A mobile friendly website is required for optimal search visibility. Anything less sends organic search traffic to your competitors. How much traffic? Mobile traffic averages between 25% and 50% of total visitors to a mobile friendly website. As a result, making your website mobile friendly could acquire 33% to 100% more traffic.

Search Engines Promote Optimal User Experiences

Search engines send search traffic to those websites with optimal user experiences. A mobile friendly website presents readable text and scaled images to its visitors. A mobile unfriendly site presents tiny, unreadable text and disproportionately large images. The latter forces visitors to scroll horizontally, zoom in, rotate the mobile device to landscape view or all three. Instead of consuming websites’ content, visitors to mobile unfriendly websites waste time manually reformatting the content for consumption on a mobile device. This is a suboptimal user experience.

What is the Best Design Option for a Mobile Friendly Website?

Responsive Design is the best option for a mobile friendly website. It’s benefits combine an optimal user experience with efficient Web content development, consistent content rendering and an expanded desktop use case.

Optimal User Experience

An optimal user experience automatically reformats the content to fit the size of the available viewing area or viewport. For example, below are two images of HatsRCool, an E-commerce website we reviewed last month at the Search/Internet Marketing Roundtable.

The first image shows the homepage on a desktop device. The hats are arranged in one row.
HatsRCool homepage viewed on a desktop device with large viewport

The second image shows the same page on a mobile device. Now, the hats are arranged in one column. This is an optimal user experience for an E-commerce website, one which runs atop shopify.com.
HatsRCool homepage viewed on a mobile device with small viewport

Efficient Web Content Development

Efficient Web content development involves creating one version of a Web page and reusing it across all devices: desktop, laptop and mobile. m.mydomain.com websites are no longer required.

Consistent Content Rendering

As an example of inconsistent content rendering, first visit http://www.tommybahama.com/ on a desktop device. Then, revisit it on a mobile device. The desktop user experience features a slideshow and 10 engaging, glamour images. The mobile user experience features only the slideshow. Consistent content rendering shows the same content on all devices.

Expanded Desktop Use Case

Notice what happens when you view HatsRCool on a desktop device and reduce the page’s width in your Web browser. The page automatically reformats to fit the reduced size of the viewport. Responsive design enables this expanded desktop use case.

Does Responsive Design Increase Page Load Time?

Sometimes. When page load time exceeds 1 second, optimize your website for speed. Optimizations range from rescaling your images to adding a performance plugin to a WordPress website. Moving to a faster Web hosting provider is another option. I recommend WPEngine.com for WordPress websites. WP Engine is both fast and secure.

Conclusion

The benefits of a mobile friendly website include more traffic for you and less for your competitors. I recommend using responsive design for an optimal user experience on all devices. Added benefits include efficient Web content development and consistent content rendering.

Audiences: Businesses, Internet Marketing Managers

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