The future is mobile.
The rate of mobile devices activated daily is now literally outpacing the growth of the Earth’s human population. Laptops now function the way desktops did just a few years ago, and actual desktops are becoming relics.
Our computers are now in our pockets. This basic fact has made the mobile-first mindset the model for most websites going forward. But is it always good?
What if it acts as a hurdle to your SEO plan of action? Make sure you have the facts before you commit to a mobile-first state of mind.
The Future of Web Design: Separate Mobile or Not?
Many in the design community will have you believe that responsive web design—websites that adjust to the appropriate size, scrolling measure, and resolution on a wide range of devices—is the best friend of search engine optimization, or SEO. The logic is that links on a single responsive website all point back to the same place.
But there is still a strong argument from people who insist that having a separate mobile site is the best way to optimize SEO.
One proponent of separation argues that when a website has problems with the structure—or architecture—of its information, inconsistencies between the sites can sabotage even a fairly sophisticated SEO strategy.
Inconsistent Keywords Between Mobile & Desktop
Good optimizers don’t always share their secrets, but we know that keywords are king.
Another time SEO might be derailed by the mobile-first mindset is when your mobile keywords don’t match your desktop keywords. As one mobile-first mindset contrarian points out, a huge amount of keywords relating to restaurants come from mobile devices that people almost never use on desktops, such as “nearby” or “close to me.”
Speed Of Responsive
Since the dawn of the internet, it’s been a constant race to make pages load faster. To those who remember the horrendous noise of a 56K modem, the speed of the modern web is astounding.
Whether it’s the fault of the technology or of the developers who create them, responsive web design can be slow, and no matter how top notch your SEO, if the user never sees it because it bailed on its host page because it was lagging, it doesn’t do you any good.
Games On Responsive Sites
Many games were not meant to be played on small screens. When imaging is distorted or game play is inhibited on a site made with responsive web design, the site experiences a “bounce,” which is industry lingo for someone getting frustrated and leaving the page—and your SEO—behind.
Mobile-first thinking is a future-friendly strategy.
Virtually no one argues that any company without a strong mobile strategy doesn’t have a strong future. But the time is now, and although mobile is scooping up huge portions of the online market, it isn’t always a good fit for SEO.
Before you spend time, money, and energy for streamlined SEO, make sure there’s not a better way to spend your resources.
Have you used responsive design for your website?
This article was originally published by Party Planning Business Training
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about online reputation, search engine optimization, and online marketing.
Published: August 29, 2013