In 2017, website traffic from mobile devices surpassed traffic from desktop devices and the gap is continuing to grow. Mobile design isn’t optional if you want to be competitive in today’s marketplace.
What is Mobile-Friendly Design?
A mobile-friendly website is one that has been optimized to easily and clearly display your content on mobile-platforms (iPads, cell phones, tablets, etc) as well as on desktops. You might also see these terms listed when speaking of mobile-friendly websites:
- Mobile-optimized websites are those formatted specifically for mobile devices. Not only does the site have the code required to display different layouts for different screen resolutions, but the design has ALSO been optimized for a great user experience. This means that navigation is “thumb” friendly with large touchpoints, graphics are optimized and nothing interrupts the flow of critical information.
- Responsive design is completely adaptable to all types of devices, and will automatically display the best layout for each user device.
Why Is Mobile-Friendly Design Important?
The overall format of your website changes when you go from a desktop machine to a mobile device.
On a desktop computer, your website takes on a Landscape format (more wide than tall). This is due to the physical properties of the desktop computer or monitor.
Mobile devices, however, use a Portrait format for their screens (more tall than wide).
This means that websites designed for desktop computers will not properly display on a mobile device.
Mobile search traffic is increasing and has been for some time. Over 50% of your traffic is likely to be from mobile devices. You can check your own traffic sources on your Google Analytics page. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile – you’re creating a negative experience for the end user and Google will begin to penalize you for it with decreased page rankings.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
If your site is not currently mobile-friendly there are a couple of options that you have to fix it.
This option allows you to leave your current site as is and create a new Mobile-Friendly site under a similar domain (usually https://m.yourdomain.com or https://mobile.yourdomain.com). This option was popular years ago when cell phones were not as popular and data-streaming was much more expensive. While there are still apps and plugins that will allow you to access this option, it’s not the recommended fix for websites. This also creates a second site that you will need to pay for, integrate and maintain.
The smartest solution is to update/upgrade to a responsive template so that anyone on a desktop or cell phone can access your site easily. This may be as simple as trading out your template or it as extensive as redoing the website completely. The costs and effort really depend on how your website was developed.
Other Factors to Consider.
The concept of “mobile-friendly” in the eyes of search engines is really a technical approach. Search engines will crawl your page and identify that specific elements of code are present, but have no idea what the resulting page looks like.
If this seems overwhelming, contact our development partners at Black Dog Marketing. They are available to help!