May 22, 2024

Over the past ten years, the way that we access the Internet and the websites has changed dramatically. In the last ten years, the use of mobile devices to access the Internet has increased steadily and inexorably. This has important implications for web developers and marketers.

Microsoft announced in 2014 that we now live in a “mobile-first” world. Microsoft announced that we now live in a “mobile first” world a href= “https://news.microsoft.com/2014/03/27/satya-nadella-mobile-first,cloudfirst press briefing/”> back in 2014.

According to marketing consultancy Smart Insights, in the US, 51% of digital media is now accessed through a mobile device. This is significantly higher than our digital media usage via desktop, which is currently at 42%.

According to a recent report in Search Engine Land, mobile searches in the US account for 58 percent or so of total search queries.

The statistics show that web designers and managers should plan for mobile devices when developing their online strategies and websites.

Are You Dedicated or Responsive?

The decisions you make to ensure that users have a positive experience on your site when they use a mobile device are fundamental to putting mobile first.

You can do this in two different ways:

  • Create a dedicated mobile site to which visitors using mobile devices can be directed
  • Make sure your site is “responsive” so that it is optimized for any device that a visitor uses to access the website.

The choice between a mobile-specific website and a website that is responsive has implications on the user experience, cost, and search engine optimization.

What should marketers consider when deciding if they want to create a mobile-specific website or a responsive site?

What is a dedicated mobile website?

A mobile website that is dedicated to your business is different from the main website. They are usually housed under an entirely separate URL from your main site – such as m.yoursite.com. Visitors to your main website will be directed to the mobile version if it is determined that they are using a smartphone.

A dedicated mobile site typically does not allow users to access the full desktop content, as this would mean managing content on both sites. This would double the workload for content managers and developers.

They are, however, designed for mobile phones only, so you can choose the features and content that work best. It can create a better experience for users by showing a smaller portion of content than they would see on your desktop site.

Understanding the behavior of visitors to your site when they use a mobile device is crucial for optimizing the content that you provide on the mobile website.

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website will adapt to the device used to access it. The website automatically adapts its layout to the screen size of each visitor. Content may, for example, be displayed using three columns for users accessing a website on a desktop, two columns for users accessing a website on a tablet, phablet, or smartphone, or one column for those accessing a website through a mobile phone.

It is important to have a responsive website to ensure that all users of your website can access the content, no matter what device they use to access it.

It is easier to plan content and manage the site when you have a single website instead of a main site with a mobile site.

The Responsive Continuum

In reality, a responsive website is a continuum. Some sites are more responsive than others. Some “responsive sites” aren’t responsive at all and may strip out features that can’t be rendered for mobile.

Some designs are more adaptable than others. You will still have to consider which features on each page are most important and where they should appear. This is true even if your site is responsive. Do not fall into the mistake of believing that a responsive website will free you from having to think about usability both from a desktop user’s perspective and from a mobile user’s.

Any responsive website should be tested on all screen sizes and devices. There are many tools that you can use to help with this.

Does your choice affect search engine optimization?

The biggest benefit of responsive websites is that SEO managers don’t have to worry about redirects or that a mobile-specific site may not always inherit the ranking of its desktop counterpart.

If there’s one thing that we know about SEO, it’s that the rules change constantly.

Google has tried to direct website developers’ and managers’ attention toward mobile traffic in recent years. Google no longer views pages in terms of desktop content. Instead, the mobile version is the main page that it indexes.

Google is rolling out this change to its users. Although Google assures users that it will not have a major impact on search engine rankings, the change clearly reflects a shift in focus by the Internet giant.

What should web managers do in response to Google’s Mobile First Indexing?

The “mobile-first” index is bad for businesses that have adopted a mobile site dedicated to mobile devices rather than a responsive website. As a result, they have less content available on their mobile website.

This is an advancement that makes a website responsive look even more appealing.

Your mobile site must work properly, no matter which route you choose. If you decide to create a mobile-only version of your site, make sure it is the primary version.

Jason DeMeyers, a Forbes contributor, suggests: “Continue to prioritize your mobile users and remain on Google’s good side.”

DeMeyers suggests the easiest way to accomplish this is to use a responsive design that automatically flexes depending on the device being used to access the site.

Responsive vs Dedicated Mobile: The User Experience

Visitors using mobile devices to access your site may not notice that your website redirects to a separate website or responds automatically in a way that displays the content optimally for their device. But they will see if your mobile version leaves them disappointed.

Your decisions will impact their experience.

It is, therefore, important to discuss the implications of your choices with your web developer and to test your website on different devices and displays.

Responsive sites are the best choice when we consider user experience in conjunction with other factors, such as SEO, maintenance, and content management. As the world continues to move towards “mobile first,” investing in a mobile-friendly site can help safeguard your website’s SEO and keyword rankings for the future.

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