When we do an upgrade for a website to a mobile-friendly version, there are three primary options to consider. Here is an explaination of them and why Click IT prefers to provide our clients with a responsive design:
- Responsive Design. Responsive website design automatically adjusts the web page layout for the screen size of the device. There is no need to run a separate desktop site and mobile site because the main website will automatically adapt to provide the optimal viewing experience. You have one URL and one set of HTML code, not different setups for different applications. Responsive design is also Google’s preferred route to mobile optimization. They say as much in this comparison of mobile configurations. Why? Because Google is all about user experience (and generating billions of dollars in ad revenue), and responsively designed websites generally offer the most seamless user experience between desktop and mobile. As search engine marketing (SEM) professionals, we try to build all our clients’ sites on a responsive platform as a matter of best practice, and as a way to help our clients run more streamlined, efficient campaigns.
- Dynamic Serving. Similar to responsive design, dynamic serving approach uses one URL and adjusts the screen layout for the device. Dynamic serving uses things called “user-agents” to determine what kind of device the viewer is using, and then provides the appropriate screen layout. However, the HTML code changes from desktop to mobile versions of the site. Dynamic serving passes the basic Google Mobile-Friendly Tests, though Google has stated that this user-agent detection method can be unreliable, so it’s not the preferred method.
- Mobile Website. A mobile website is a separate version of the main website created specifically for mobile devices. Websites with this configuration have some code in place that tries to determine the device being used by the viewer, and then the site sends that viewer to the appropriate version of the site. This was one of the earliest methods of mobile optimization, and a lot of web developers and do-it-yourself website systems still use it today. It passes the Google test for mobile friendliness, but it’s not the preferred method because it requires website owners to maintain two versions of the same site—and Google also has to crawl two versions of the same site to generate search results. This can lead to inconsistencies (not to mention redundant work), and it can also lead to problems if a user clicks on the link for the wrong version of the site. For example, maybe one of your customers shares the link for your website on Facebook, but they post only the desktop version. If one of their friends clicks on that link while using a smartphone, the user experience will be less than ideal. At Click IT, we recommend that businesses using a separate mobile website consider migrating their site to a responsive platform.
Is your site mobile-friendly? Take the test.
The new Google mobile-friendly algorithm is here to stay. The changes it has brought about have really affected millions of businesses, and if you’re one of them, what can you do about it?
On April 21, 2015, Google changed the way it ranks websites. In the simplest terms, the new update prioritizes mobile-friendly websites and pushes mobile-unfriendly sites down the search rankings.
Here’s Google’s summary of the update:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
How significant a change is it?
Google tweaks its algorithm all the time, as in multiple times a day, hundreds of times a year. So how big was this change? Very big. According to Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Google Webmaster Trends team, this change surpasses both Google Panda and Google Penguin in terms of its impact on search results. If you aren’t familiar with Panda and Penguin, those two algorithm updates turned search results upside down and essentially ended the traditional search engine optimization (SEO) industry.
Hiring a skilled technical company like Click IT avoids falling out of Google’s favor.
If you fail the Mobile-Friendly test, what should you do?
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you have probably seen a drop in the site’s search rankings, and very likely your overall traffic. If your site was fully optimized for mobile devices, then you have probably been in pretty good shape, though you should still do an overall review on a constant basis to make sure the site is still responding properly to different screen sizes, browsers and formats. Monitoring and maintaining your site for changes in the way web technology works, (which changes all the time – for instance a new browser release), is good practice.
Click IT Mobile provides a handy tool to test your mobile optimization: See our Mobile-friendly test page.
Plug in your website URL and click the “Analyze” button. We use Google technology to do some nifty, super-fast calculations and then return a simple assessment of whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, with a picture showing how your site appears on an iPhone. This is just a simple test, but if you fill out our form, we’ll conduct more at no cost to you. In our analysis, we can also tell you how the Googlebot sees your website, and outline problems or potential problems.
Why monitoring is important?
If your site passes the Mobile-Friendly Test, you still might benefit from a more in-depth website assessment to make sure that your site and other online properties (social media, blog, etc.) are up to best practices, specific to the Google algorithm update.
If your site is NOT Mobile-Friendly, then you need to make your site more mobile accessible. Google has drawn a line in the sand and said that “mobile matters.” In fact, a recent study shows that over 50% of Google searches are now conducted with mobile devices. So it’s probably safe to say that they’re right on this one.
The good news is that you may not need a full website redesign. Updating a non-mobile-friendly site may take migrating it to a responsive platform. Click IT Labs is our web development division with SEM professionals, and we do this kind of work all the time. The good news is that there are established protocols for properly updating and optimizing sites without rebuilding them from the ground up.
Other causes of problems
It is important to consider being careful with the web technologies chosen. Things like flash video or other auto-play content isn’t compatible with a lot of mobile devices, particularly on your home page. If you have a big, non-video-compatible media player on your home page, Google essentially sees that section as a blank space. That’s not good for your search results.
It is also important to consider things like font size and the length of any forms on the home page of your website (shorter forms are generally preferable for mobile devices). Also, the speed with which your site loads is critical for mobile users (the faster the better).
Check out Google’s list of common mistakes for more mobile-unfriendly things to avoid.
Google has shaken up the SEO and web development worlds repeatedly over the past few years, but their changes have consistently been about delivering better results for their users. They purpose is very clear: If you maintain a modern, updated website and provide useful content for your audience, you will do well in search results. And they’ve held true to that message. Panda, Penguin, Mobilegeddon—these changes were all about creating better search results and steering Google users to websites that offer the best, most genuine information for their queries.
It is good practice to think about your users’ experience first, and then build it from there. For instance, is your site easy to navigate? Is the design appealing and intuitive? Is the content informational and clear? Does the site work well on multiple devices, from desktops to mobile phones? If so, and if you continue to follow basic best practices for your online presence, then you’ll reap the benefits of search engines that are looking for above-the-board players like you.
If you’re unsure about your level of mobile friendliness, or how to best optimize your site for a comprehensive approach to search engine optimization, start with our mobile-friendly test. Then if it’s not mobile-friendly, or you’d like us to take a closer look, fill out our form and we’ll complete a complimentary assessment.
Is it easy to read and navigate from a mobile phone or mobile device?Or are you making your customers pinch and zoom around your site to find the information they want and need?
It’s easy to see that mobile phone usage is on the rise. Over 50% of your prospective clients will be accessing the Internet from their Mobile Phones.
Everywhere you go, people are using their mobile phones and tablets to find local restaurants, locate local businesses, find fun things to do and read customer reviews. Yet 91% of small business websites are behind the times. They aren’t mobile optimized … and that means they are losing business to their mobile-savvy competitors.
Google is now penalizing websites that are not mobile-optimized.So if your website is a dinosaur, it’s time to jump on the mobile bandwagon before it’s too late.
Your customers are Going Mobile, and you need to be Going Mobile too.Your customers prefer websites with click to call buttons, click for directions buttons, and content that formats automatically to suit their mobile device.
Be sure to grab a bigger piece of the mobile marketing before your competitors gets eaten up.We can have your mobile friendly website ready to go faster than you think. Ready to get started?
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Click It Mobile is a separate division of Click IT which focuses entirely on providing mobile solutions for our customers..
Mobile is taking over and simply the fastest growing segment of technology. You need a partner who understands what solutions are out there, and then can work with you to fit it appropriately to your business needs.
My Wi-Fi is a solution to turn your Free Wi-Fi service into an automated lead generating machine.
Engage your customers on Social Media and gain valuable marketing data. Run contests, promotions and special offers, engaging your customers in real-time. Click IT helps turn your customers into fans using our Social Powered Free Wi-Fi platform.
Learn more by visiting http://mywifi.clickitmobile.com
The Click IT Group of companies is headquartered in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and is organized so to be serve the needs of our customers in the community, and beyond.
- Main Site: http://www.clickitco.com
- Chagrin Falls Computer Repair: http://www.chagrinfallscomputerrepair.com
- Click IT Labs is a website design and software applications development division: http://www.clickitlabs.com
- Click IT Moble is a mobile IT media division: http://www.clickitmobile.com
- Learn about “social media Wi-Fi” at http://mywifi.clickitmobile.com
- Click IT Compliance specializes in I-T compliance issues to highly regulated industries: http://www.clickitcompliance.com
- Click IT Notes, Inc. is developing a new plug-in App for writing electronic medical notes: http://www.clickitnotes.com
- Click IT Computer designs and builds custom computing systems: http://www.clickitcomputer.com