What is the purpose of mobile-responsive design? Are mobile-responsive websites mobile-friendly? Are mobile-friendly sites mobile-optimized?
One question that continuously pops up is, “What’s the difference between mobile-friendly, mobile-optimized, and responsive designs?” The terms are similar, but it is not so easy to distinguish one from another without an explanation. We hope we have made it simple for you by separating them so you can determine which one is the most appropriate for your site.
What is the definition of mobile-friendly?
Google evaluates a website’s capacity to display and function on mobile devices. In 2018, Google released a different version of the search algorithm explicitly designed to work with mobile devices, known as “mobile-first” indexing . Before this update in Google’s algorithm, Google utilized crawling indexing, ranking, and crawling methods when searching for content based on desktop-friendly web pages. After the switch to mobile-first resulted in a massive shift in rankings, with some sites being badly hit! The bottom line is that if Google considered your website to be not mobile-friendly, your site would not likely appear in search results.
There are a variety of ranking factors that form a component of Google’s algorithm but having a website that is mobile-friendly remains the primary factor. Mobile-friendly is the first or minimum requirement for having an approach to mobile-friendly design for your site.
To determine if your site is mobile-friendly, you can visit Google’s Webmaster tools and check your URL.
Will my website RANK by being mobile-friendly?
A mobile-friendly website can function for users; however, it is usually an encased desktop version of a site and is not equipped with mobile-responsive design elements. Mobile-friendly shrinks the desktop version to a smaller size. Still, it does not provide the same level of user experience, functionality, or design style.
If it’s the case, and your website is as mobile as it is, ensures that you visit your Google Search Console frequently and check for mobile-friendly problems. These issues are typical when your website is not mobile-friendly. For example, check at clickable elements that are too close to each other (rule of thumb is that your text should be composed with at least 16 px font size so that when your content displays on fewer screens, it’s easy to read or to click). Mobile-friendly websites show on smaller screens, but this is not Google’s minimum requirement and won’t rank as high compared to mobile-optimized and mobile-responsive websites.
What exactly is mobile optimization?
In contrast to the mobile-friendly design of your website, a mobile-optimized site is created for smaller screens and developed with a mobile-first design that will restructure itself to accommodate mobile users. Mobile-optimized websites are designed to be as easy as possible for users on mobile devices.
Why should my website be mobile-optimized?
Recently a survey by GovTech learned that Americans spent an average of 4 hours per day using their smartphones.
People rely on mobile devices not just to entertain themselves but also to search and find products and services. Most people using smartphones purchase from businesses with mobile-friendly websites and apps that are simple to use. Therefore, ensuring your website is designed for mobile users is a matter of focus to increase your company’s online performance.
Users browse, read and even behave differently when they visit websites on their phones than on a PC. Because of this, different platforms are seeking to make mobile users’ experience more enjoyable. For instance, the featured snippets of content have started appearing on top-ranked questions in the results of searches. Why? Because more and more people use voice search for fast answers, the featured snippets are Google’s method of providing solutions. Because most users aged 25-49 years old use smartphones with voice capabilities every day, your site needs to be designed for mobile users and features.
The distinction between mobile in comparison those who use desktops is more likely to search for an answer quickly to questions such as getting directions to restaurants, local restaurants, or film reviews. However, desktop searches tend to be more extensive, such as conducting studies, comparing cars, or planning a trip.
What can I do to optimize my mobile site for mobile?
It is not an overnight process; however, here are some mobile-friendly design elements that can help your website to meet the standards set by search engines such as Google to be a mobile-friendly site:
- Your site should be designed in a single column. The website must have a ” thumb-friendly ” layout and comply with the standards with more significant and welcoming points of contact. The first step is to make every call to action button clickable.
- The less complicated the navigational elements, the better; most mobile websites use hamburger menus to organize your site’s navigation in a simple click method for mobile users. Images are always helpful, but not optimizing your images could result in your website having several issues from a mobile point of view. It is essential to ensure that no images go off the page and that you optimize your site for all sizes of screens (tablet and smartphones, iPhone, etc.) since images that are overlapping or close to important information could harm the mobile device optimization effort.
- Make your site’s design more efficient and streamline your site’s calls to action (CTAs)
- Ensure that the content’s proper spacing and format are set to ensure maximum accessibility and readability.
Are there tools I could use to determine if I’m mobile-optimized?
Perhaps you know that your site is optimized for mobile devices, or maybe you’re just curious to see your site’s performance against the test optimized for mobile. Here are some tools to give you an idea of how to increase the efficiency of your mobile-friendly website. Look over these mobile website improvement tools:
What does “mobile responsive design” mean?
That brings us to the final category. What is a mobile-responsive design? The responsive design will pick up where optimization ends since the website was designed to be restructured and reformated for mobile devices, and not just for the mobile device but also for the various screen sizes. Optimized will inform that the site “Hey web page! You’re seen on a mobile device which is why you display it as the phone.” Responsive tells your web page “Hey web page, you are seen on the Pixel 2 XL, which has a screen dimension of 411 pixels by 823 pixels, so you should format your website to meet the exact dimensions.”
When you design your website to be responsive the design of your site will be able to scale from smaller screens on smartphones to medium-sized tablet sizes and, finally larger screens on desktops. Responsive design offers the most outstanding user experience across all devices as it is the only way you can be sure that your website’s design will be stunning for optimal user experience.
If you’re more tech-savvy, you can use your website. An excellent illustration of a site that is responsive is Smashing Magazine . It’s available on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. Grab the upper right-hand corner of the browser’s window and pull it left. Begin to watch as the contents, images, and navigational columns shrink, expand and then restructure based on the size of the window.
What kind of design is the best for my business and website?
This is an excellent query and one that any business owner with an online presence should ask themselves. It depends on a few key questions to be addressed before asking this question.
- What is the primary reason for my website?
- What do I need my website to be able to provide visitors with?
- What technology do you expect your guests to use?
The objective is to give your users an experience that is smooth, simple, and effortless when they navigate, considering that over 60% of all internet searches are now done using a mobile device. Suppose your site can provide this type of user experience. In that case, it may lead to more returns and conversions, leading to a higher return on investment in the long term.
Making sure that your website is created with mobile and tablet devices in mind will make it easier in the long run rather than having to change it at a later date; it may cost a little more, but it is worth the cost. It is also worth noting that adjusting and editing an existing website may not work as well as having a fully responsive website redesign.
How mobile impacts your customers and your business
Consider your users on desktop and mobile devices and think about the type of user experience you’d like to provide them with your site. Include videos, photos, maps, and a call to action in your choice. Then, you can design your site to provide the best experience that your visitors are searching for! Don’t forget that simply because someone is on mobile doesn’t mean your site should be boring.
Are you unsure of the best option for your following site in this constantly evolving digital world? Contact the team at WPDesigns to explain why mobile-friendly websites are crucial and the possibilities for your website.