Mobile Website Design Issues

Using a responsive website design is essential nowadays with internet statistics clearly showing an increase in mobile web usage. With a responsive design, you can ensure that your website renders correctly on any browsers and on any kind of device used, whether it be a desktop computer, a smartphone or a tablet.

In cases wherein a responsive design is not feasible or the best option to take, it is still important that a mobile version of the website be built. These mobile sites may or may not be set up so as the use the same URL as the desktop website, but the point is that your website needs to have a version that renders correctly on mobile devices or you’ll end up missing out on a significant amount of traffic.

Building a website for the mobile market does not mean solely focusing on a site that looks good on the smartphone. You need to realize that mobile site best practices also address the issue of usability, navigability, and search engine optimization. In fact, not knowing how to optimize your mobile website can lead to dire consequences in your search rankings once Google rolls out their new algorithm changes.

To help you avoid getting penalised, we’ve listed three common mistakes/issues in smartphone sites that needs to be rectified immediately for the sake of both usability and search engine rankings.

  1. Unplayable videos – You need to remember that not all video formats can be played in all mobile devices. For example, Flash is not supported in iOS devices as well as those running on Android 4.1 and higher. The best thing to do then is to avoid putting up such content on your site, and upload video content only in formats that are accessible to most mobile devices. It would also be a good idea to include transcripts of the video so that even those that can’t watch it will at least be able to read it’s contentas will Google!
  2. Slow page speed – We already know that page speed is a ranking factor for desktop sites, but it was only recently during the SMX Advanced that Matt Cutts announced that site speed will be one of the ranking factors for mobile sites. That said, it is important that you optimise your mobile pages to make them load under one second. Of course, this is assuming that your users do not have a crappy mobile connection.
  3. Faulty redirects – Links pointing to irrelevant pages is not a problem unique to mobile sites. So before you even look into the specific issue of faulty redirects in smartphones, make sure that the links on your desktop site are pointing to the correct pages. If faulty redirects are not an issue for your desktop site, then you need to double check whether this is an error encountered in your mobile site. Faulty redirects are common for mobile sites because of desktop site server configurations that automatically point mobile users to the homepage of the mobile site, even if it is another page that is being requested. Make sure that the server sends your mobile users to the appropriate mobile-friendly page and not to the homepage. You also need to check this issue for all mobile platforms since faulty redirects can sometimes be an issue only in one device. 


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