Optimizing your site for mobile use

  • September 01, 2014
  • Bradley Taylor

Businessman with tablet computerIn the past five years, mobile use on the web has increased dramatically.  It is estimated that the mobile market will generate about $400 billion by the year 2015.  With this big of a market, it’s something that every business needs to address.

It’s important to understand that if your website is not yet optimized for mobile devices that it may not load correctly when accessed through someone’s smart phone.  The best websites have a mobile platform that detects whether a user is accessing the site via a mobile device and then makes certain changes so that it’s easy to read through the content on your site and to navigate through your pages. 

There are several different options for creating a mobile-ready site.

  1.  Responsive Design – One URL is used for the entire website.  When someone clicks into your site, you are provided the same front page, but the format changes so that it fits your device.
  2. Dynamic Serving – One URL is used for the entire website.  When someone clicks into your site, you are provided different content that is designed to fit to your page.
  3. Mobile URL’s – There are two different URL’s.  As you login, you are redirected to the URL that fits the device that you are searching from.

In order to determine what might be best for you, you should look at what is going to provide the best user experience and what is going to be ranked higher by the search engines.  This includes understanding things such as page load time, redirect time, mobile capabilities and supported content.

If the search engine thinks that content may not be supported on multiple devices or if the load time is slower or if the redirect time is too high, the search engines will drop you in the listing results.

Likewise, if a customer has a bad experience on your website through a mobile device, they are less likely to use your website in the future.  Since mobile devices are much smaller than a standard PC or laptop, you also want to look at streamlining your content.  Pages should be kept clean and streamlined while at the same time being user friendly.

You also want to make sure you make the most of mobile capabilities.  Within your mobile content, you should use things such as click to call, GPS locator, and barcode scanners.

Just having a website today is not good enough.  You need to provide content so that users who click into your site will always get a good experience – no matter what device they use.

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