The use of smartphones and tablet PC’s has expanded rapidly in recent years. More and more people are using these devices to view websites so you need to have a plan of action on how to cater for this type of potential customer.
There are three options available:
Most people using mobile devices could still view your website and however your website may not function correctly using a mobile device:
It’s actually quite straightforward to detect the type of device being used and divert visitors automatically to the appropriate mobile friendly or desktop version of your website. The problems arise in maintaining the two versions of your website and keeping them both up to date.
Other issues include the following:
A responsive design means that your content automatically adjusts to the size of your device. You have one website and one set of content, but depending on what device you display it on, it is automatically laid out differently.
Imagine if you had three columns of information on a desktop device. On an iPad, you may only display it in two columns, or one column on an iPhone. Any information that cannot be displayed gets moved below, therefore eliminating any scrolling to the right. A native responsive design would also be simplified in the first place and there are definite benefits to making your website less cluttered in the first place.
There are several advantages to this approach:
For most this approach would mean a redesign of your website but this needn’t be expensive or time consuming.
With 67 percent search market share worldwide (over 90% in the UK), when Google speaks, website owners should listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.
This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.
Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.
Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates an inferior user-experience, and because of the emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.
It’s likely that your returning visitors may use multiple devices to view your content. They may for example register on a PC but then use your site with a smartphone, tablet or PC. Responsive web design is recommended by Google and it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your SEO strategy and promoting your business using the web. Contact Dinesh on 07941 686113 for more information or fill out our contact form.
Check how your website displays for different devices:
Many SME business owners would have mixed feelings on the public embarrassment of Starbucks, Google and Amazon over their corporation tax affairs. We all have to pay tax on profits and this can be offset legitimately by the real costs of doing business: hardware, travel costs, wages etc. In this case, all three companies pay a tiny proportion of their turnover as Corporation Tax and this is achieved by various strategies to cut profits through licensing costs for the brand name (Starbucks), operating as a subsidiary of a company based in Luxembourg (Amazon) and paying licence costs for software (Google).
On the plus side, all three companies provide a valued service with loyal customers and employ thousands of people in the UK. You could argue that Google’s position is unique, as its UK revenue is largely derived from Ad Words and banner advertising using software developed and hosted in the US. Amazon clearly operates in the UK with several large warehouses fulfilling order placed and destined for the UK, however the brains and IP of the operation reside elsewhere.
Of the three, Starbuck’s position is least defensible. The company claimed that it made a loss in 14 of the 15 years of operating in the UK, yet its glossy corporate reports say that its UK operation was profitable. Surely no sane business would sustain such a prolonged hit on profits if this was the true position. By contrast Costa Coffee made a £49.5m profit last year and paid £15.5m tax and McDonald’s had a tax bill of over 80 million pounds on 3.6 billion pounds of UK sales.
This has led to customers voting with their feet, in-store protests and now Starbucks offering to pay £10 million Corporation Tax to HMRC this year and next year. While tax avoidance is legal and all companies should not pay more than they need to, the principle of fairness should apply. To paraphrase Warren Buffet: “It takes years to build a brand, five minutes to ruin it”.
A cross-party group of MPs and peers are urging the Government to introduce legislation that forces Google to censor search results that a court has found to be in breach of someone’s privacy.
The committee heard evidence from ex-Formula 1 boss Max Mosley on how he spent a large sum of money removing Internet traces of a secretly filmed video by the now defunct News of the World. Despite a UK court upholding Mosley’s right to privacy, Google still had links to the offending video.
Google defended its position by upholding the principle of the unfettered flow of information. Their reputation has been built on the search engine’s relevant and unbiased search results without the influence of corporations or Governments. In exceptional circumstances they have censored search search results but only under extreme pressure or where there is strong evidence of the web community hijacking search results.
While one can sympathise with individuals with a genuine issue with privacy, legislation would be unworkable.
See our earlier blog post: George Bush’s miserable failure and the Michelle Obama image.
See the full article here: Google should be forced to sensor search results
A special festive edition with 7 tips for website design success for businesses, SEO errors in local business websites and Google`s top search terms for 2010.
After reviewing a random sample of 50 websites of businesses based in Rugby, we discovered several common issues that mean they are missing out on the best ranking on Google and other search engines. These include problems with web design, page meta tags and layout, along with issues relating to how often the website is updated and the best use of social media.
Our half-day seminar on Friday 12 November will help solve these problems and give people a real plan of action to help boost the ranking of their website on Google.
Click this link for booking details and more information: 6 steps to a better Google ranking.
Our new range of seminars kicks off on Friday 12 November in Rugby with `6 Steps to a better Google ranking` which is packed with vital information for small business owners and marketers to help their business succeed using the web.
Click on this link for more information and booking: 6 Steps to a better Google ranking.