27 June 2017

What does it mean to Optimize your site for Mobile Devices?

Wendi Hill
Web Design

According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. This number is on the rise. Americans and, indeed, smartphone users worldwide, expect websites to be easily viewable on their mobile devices. But what does it mean to optimize your website for mobile devices?

Three terms need to be defined: mobile friendly, mobile optimized and mobile responsive.

A mobile friendly website is a site that retains its structure and layout, regardless of the device on which it is being viewed. Often, this means the website appears half the size it would normally appear on a PC. This can be frustrating, as it requires constant zooming and resizing in order to view the webpage on a smartphone.

A mobile optimized website is specifically built to be viewed on mobile devices and may retain a mobile-app feel when viewed on a desktop browser. Though perfect for a mobile environment, mobile optimized sites are not the best option for cross-platform viewing.

A mobile responsive website is the option of choice for search engines, such as Google, who rank websites more and more based on their mobile-friendliness. Mobile responsive sites actually query the type of media that the website is being viewed on and adjust their structure and layout for optimal display.

Mobile responsive sites can even hide or exchange content based on the device being used. If the device does not support media queries, the website will simply resort to being mobile friendly.

Designed to be Responsive

In order to optimize your website for mobile devices, the site must be designed with the following in mind:

1. Page Speed: The speed at which a page loads in a mobile environment is crucial to a mobile responsive site. Reduced image sizes, the use of caching, and streamlined code will greatly reduce page load times. Allowing for one-page scrolling is also a sound tactic and is greatly preferred to redirecting users to other pages. The outdated concept of “Above the Fold” simply doesn’t have any meaning where one-page scrolling is available.

2. No Flash: The use of HTML5 and the avoidance of using Flash is also key to designing a mobile responsive website. The Flash plug-in may not be available on the user’s phone and so your special effects will be disappointingly absent without a more universal option like HTML5.

3. No Pop-ups: Avoid the use of pop-ups. I’ve never met a pop-up that I didn’t immediately find annoying. This is even more true on a mobile device where closing the pop-up may be challenging or may lead to inadvertent clicks.

4. Easy to Navigate: Upon returning to Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs put an end to a project which required a stylus, saying, "God gave us 10 styluses. Let’s not invent another one.”

The vast majority of mobile devices are navigated using one of our natural styluses. Unfortunately, most fingers don’t come to a fine point. Keeping this in mind when designing a mobile responsive website is absolutely critical to ensuring easy navigation by avoiding buttons and links positioned too closely to be easily distinguished.

5. Well Organized Content: Search engines rank websites, in part, based on content that is fresh and valuable. Quality content is always the best approach to effective SEO.

In a mobile environment, with limited space, well organized, quality content is a must. The use of headers, a solid meta description and concise content will not only make it easier for your user to quickly find the content they are looking for, but it will also tell search engines that your website is mobile responsive and worthy of higher rankings.



A mobile responsive website, Search Engine Optimization, and an active Social Media strategy are all interconnected ways to ensure your users are able to find your website; able to view and share your content; and actively driving your search engine rankings. With smartphone usage on the rise and search engines committed to awarding top rankings to mobile responsive sites, the forward momentum is clear: unless a website is mobile responsive, it simply isn’t meeting the needs of your customers.

Wendi Hill

Recognize the Trend

A mobile responsive website, Search Engine Optimization, and an active Social Media strategy are all interconnected ways to ensure your users are able to find your website; able to view and share your content; and actively driving your search engine rankings. With smartphone usage on the rise and search engines committed to awarding top rankings to mobile responsive sites, the forward momentum is clear: unless a website is mobile responsive, it simply isn’t meeting the needs of your customers.

At Market Momentum, every website we build is constructed to be mobile responsive. We recognize the trend and remain on the leading edge, approaching each web development project with the needs of the end user and the goals of our clients in the forefront of our process. Let Market Momentum optimize your Internet presence with a mobile responsive design. Contact Us to get started!

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