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Everybody’s favorite first runner-up, Bing, has announced that it is now ranking mobile-friendly sites higher on mobile devices. It used to be that Bing’s desktop and mobile search results were the same; with this update, that’s no longer the case. If your site ranks at say, number five (lucky you!) when someone uses Bing on a desktop, you won’t get that same high rank for the same search on mobile if your site isn’t optimized for mobile.
Explaining that we now live in a “mobile-first, cloud-first” world (ya think?), Bing says that from now on, it will be “probing web pages for ‘mobile friendliness’ and ranking web pages accordingly on our users’ mobile phones.”
Google, of course, started doing this a while ago, for several reasons:
- Mobile search is rapidly overtaking desktop search—and lots of people only search on mobile.
- Mobile users expect local results when they search.
- Smartphones and mobile devices are no longer a trend—they’re our way of life, like it or not.
If you’ve been putting off optimizing your website for mobile, or, worse, weren’t even considering it, now is the time to press play.
Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly Is Easier Than You Think
There are two ways to go mobile:
- Optimize your current site for mobile
- Create a custom mobile site
- Bonus: You could do a combination of both, which Blue Corona President Ben Landers refers to as “the hybrid approach” (detailed here).
Each option has pros and cons on the back end, but they’ll both increase your mobile visibility.
Optimizing Your Website for Mobile
Responsive design is the technical term for optimizing your current website for mobile users. It involves have a web designer make changes to your site so that it renders (appears, shows up) just as well on a phone as it does on a laptop screen.
One advantage of responsive design is that when you make changes to your website, you need only make them once—there is no need to do separate work for desktop and mobile versions.
Google says that having a single site, rather than different versions for desktop and mobile, results in better search engine optimization (SEO), the idea being that two sites will split the traffic.
Creating a Separate Mobile Site
A separate mobile site is typically a no-frills version of your original site, built with users’ immediate needs in mind. On a mobile site, you’ll often find a column of big command buttons that go to the most wanted/most necessary information: services, location, contact.
Mobile sites tend to have less content, so users who need more detailed or specific information will likely switch to your desktop site when they realize your mobile site doesn’t have it all. Or, they might go to a competitor’s site. For some businesses, though, especially those with an expansive product inventory, a mobile site makes sense because it makes the mobile experience less complicated and easier to navigate.
Developing a mobile site is usually less expensive than giving your current site a responsive design makeover.
The Best Mobile Choice? The Best User Experience.
Your deciding factor should be: which one provides the best user experience? The answer to this question will vary for every business. Talk to your favorite Maryland SEO company or web designer to help you determine which mobile-friendly route to take.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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