There are two methods to ensure your website is accessible and user-friendly for those accessing your website from a smartphone. The traditional method is known as a “Dedicated Mobile Website” and was the first attempt to design websites specifically for mobile users. This method became very popular as soon as mobile devices obtained the capability to search the web.
Dedicated Mobile Website: A dedicated mobile website functions separately from your traditional website and is designed to fit the narrow, small screens of a phone. When I say it functions separately, I mean that it has it’s own unique URL and is a website entirely in itself. On most occasions, the mobile website is the same URL, but “-mobile” has been added to the end of the URL.
Recently, a newer method of development has began rising in popularity to satisfy the same experience as a dedicated mobile website for your users. This method is known as a “Mobile Responsive” website and does not constitute a separate URL. Rather, it is a modification of your traditional site that is built into your website from the beginning stages.
Mobile Responsive: A mobile responsive website is the same website as your traditional website. Therefore, it does not function separately from your traditional site and is developed to adjust in size accordingly, depending on the screen size detected. Therefore, if you are accessing the website from a desktop or a smartphone, the code reads the display’s screen size and adapts, making it “responsive”. For an example, visit www.teamhedgehog.com and grab the corner bottom corner of your window. Now, drag your mouse to shrink the window size of the website and you’ll notice that the design adapts in a fluid manner.
So, why is it important to you that a new method of mobile development is available?
Well, a recent report from BrightEdge, a leading SEO management company with access to billions of queries worth of search data, states that
“27% of websites were misconfigured for smartphone searches, which resulted in a 68% loss of smartphone traffic to those websites.”
In other words, BrightEdge indicates that 27% of the websites they surveyed ranked lower in Google and other search engines, due to the fact that the search engines were unable to match the mobile site with its desktop counterpart, as a result of configuration errors. The search engines weren’t able to identify the two URLS (one for the desktop and one for the mobile device) as being related, therefore SEO wasn’t able to positively count the website as having a mobile counterpart.
The configuration errors led to a drop in rankings by almost two positions in search engines, resulting in an average of 68% decline in traffic to each website.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, when breaking down the percentage of websites that had a configuration error, BrightEdge found that Dedicated Mobile Websites (with separate URLs) obtained a 72% configuration error rate.
Mobile responsive websites (The same URL) had 0% configuration errors.
The trend in development is important because it directly impacts how your website may be ranking, whether you know it or not. When working with a development team on building a new website for your business, a Mobile Responsive website should be a requirement, especially if you want to ensure your website is SEO-friendly.
In short, here are a few pros of a Mobile Responsive website:
- It is a single website. One website is less expensive than two.
- There is only one URL, preventing a user from accidentally accessing your dedicated mobile website from their desktop computer.
- Less risk of configuration errors.
- SEO transfers directly to your mobile website from your desktop website. There is no need to create specific, unique content for mobile responsive, which is necessary for a Dedicated Mobile Website.
By Tony Trabon