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What is the difference between a Mobile-Friendly website and a Responsive Website

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With all the articles, blogs and web developer solicitations going viral out there about Google’s new April 21st change regarding mobile-friendly websites (read here), we would like to answer an every day question.  

What is the difference between a mobile-friendly and a responsive website? 

First of all, the definition of a mobile-friendly site is as follows: 

A mobile-friendly website is one that displays correctly on hand-held devices such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and tablets. It also has these features: Loads fast –  Easy to read – mobile phone screens are 1/5th the size of desktop computers.

A mobile-friendly website has a different URL than the “mother” site and different HTML as well. Google isn’t as fond of this type of site as they will have to crawl, index and organize content for different URLs. 

The definition of a responsive web site is as follows: 

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

A responsive site has the same URL and the same coding language on any device. Google will only have to crawl, index and organize content for one URL for the intended search content.

Google’s original intentions were to encourage a user-friendly experience for searchers and consumers. They want a consumer to share, link back to and interact with the URL in which they find through their search. Google wants the search to be simple. Responsive websites cover all of this.

Mobile sales have already taken over desktop sales and consumers using the internet on mobile devices will take over desktop usage soon enough. It goes without saying that mobile search is incredibly important. 

The option that is best for your business depends on many factors, such as the purpose of the website, the intended target audience, and whether SEO is a factor.

Google recommends responsive web design as the best solution and practice. 

Responsive websites rule in the area of providing the best user-friendly experience across many devices and screen sizes. 

Let’s take the following example. Someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find a site that has the product they’re looking for, and decide to continue researching this product on the same site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone.

If the site in this example is responsive, this person will have an experience that is positive when they transition from the mobile site to the desktop site. They expect to see the same site on the desktop as they did their mobile. If they have to search out a different site, they just might forgettaboutit! 

If you are concerned about SEO, a responsive site is the way to go. You can manage ONE SEO site versus two and one campaign is much easier to maintain. 

One thing to keep in mind regarding SEO is to determine which type of site you are creating an SEO campaign for. The keywords searches will be different from mobile to desktop searches. 

We have to assume that mobile searchers are just that... Mobile. They may use keywords such as nearby restaurant or keywords neighborhood shops. 

The SEO campaign will need to be customized for such broad searches. 

If you want to know one thing that will be a key factor in determining your website success with Google, it will always come down to the user experience.

They want their searchers to find what they are looking for and for it to be easy and informative. 

When Google talks, people do listen. You must listen to stay and to play.

Call us TODAY if you want to get friendly with your website! 405.440.3470

 

 

 

 

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