Mobile Responsive Websites

We’ve been telling our readers and our clients just how important it is to have a responsive, mobile-friendly website for a long time, and now it’s becoming more important than ever before. In November 2016, Google announced that it would begin prioritizing quality mobile sites above their desktop versions in search results.

The reasoning was simple: Google’s data showed more people were using mobile devices like their smartphones to search the web, which means they’ll be viewing whatever sites Google links them to on their mobile devices. A website that has the information a user is looking for on its desktop version, but not its mobile version, would make both the site and Google look bad in the eyes of the searcher. Likewise, a website that’s unusable or difficult to navigate on mobile could elicit similarly negative responses.

No explicit timeline for mobile-first indexing was outlined, but just over a year later Google followed up with an announcement that it had begun the rollout of its new preference for mobile. Though that rollout is not yet complete, you can be sure that it will continue moving forward, which means that if you haven’t yet made the leap to responsive design now’s the time to do it.

As you look to update your site, there are a few key things to
keep in mind.

  1. Your Mobile Version Should Be as Good As Your Desktop Site

    Google wants to see high quality mobile sites. That means both versions should have the same important, high quality content.

  1. Metadata Should Always Be Present

    Titles, meta descriptions, and other metadata should be present on and consistent between desktop and mobile viewing of your site. Google uses this information to help it determine what’s on your page, so don’t think the fact that mobile users can’t hover a mouse over a picture to see its metadata means you don’t have to include it.

  1. Structured Data Is Important

    Google uses structured data for indexing and search features, so you should make certain URLs within the structured data are updated to the mobile version on mobile pages.

  1. A Good Desktop Site is Still Better Than a Bad Mobile Site ...For Now

    Google says that they “will be evaluating sites independently on their readiness for mobile-first indexing... and transitioning them when ready.” That means you have time to get your responsive website right, but not to sleep on it. Google won’t wait forever before it switches completely to mobile-first indexing.

  1. Get Your Server Ready for Increased Crawl Rates

    This isn’t an issue for responsive or dynamic serving sites, but websites that are hosting a separate mobile version on a separate host could see an increased crawl rate.

    The fact that people are using their smartphones more than their desktops these days should be motivation enough to get your mobile act together, but in case you needed another reason Google just gave it to you. Having a non-responsive website, or a poor mobile version that lacks the same content as your desktop site, will start hurting your search rankings before long.

    Don’t wait until it’s too late, upgrade your site before your old design starts costing you visitors.

  1. Ready to upgrade? Dotlogics can build you the responsive website both Google and your
    users will love.

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