Mobile optimization of the website is mobile oriented approach for such devices as smartphones and tablets. This is a series of actions that are intended to facilitate site navigation in mobile version, that includes optimization of design, structure, speed or content. If the website does not work correctly and is incompatible with mobile devices, user is going to leave it in a very short time. That’s why you have to create mobile-friendly website for users to convert into customers.
Mobile version or adaptive design?
There are two ways to make your website mobile-friendly. It can be either mobile version or adaptive design. Let’s find out more about both of them.
Mobile version is an additional version of the website that is created especially for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. For example:
https://facebook.com/ — is the basic page;
https://m.facebook.com/ — its mobile version.
It is so-called light version of the website that doesn’t have sophisticated logic and heavy graphics.
Pros of mobile version are:
- fast speed, because there are no heavy content or graphics
- good readability
- modifications and testing performed for mobile devices only.
But there are also some cons:
- different URL for mobile version
- a lot of duplicating, the necessity of redirects, sometimes different CMS needed
- optimization and promotion of two versions instead of one
- two Google Analytics tracking codes and two different reports
Adaptive detects the screen size and loads the appropriate layer. All content, navigation, design and graphics change depending on the screen size.
Pros of adaptive website:
- one URL for both versions
- quick and dynamic adaptation to every mobile device
- high quality of graphics and readability
- one tracking code and report in Google Analytics
- no duplication of content
- one CMS
Cons of this method:
- longer page loading
- both versions won’t be available if something’s wrong
- lots of tests needed to make sure that adaptation works correctly
Taking in consideration advantages and disadvantages of both methods it can be stated that adaptive design would be a better solution. First of all it is much better for SEO than creation of mobile version. Secondly, it is less expensive. No content duplication, no need of different CMS and other.
Common problems with mobile version optimization
If you choose to use mobile version, you need to be sure that it’s fully optimized. Otherwise it won’t deliver any result.
What can be done for correct site indexation:
- You can add mobile version to Search Console. You can track its traffic, views and analyse it. You don’t need t do that with adaptive design.
- Create convenient navigation and site structure that help users to visit different pages easily.
- Pay attention to good content creation that won’t be less interesting and quality than desktop version content.
- It’s better to optimize meta tags for mobile version because mobile devices have smaller screen size.
- It’s no secret that site speed is very important to users. And it is a huge problem of mobile optimization
- Mobile version has smaller size but must contain all elements of desktop version.
Why does mobile optimization matter?
Because of the new Mobile-First Indexing algorithm, adaptive websites usually have better ranking.
This update changed indexation principles. Mobile-friendly sites now win the competition and get better ranking.
You can read Google recommendations to find out about best mobile optimization practices— https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing.