With the large and growing number of smartphone users in the US, having a mobile friendly website has become a necessity for small-medium sizes businesses.
According to Smart Insights, 80% of users in a Global Web Index survey preferred to use their smartphones to search the web. Smartphones have taken the number one spot over desktops/laptops (number two) with tablets following third at 47%. The number of smartphone and tablets users will only increase in the future.
In Spring of 2015, Google rolled out a mobile friendly update which penalizes websites that aren't mobile friendly. This means mobile friendly websites are ranked better than non-mobile friendly websites within Google's mobile search results.
Google now gives higher priority to mobile friendly sites on mobile search results and that means you could be losing out on potential business if your website is not mobile friendly.
If your website doesn't pass the test, you'll want it mobile optimized as soon as possible.
One way to ensure your entire website will be properly indexed on Google mobile search is by creating a separate mobile website that is connected to your main "desktop" website. This has been a common approach as they are reasonably quick to build and are an economical solution.
When someone visits your main website from a mobile device like an Iphone or Android phone, they will automatically see your mobile website. However, if someone visits your website from a laptop or desktop computer, they will see your main website instead.
The trade off to a mobile website is that it tends to have less content. Focus is placed on the most important information about your business: telephone numbers, addresses, providing ways for customers to contact you, and basic information about your products or services. The desktop version of your website will have more information than the mobile website. You can give mobile site visitors the option to switch over to the full desktop website version when viewing on a mobile device. However, when doing this the full website will not be optimized for mobile.
When you visit a website on your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer and the website automatically adjusts to your screen size, that is known as a responsive website design. It is a very popular solution and has become the standard for creating mobile friendly websites. This is the preferred method for making websites mobile friendly going forward.
So, what makes this the best solution when it comes to mobile friendly web design?