Tech

Why Mobile Friendly Is No Longer an Option for Web Developers

Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last five or six years knows that people are more likely than ever before to use mobile devices to browse the web. As such, having a website that works properly on smartphones is a no-brainer. But it goes further than that. Being mobile friendly is no longer an option. It is all but required.

Take note of the fact that developing a mobile friendly website is not the same thing as having separate sites for desktop and mobile devices. Separate sites are better than a desktop-only site, but a mobile friendly site that works equally well on all devices is the best way to go.

At Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing, mobile friendly web development is standard fare. The company’s web development staff uses all of the latest tools and technologies to ensure websites are mobile friendly. This is neither accidental nor just a marketing ploy. Webtek does what it does because search engine optimization (SEO) requires it.

Mobile First Searching

If you needed but one reason to make sure your website is mobile friendly, it would be this: Google rolled out a mobile-first search algorithm back in 2016. They announced it the year prior, giving web developers and site owners ample time to adapt.

What does this mean? It means that Google searches for, and indexes, mobile sites first. Their algorithm purposely gives preference to mobile friendly sites. It is that simple. If you have a desktop-only site, every other mobile site competing with you on the same keywords will appear in Google search results before yours – even if the rest of their SEO rankings are not that great.

Why would Google give such preference to mobile friendliness? They know that some 60% of all searches are conducted on mobile phones. They also know that if they want to continue as the world’s dominant search engine, they have to give users what they want. That is exactly what Google does by preferring mobile friendly pages.

Responsive Web Design

So, how do you make a website mobile friendly? There are half-a-dozen or so strategies web developers utilize. The most important is a practice as known as responsive web design. A responsive website is one that responds to the size of the screen it is being viewed on for the purposes of being easily readable and navigable at all times.

Responsive web design accounts for the fact that different devices have different screen sizes. A properly designed website inquires about display hardware during the loading stage. Based on that query, adjustments are made during rendering.

Google offers a free tool for determining whether or not a website is mobile friendly. One of the things it looks at is responsiveness. If you run your website through the tool and it comes out clean, you are good to go. If not, your site needs to be redesigned.

Hiring a Web Developer

Redesigning a site that isn’t currently mobile friendly can be a significant undertaking. Small businesses without their own tech staff are left to hire companies offering web development services. But not just any web developer will do. Companies need a provider who thoroughly understands the importance of mobile friendliness and has the knowledge and experience to deliver it.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you need to temporarily set aside everything else you know about SEO. Your first priority is to fix the mobility issue. After that, you can worry about things like keyword research, PPC services, etc. Remember this: mobile friendly is no longer an option.