What, more than any other device, has revolutionised the way we shop online? The answer of course is the mobile or smartphone. Smartphones have given us the power to shop and browse online wherever we are and whenever we like. The increasing use of smartphones and the escalation of mobile commerce have not gone unnoticed by the eagle eyes of Google. Google wants to make the online experience as good as it could possibly be for users so it adjusted its algorithms in April this year to account for this. The position for online businesses since Google’s mobile algorithm update is simple: the easier your website is to use on mobile devices, the better this is for your business. Now mobile-friendly web design will not only make life easier for people using your website; it will also mean that your website will rank higher on Google too.
So, having a website with a mobile-friendly design is the first step towards online success. We all now get that. But what do the terms responsive web design and mobile-friendliness actually mean? More importantly, how can you tell if your website is mobile-friendly?
What’s the difference between responsive and mobile-friendly websites?
A responsive website is optimised for any device. Visitors have the ability to access your site through desktops, tablets or smartphones and the website will automatically adjust to suit any screen size. A responsive design, therefore, gives you greater flexibility, as it provides one website for countless devices. The real beauty of a responsive website, however, is that overcomes the need to mess around with screen sizes, zooming or dragging to make the images fit. A responsive website adjusts to fit a mobile device effortlessly and makes the experience more pleasurable for the consumer.
Well, a mobile-friendly website is designed solely to work on smartphones. Because of clever responsive web design, a visitor using a mobile device to view a website will be taken straight to the mobile web page because the website recognises the device.
What is a mobile website? Well, it’s essentially a stripped-back version of a normal website: that is, one which contains fewer pages. However, mobile websites may also offer the option to view the full website if this is required. Mobile-enabled sites display all the key pieces of information, but in smaller bite-sized chunks. Essentially they’re a compressed version of the main desktop website, and are, therefore, generally a fairly cost-effective solution for businesses working on a tight budget.
What are the business advantages of having a mobile-friendly website?
There are all manner of benefits for businesses if they invest in a mobile-friendly website. The main benefits are the following:
• Improved User-Experience
A responsive mobile-friendly website makes it easier for people to browse an online site. Why’s mobile-friendliness so important? Well, users will easily become frustrated with sites that either aren’t responsive or aren’t loading quickly. Therefore they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. A mobile-friendly website is much more likely to create a positive user experience.
• Higher ranking on Google’ search pages
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly you may begin to see your organic search engine positions suffer due to Google’s new algorithm update. If your website is mobile-friendly your chances of ranking higher are enhanced.
• Increased User Time on Site
A mobile-friendly website will help your business hold the attention of viewers for longer. Visitors are much more likely to bounce off your website and visit a competitors’ site if your website isn’t mobile friendly.
• Faster Load Speeds
A responsive, mobile-friendly website will make it much quicker for visitors to find what they’re looking for. They can find key information about your products and services quickly and efficiently, rather than wasting time searching for it on your site.