During the past several years, the number of users flocking to sites from their mobile devices has grown much faster than expected. In response to this, there has been an increasing demand for mobile website design and confusion about which way to accomplish making a site mobile friendly. The confusion results from SEO experts pushing one option over the other to make it seem like there’s only one answer to making a site mobile friendly, but that’s just not the case. There is a range of options for making websites mobile-friendly, so here are some tips for your mobile strategy.
In just a few short years, the numbers of mobile devices and their capabilities have changed dramatically. You want to build your site with that in mind. Keep an eye toward the future by designing a site that is easily adaptable rather than one that will require a rebuild if a new device with different demands makes an appearance.
Define How Your Target Audience Uses Mobile Devices
You don’t need to satisfy every potential user that stumbles onto your website. Your goal is provide the best user experience for your target audience. Will the user need to fill in forms to make purchases or to get certain types of content? If so, this will need to be taken into account.
The Myth About Mobile Users
A commonly touted yet misguided statement often made about mobile users is that they’re always on the go. That’s simply not true. Many of your mobile users will be accessing your website while they’re on the couch watching television. Some users, of course, will be on the go, but mobile devices have become the go-to devices for browsing, searching and shopping. People don’t rely on their desktops and laptops the way they used to. It’s safer to assume that your mobile users will want all the information that’s available from their desktop on their mobile devices as well, so base your design around that.
Responsive Design versus Mobile Sites
The most commonly used solutions to building mobile friendly sites are to use a responsive design or to build a separate mobile site. Which one is better? It depends on your needs and the needs of your customers. If cost is a major deciding factor, a responsive design will be better in terms of initial and ongoing costs. If you’d like to provide additional content to your mobile users, such as access to apps, wallpapers and ringtones, a separate mobile site may be better. Load times should be taken into account, too, because speed is one of the ranking factors. For simple sites, a responsive design will load in a timely manner without issue, but for more content heavy sites, a mobile site is the faster way to go.
These are just a few of the things that you should consider when designing your mobile site. The key is to think about your site’s mobile users and deliver the best experience possible to them within the constraints of your budget.
Simon Brisk is the head of manual outreach at Click Intelligence a search marketing agency based in London. Simon writes about mobile SEO tips, step by step guides to outreach and his experience in the field of online marketing