This week I am writing about an article written by Rosalia Cefalu where she is discussing, as the title suggests, why Google does not like mobile websites.
Cefalu opens with these statistics: 67% of mobile users who land on a mobile optimised site are more likely to convert than if the page wasn’t mobile optimised, and that 61% of mobile users are likely to move onto a competitor’s site if the page they landed on isn’t mobile optimised.
In todays constantly connected world people are able to get information when and where they want it, the only problem is that information is not always presented equally across multiple devices so we must optimise them for our myriad of gadgets.
The four reasons given for Googles dissatisfaction are
1) It doesn’t look good on every device.
An obvious point. With the various sizes of smartphones, tablets and laptops these days one size will not fit all. Sites can be built for full browers, mobile browsers and tablet browser.
2) It spreads out your SEO ranking
Cefalu suggests that by having your mobile optimised sites you are causing Google to crawl through the multiple sites and compete for a ranking against the sites. Obviously this is counter intuitive, you want to be building up your ranking, not creating more work for yourself trying to boost it with double the effort for half the result.
3) Shareability across devices
Research from Google has shown that 90% of people report that people may start a task on one device and finish it on another. If people are sharing to sending a site to others or themselves for access later, they are going to be receiving a mobile link. This can cause frustration an could result in a decrease in follow through if people are faced with the wrong sort of site for their device.
4) Redirection to irrelevant pages
The issue with mobile sites is they are separate from your full site. So any changes and formatting must be done on each and every page. Each page of your full site requires its own mobile site. This causes more work and if it is not done right can result in misdirections and 404 pages. This is not the sort of interaction your prospective customer is likely to thank you for.
Responsive Design pages are pages that format for any browser that you visit from. You only need one page which reduces the amount of work required and could potentially save you money by reducing host costs, design costs, IT costs and anything else yo may be spending money for your website.
If you are still to be convinced then check out Social Driver’s 50 best examples.
The best thing about a responsive site is that you can Tweet one link, Facebook one link or even email one link and not matter how the receiver opens it they will get the best version of your website.
Personally there is nothing more frustrating than trying to click on a link in a full version site on my smartphone with my man fingers and clicking every link surrounding it.