We live in a fast-paced world where continuous technological advancements make all kinds of information easily accessible and available right at our fingertips. Furthermore, the desire for instant gratification leaves people constantly hungry for more information and more services, regardless of their location or the type of device they use.
Granting mobile users website access on the go has become a ubiquitous priority of most businesses in the world. A seamless mobile experience is a must, and having a mobile version of a website also provides customers with much better user experience, which positively impacts brand image and sales.
The mobile revolution is still underway. Mobile is now a leading platform keeping pace with or surpassing desktop use. Google reports that “global mobile internet usage now stands at 76 percent.”
Mobile sites facilitate most online research. Today’s mobile shoppers are obsessed with research and want to dig deeper when they look for products and services. This is especially true when online shoppers are more acquainted with the mobile site, or if they need to go directly to the source.
Mobile sites can either build or break your brand. This is another interesting insight backed up by Google data. Brand credibility is at stake when it comes to mobile site expectations. If it takes too long to load your mobile site, you may have just lost a potential customer.
Besides creating cute seasonal doodles, Google offers a number of helpful tools for companies and website owners. Namely, they provide a free report inside Google Search Console, the Mobile Usability report, to help website managers adjust to the latest mobile search algorithm requirements.
Alternatively, Google has another tool, the Mobile-Friendly Test, that tells you “how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.”
If your website is unprepared for mobile-first indexing, it will have some serious SEO problems. No matter how stylish and awesome your landing page is, it means little if it’s not optimized for mobile. So how do you convert a website so it’s mobile friendly?
Basically, a mobile version of your site can be developed by reorganizing your desktop content elements into mobile-friendly ones. In this case, you’re going to deliver a responsive web design that matches the desktop version. Additionally, you have some other options for creating a mobile-friendly site. They include:
Canonical AMP. All your site’s pages are created in AMP HTML, and the mobile version is the same as the desktop site.
Separate URLs. Each desktop URL has a sister URL, an m-dot site that serves mobile-optimized content. Since Google prefers the mobile URL for indexing, follow these instructions to get ready.
Dynamic serving. This approach keeps the same URL but changes the HTML. It employs user-agents to detect what kind of device is being used and dynamically switches the appropriate view.
AMP and non-AMP. With this approach, a user sees two different URLs. Google favors the mobile version of the non-AMP URL for indexing. If your non-AMP mobile version uses dynamic serving or separate URLs, study these best practices to fix it.
Desktop only. If your site only has a desktop version, there aren’t going to be any changes. The mobile version will mirror the desktop version.
Responsive web design. This is the most recommended website design method because it doesn’t create two copies of one site – there’s just one website. Online visitors only see one URL, and the website adapts as the user transitions between devices and screen sizes.