Psst, want to know a secret? The world isn’t going mobile, it’s already mobile. Check out just a few statistics. In India, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. Google reports that 25% of paid search clicks are coming from mobile devices. The Pew Research Center reported this month that 34% of Americans aged 18 and older own a tablet computer.
So it came as no surprise to many of us when Google announced “Changes in rankings of smartphone search results.” In describing the most common configuration mistakes that companies make, Google let the world know that if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll get a demotion in search rankings. When you consider that mobile searches are an increasing percentage of total Google searches, and Google stays at the top of the search food chain by presenting good results, it makes sense that Google would demote sites that have faulty redirects, show blank mobile pages, aren’t optimized for a mobile device, etc.
In this article, Google describes the 3 ways to build smartphone-optimized websites: responsive design, serving different CSS based on the use agent (desktop, smartphone, etc.) and separate, mobile sites. It’s important to note that Google’s recommended configuration is responsive design. Why?
- Using a single URL for all content makes it easy for Google’s search algorithm to assign proper indexing properties for the content
- No redirects are needed
- Google crawlers need only visit a website once to index the content
Here at Matrix Group, nearly all of our designs and redesigns are responsive. We think it just make sense to change the user experience based on the visitor’s device. And because users never have to remember multiple URLs, visits across all types of devices are encouraged. In fact, across the board, we’ve seen mobile traffic to our client sites soar after the sites were redesigned and made responsive.
So, what’s your mobile strategy in 2013? And what are your plans for making your website responsive?