Fplus de As we move into a multi-screen world, optimizing your website for mobile in 2021 is the watchword of the decade. Regardless of the devices they use, users expect :
In 2021 more than ever, the web is something we carry in our pockets, not something locked in our computers or homes. Portability is a global trend that is growing year after year.
The rise of mobile Internet use is accompanied by new ways of using websites. It is therefore essential to think differently about the organization, navigation and layout.
Mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, differ from computers in many ways, including:
These different limitations and capacities justify different solutions. It is therefore better to take each of these devices into account in the code, rather than designing only for one of them.
When it comes to developing and optimizing a website for mobile, there are four possible solutions:
While in theory mobile sites load faster, the extra time to redirect your entire site to the M-dot (unless the user types in the URL directly) is unnecessary. Multiple websites for a single domain become expensive to maintain and difficult to update. Offering one site optimized for mobile and another for computers means you have to keep two sites up to date, doubling your workload. One site is much easier to manage than two. In addition, mobile devices no longer have a single screen size. So what was once the greatest strength of M-dot sites is now its greatest weakness. M-dot sites are designed for a specific screen size, but mobile devices range from 320 × 240 for some smartphones to 768 × 1024 (and beyond) for tablets.
Weighing the pros and cons, we quickly realize that in 2019, responsive web design is emerging as the best way to create and optimize a mobile website that satisfies the user experience.
By giving users a consistent quality, it increases both traffic, SEO and conversion rates.
This design approach uses fluid grids, flexible images, and varied CSS style rules to provide different experiences for users of computers, tablets, and mobile devices, while maintaining the same HTML and URL structure.
With responsive design, the layout of the mobile website shrinks or expands depending on the size of the screen used to view it.
In other words, responsive design makes adjustments so that someone viewing a website on a mobile device is able to see the same content and navigate as easily as people viewing the site from their computer.
Responsive design is built around the concept of media queries that target specific devices and window sizes. With this in mind, you can code your initial CSS from a mobile perspective and then use media queries to selectively serve up additional styling if the window size increases.
The increasing number of people searching Google from a mobile device is a trend to consider when planning an SEO strategy in 2019.
“More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the United States and Japan.”
However, the debate persists as to whether a separate mobile website or a single responsive site is the best route to take. From an SEO point of view, the responsive website is unequivocally the best option.
This is because separate mobile websites have their own URL and HTML code that is different from their desktop counterpart. In contrast, responsive sites use a single URL and a set of pages and files that simplify Google’s crawling and indexing of the content.
One of the main challenges of having a separate mobile site is the need to build the authority of that site from scratch. And most distinct mobile sites rank poorly in search engines, being canonized to their desktop counterpart.
Instead, making your website responsive will help maintain backlinks and means you can focus your SEO on a single site. All your links will then be directed to a domain, giving your responsive website a boost in the SERPs.
Also, if you have a responsive website, you can share your links with a unique URL on social networks.
For these reasons, Google officially recommends that SEO-conscious businesses create a responsive website that works the same on all devices.
But the search engine giant is not only advocating responsive web design as the best way to target mobile users. Google also favours the positioning of sites optimised for mobiles in its dedicated search results.
This is especially true when mobile users search for local services and, more recently, with the highlighting in search results of articles using AMP, the mobile format launched by Google. AMP-stamped content is displayed in a highly visible image carousel above traditional mobile search results.
Discover also our article on
Google AMP, the mobile format that your web pages need
A responsive website helps combat a high bounce rate. Indeed, even if a website displays well in search results thanks to good SEO practices, the bounce rate will be a concern if it doesn’t work effectively for mobile and tablet users.
Mobile websites can suffer from high bounce rates if the content they offer is too messy or too dissimilar to the content offered on the desktop version of the site. Google will interpret this high bounce rate as a sign that a website is not offering relevant content to users, which is likely to lead to a drop in ranking.
Fortunately, the responsive website combats this problem by presenting the same content, but in a functional way.
Responsive web design means that there is no need to compromise on the content you choose to display, ensuring that visitors always receive the information they are looking for.
Viewing a website on a touch screen can be difficult: it often requires dragging, scrolling and changing the size of the page. If visitors are browsing a site via their smartphone or tablet, they need to be able to view the full content as easily as computer users. Having a responsive design makes it easy for mobile users to find and share content, which provides a good user experience on mobile.
Companies must therefore design their site in responsive so that users get a quality experience and access to all the information and tools they might need, regardless of the type of device they use.
Above all, responsive design puts the focus on the user; and with user experience being an important ranking factor, it makes sense for Google to encourage developers to adopt responsive design and optimize their site for mobile.
Also check out our 11 tips for improving your site’s user experience
Having a responsive website ensures that visitors are able to access all the information and features they want wherever they are, regardless of the type of device they are using. This will encourage them to stay on the site longer and potentially convert.
In this sense, various e-commerce sites have seen a considerable increase in the conversion rate after switching their e-shop to responsive. According to a report, 62% of companies surveyed saw their online sales increase by 62% after making their e-commerce responsive.
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