Almost everywhere you go these days, you will see people looking at their mobile phones, and you can be sure they are probably either enjoying some form of social media, or browsing websites. Mobile sales have left desktop sales standing, and this means that purchases will eventually be more often be made via mobile internet. As the smartphone and tablet become the digital solution of choice, companies are wise to respond to this by ensuring that their websites include responsive web design.
Figures have shown that the majority of users prefer to buy goods from websites which are mobile friendly, and companies have an option to go for a comprehensive responsive design website, or a separate, additional mobile ready website. Factors which inform this decision include who the intended target audience is, what the website is primarily used for, and whether or not search engine optimisation is involved.
Search Engine Optimisation for Smartphones, Tablets & other Mobile Devices
Where search engine optimisation [SEO] is incorporated into your business, a responsive design website is an extremely favourable option. According to search engine giant Google, responsive web design is the industry best practice, and it recommends its inclusion in any successful website. As responsive design sites have the same HTML, and only one URL, even on a number of devices, it is easier for Google to crawl, list and organise website text content. This makes for a more efficient process, and additionally allows a simpler sharing process for users than with separate sites.
Google values user experience, and uses this as a ranking factor, which is why it is not a good idea to settle for a system that is not smooth running. A less than desirable situation is one where for instance content shared via a mobile site, is viewed on Facebook using a desktop. The website they see will not be completely compatible with their desktop, which could cause problems. With responsive design this would not be an issue, and each user would have the same high quality viewing result.
Mobile Friendly Websites for a Smooth User Experience
When you integrate responsive design into your website, you ensure that everybody who arrives on your website benefits from an optimum user experience whatever size or specification their device consists of. This cuts out any concerns about whether or not you have covered all aspects, making your website accessible from all devices. If you do not have a responsive website, potential customers could have trouble finding you again easily. If a user searches and finds your website on their smartphone while out, then tries to continue their research once home and on their desktop, they may experience some difficulties in finding the website on this other device.
However, in the same scenario a positive user experience is frequently the outcome where a website has responsive design, as the site remains the same. Having to search and find the product again on a fresh device is often time consuming and may frustrate any prospective customer.
SEO Management, Keyword Inclusion for Mobile Devices & Desktops
Apart from these considerations there is also the fact that having separate sites for varying devices involves additional website SEO management. Responsive design gives a simpler more cost effective and less time consuming result for the company, as well as encouraging more frequent visits to their website.
One advantage however, of mobile specific SEO, is its ability to incorporate keywords which people on the move are highly likely to use when searching. Although there is no reason why these precise mobile search terms cannot be part of the overall SEO strategy of a responsive design site.