Stumbling onto a non-mobile-friendly website can be enormously frustrating. Smartphone users squint at tiny text and desperately zoom and scroll left and right in an attempt just to read the content. Buttons don’t work, calls to action are missed, and linking to these sites proves problematic. Frustrated users will quickly exit sites that are not optimized for smaller mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
The Rise of Mobile Technology
According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults own smartphones, and 63% of adult cell phone users use these phones to go online. Furthermore, 34% of cell phone users mostly use their phones to go online, not their computers or laptops, and 7% of smartphone users are completely dependent upon their phones for internet access. This rise in smartphone use (and even dependence on smartphones for internet access) has changed the game for anyone who has a website.
Another major game changer came in April of 2015, when Google instated a mobile-friendly update that meant mobile-friendliness would impact a site’s ranking on the world’s most popular search engine. If a site isn’t mobile-friendly, it doesn’t stand a chance of appearing in mobile search engine results.
The end result of all of this is that sites must be mobile-friendly.
What Is a Mobile-Friendly Site
Google defines mobile-friendly web pages as “pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.” Google provides a Mobile-Friendly Test to help people determine whether their sites will be rewarded or punished in Google rankings.
“Mobile-friendly” is a category that can further be broken down into different types of sites, from mobile versions of sites to mobile responsive sites.
Mobile Versions of Sites
Having a mobile version of a site, while better than nothing, is far from ideal for someone who is looking for a cost-efficient, streamlined answer to the problem of creating a website that is easy to view and use regardless of the device that is accessing it.
A mobile version of a site is an outdated way to achieve a mobile-friendly site. Mobile versions of sites are very different and often stripped down in comparison to the main site. Having two separate sites means that two sites must be maintained and updated, and can lead to confusion when one isn’t updated properly. For example, if you change pricing on one site, but forget to change it on the other, this creates confusion for customers. Furthermore, visitors must be redirected from the main site to the mobile version.
Mobile versions of sites are technically mobile-friendly, but are not the best mobile-friendly option.
Mobile Responsive Sites: The Best Practice
Enter mobile responsive sites.
A mobile responsive site adjusts for and looks good on a device of any size. Mobile responsive sites seamlessly change according to the size and shape of the device accessing them, allowing for optimum use and performance across a wide spectrum of devices. There are no separate mobile versions to maintain or redirect visitors to: just one site that effortlessly caters to the needs of the visitor.
Google recommends mobile responsive design for many reasons. Not only is a mobile responsive site flexible and adaptive, but it is also inherently more SEO-friendly. Mobile responsive sites are easier for Google to index and rank, faster to load, and require no redirection.
In other words: one site, one set of content, many screens.
JSMT Media: All Mobile Responsive
At JSMT Media, we exclusively create mobile responsive sites for our clients. As the most flexible, adaptable, and user-friendly option, we know that our mobile responsive sites will encourage visitors to stay on sites and use them, not leave in a fit of frustration and annoyance. We strive to stay on the cutting edge of web design and development, which is why we choose mobile responsive sites.
If you need help designing and developing a mobile responsive site, contact us today to get started.