So, you have had a website for a while, and are pretty proud of it. You have made a few changes over the years and consider yourself someone who keeps up with the times, so you know that you need to move your site to the next level. What is that level? Making your site mobile friendly (and tablet friendly.)
When making that decision, there are two options to consider. Either you try to adapt your site to fit the small screen of most mobile devices, or you hire someone to build you an app that can be downloaded and accessed by the general public. While an app may seem like the popular way to go at first, there are some benefits to making your website ready for most smartphones and tablets that you may want to consider first.
What does it mean?
When making your website ready for smartphones (or to make it more tablet friendly), you are basically taking your site and allowing it to quickly and easily display on most devices. Making your site mobile ready makes it easier to read and navigate for your users, allowing for minimal scrolling and a more responsive design for their device. Using Flash is also avoided, since some tablets do not support it.
Why is this important?
On April 21st, Google began using a new algorithm update that impacted mobile search results. Nicknamed “mobilegeddon,” this update allows mobile-friendly websites to be ranked higher in search results than those which are non-mobile. So the first benefit of making your site optimized for mobile devices would be that you would allow yourself to be more visible to possible customers than those that have not taken made their sites mobile friendly. That makes perfect sense business-wise.
The Disadvantages of Apps
Building an app is a popular choice, but unless you know how to code, you will probably have to hire someone to do it for you. Plus, not only will they need the skill, they will need to know how to adapt it for the various platforms that exist. So, not only will you need an app for the Apple App Store, you will need one for Google Play, the Windows Store and Amazon. If you instead decide to go the mobile site route, you don’t have to adjust for as many platforms. It simply needs to work on the browsers that are used.
Overall User Experience
With the growing number of iPads, tablets, and phones out there, people are abandoning the traditional desktop and laptop. This means that the information they searched for on a bigger screen is now being looked for in a much, much smaller package. Even if you do not have a mobile site, users will still try to access your information using your regular site. The only problem is that not only might things look a little distorted, it might take so long to load that any potential customers might decide to go somewhere that has a more responsive design. Making a site ready for mobile devices benefits the user and gives them a much more pleasing experience.
How Can I Check?
If you would like to see how mobile friendly your site is, follow this link for a simple test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/