In case you were living under a rock, or still have dial-up, Mobilegeddon came in like a lion and wreaked a crazy storm of what-nows on all of us. Even if the exact repercussions are yet to be calculated in everyone’s Google rankings, the positive benefits of bringing awareness to your website’s usability on all screen shapes and sizes is definitely a plus.
You have probably heard web design and online marketing geeks preach the importance of mobile-friendliness so often that you want to throw your Motorola Razr at their heads (don’t, because that little gem could be worth some serious bones one eBay, ) but what does mobile-friendly really mean? What is the difference between “mobile” and “responsive” and why should it really matter to your website?
I heard this Mobilegeddon thing wasn’t really a big deal after all
While the jury is still out on the actual impact of Mobilegeddon (it’s only been a month,) the buildup helpfully spread the word about just how important it is to assess your website.
As had been prognosticated by #nostradamus, 2014 saw mobile internet usage surpassing that of pc usage. Not only are more folks surfing, posting and snapchatting on their personal devices for longer periods of time than they are on their computers, consumers are definitely buying stuff on their multiple devices. If your website doesn’t make it easy for potential customers to convert their purchase on their phone while waiting in line at Whole Foods, you just aren’t living in today’s reality.
Here are some nerdy statistics to help convince you:
- 30% of mobile shoppers will abandon their transaction if the website is not properly optimized to make a mobile purchase (MoPower)
- Failing to have a site that is optimized for mobile use is like closing down your business for an entire day every single week (Google)
- 72% of tablet owners make at least one purchase on their tablet every week, and those folks have an average income of $63k (Google)
- 44% of all retail internet minutes are spent on mobile phones and 11% is spent on tablets (Comscore) That’s more than half of all time spent shopping online.
The takeaway? That line at Whole Foods isn’t getting any shorter or more entertaining and that’s creating ample time for your potential customer to convert on your site!
Although Mobilegeddon seems to have not had a huge impact yet, Glen Gabe from G-Squared Interactive has been tracking search ranking on desktops vs. mobile devices with some very interesting results. Obviously time will tell what the real effects of this algorithm are for rankings.
What is a Responsive Website Anyway?
A responsive website is the Range Rover of websites in that it goes everywhere. A responsive web design means that the website has been constructed from inception to ensure that the content will display fully and accurately, regardless of the size of the screen. The easiest way to test for a responsive website is actually on your computer. If you are using a pc right now, go up to the top right menu of your browser and click on the double boxes to shrink your browser window. Move your cursor to the right edge of the display and hover over the edge until your arrow turns into a double arrow, hold down the left button of your mouse and drag the page edge to the right. You will see that the display automatically adjusts the content to show vertically. This is responsive. If you are viewing this post on a mobile device, you will not need to do anything other than enjoy the easy to read display that Blizzard has created for you.
So then What the Heck is a Mobile Site??
A mobile site is essentially a copy of your website that is specifically optimized to be viewed on a smaller screen and is created with a touch-screen interface. Essentially you now have two different websites. Mobile websites are usable across multiple devices and can be updated just like a regular website. They appear in search results and the URLs can be shared via URL links. Frequently, mobile sites have a different domain name, frequently “m.domain.com”. Having a separate mobile site can hurt your organic search traffic and therefore your search ranking because mobile links shared from mobile browsers will not count towards the ranking value of your primary site. Also, although your website will show as “mobile-friendly” in a Google search, if someone clicks on a link to your main website from Google search results on their phone, they will not get what they are looking for if that content is not on your mobile site. The world of mobile devices is constantly evolving and a mobile site might need to be edited or re-created in order to fit next generation devices, whereas a responsive site is more likely to look fine, regardless of the device. (I’m talking ‘bout YOU, Apple Watch!)
Be Polite and Responsive
A responsive website makes the user experience much easier. If a potential customer has trouble navigating your website through the booking or purchasing process, you are going to lose them. Being responsive gives you more flexibility to help increase your conversion rate. If you have a mobile site, any changes you make to your primary website are going to have to be made to your mobile site separately.
Responsive sites are not only easier for the user, but Google prefers them to separate mobile sites. A responsive site makes the beleaguered Google bots life of constant crawling and indexing easier and more efficient when the content on your website is consistent. A mobile website uses different URLs and HTML than its computer sized counterpart and also may not contain all of the content, making Google have to do twice the optimization work without twice the reward. Standard URLs also eliminate potential confusion for users who see that the URLs read differently for the same site.
In a previous post, I wrote about prioritizing ease of use for mobile users when designing your website. The easiest way to solve all of your mobile friendliness needs is to start at the design phase by creating a fully responsive website that is created with all users in mind when it comes to images, videos, button sizes, navigation bars, content and everything else on your new site. You want EVERYONE to be able to find, see, use and most importantly, convert on your website anytime, anywhere and on anything.
I am still confused…help me!
We have lots of helpful information and tools to assess the mobile-friendliness of your website. If it turns out your website is in fact, NOT friendly to mobile devices, we can help! Contact us for a mobile-friendly fix, whether it’s a short term answer, or a long term solution, Blizzard can help you become friendly to the upwardly mobile and even to those who are more stationary! Contact Us or Call Us Today!