The constant evolution of smartphones and tablet technology has delivered a dramatic shift in the way consumers look for information online. According to a recent mobile use statistics study, over 50% of all US consumers own a smartphone and 96% of those have researched a product or service from it! What’s even more important for businesses to understand is that more than half of mobile traffic to web sites comes from links in natural search results. There are two key take-aways from this that all business owners need to understand:
1) a business website MUST be mobile friendly in order to ensure visitors have the best experience possible OR risk losing them to competitors
2) AND the website must be ‘mobile search engine friendly’ in order to be indexed & visible in mobile search results.
Per ‘Google for Developers’, Google supports smartphone-optimized websites in three configurations BUT GOOGLE ONLY recommends responsive design. Here are the reasons why:
- Responsive design is NOT a second website or App
- It allows a business to maintain one website with one set of URLs
- It makes managing one web presence that can satisfy all web visitors on all devices convenient & affordable
- There’s only one set of content and one set of SEO challenges for the business
- It automatically adjusts to give users the best possible experience
- It only requires that search engines crawl and index one set of URLs
A responsive design enables any website to automatically resize itself to fit the screen on which it is being viewed. This means that all of the content, images and layout of the website remain the same, but the site can shrink itself or make itself larger so that the user has the best possible viewing experience regardless of the device they are using. If a consumer is on a desktop, they will see the full site. If the consumer is using a mobile device like an iPhone®, the site will automatically retract to fit on the smaller screen. Responsive websites are not built in an app’ nor are they a second website. A responsive site is your original website, your original set of URLs formatted to respond to how the consumer needs to see the information online. This means that ALL of the SEO work your business has done to rank on Google benefits your presence for mobile equally well, because they are the same. Often times, web marketing companies try to sell a mobile solution that uses completely different URLs. This means that the SEO work you did for your site, all of the content writing and link building that was done, has no bearing on your presence for mobile devices. You’ll need to do double-duty to get your separate mobile site to show up in a Google search. And remember, more than half of mobile traffic to web sites comes from links in natural search results!
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