Due to the fact that smartphones have of recent years been gaining steady ground and are now officially overtaking traditional desktop and laptop computers for volume and frequency of connection to the internet, the need is ever more imperative for websites to be friendly and adaptable to all mobile devices in order to provide the correct user experience.
In early 2015, search engines such as Google announced that they would begin to value this issue, to the extent that they considered drastically dropping the mobile search ranking for any site that doesn’t comply with this requirement (an estimated, and surprisingly high, 80% of all websites). Nevertheless, they have recently been opting instead for rewarding those sites that are mobile-friendly with a boost in their mobile search ranking. As this mobile-friendly issue is relatively new, its adoption and implementation is highly recommended as a great opportunity to set oneself apart from competitor sites.
To create a mobile-friendly site, there typically exist 2 types of techniques:
- Those applied especially for mobiles under their own URL, in other words, separate and independent from the desktop version;
- And those implemented with a fluid and adaptable design (responsive).
The “responsive” approach is the most advisable for these various motives:
- Cost reduction, as you are executing one design and programming instead of two;
- The URLs are not separated, therefore with one, unique URL for desktop, tablet and mobile, one’s Link Building strategy is much more effective, easy to organize and unidirectional;
- Page updates are much faster as they are performed on one single file;
- It’s a very flexible system which allows adaptation to any mobile device, regardless of brand, model or operative system, etc.
How do I know if my site is responsive?
Once the optimization has been implemented, it is recommended as a last step to perform a quick test using the, in which Google, in its authority as a search engine, determines whether a site is considered 100% mobile or not.
This is of vital importance as there have been cases of sites that appear aesthetically to be adapted to mobile, but from a search point of view they turn out not to be. This is because the search engines take certain strict requirements into account, such as whether the distance of separation between buttons is appropriate for finger size, or if text size is legible for mobile. If a site does not pass the test, the test tool will provide a list of issues that need correcting.