’s ranking was likely to decline if it was an add-on or token ‘plugin version’ with minimal content and poor user experience.
How can you ensure that your mobile website is a positive experience for users and not a negative one?
Responsive websites vs separate mobile websites
Visitors on mobile were not a common phenomenon back in the mobile internet ice era (let’s just call it pre-iPhone launch in 2007). While some geeks using BlackBerrys tried their best, widespread adoption of the device was still a ways off. Only 10.7% of all website visitors came from mobile devices in 2012 alone. Mobile-friendly websites were a “nice to have” feature at this point. The cool people at the country club would allow you to sit with them, and your children would obey your every word through pure adoration.
Mobile sites existed at the time in a completely separate manner from desktop ones and were located on a different URL (e.g. m.website.com Mobile sites often had very minimal interaction and content. Although they looked awful, only 10.7% will actually see them. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.
2015 was the year that things started to get real. Mobile traffic accounted for more than 35% of all website traffic. The country club was not so friendly and your children were drawing on the walls to express their disapproval. Your mobile website was not performing well and 35% of your visitors were now seeing it, it might have seemed like it wasn’t up to par.
The majority of new websites built after this point were responsive. This means that they adjusted their layout to fit a narrower viewing area. This is the default behavior of most websites and is preferred over having separate mobile websites. Here are the reasons:
1. Only one website can be updated. You can only update one website. If you want to make changes on your main site’s copy, you must also update your mobile site. It’s obvious that you don’t update enough on your main website. So what’s the likelihood you’ll want two websites to update?
2. The content on the mobile site is the same as the main site. This is crucial now that Google has moved to the mobile-first index.
3. Broken links, redirects, and canonicalization are not issues. Life enjoyment is generally proportional to how much time you spend thinking about these issues. A responsive website is better than a separate mobile site. This will make you happier.
Your website must be mobile-friendly if it isn’t technically possible. You can see proof by looking at the fact that mobile traffic now accounts for 50.13% global internet traffic. For a second opinion, visit https://exposureninja.com/googlebook/ to request a review of your website and marketing.