Archive for April, 2013

Innovative Web Design Solutions

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Let’s continue our discussion about Responsive Web Design — an innovative web design technique which allows websites to adapt their display to a variety of screen sizes and devices such as: widescreen desktop, tablet, and smartphones; and Mobile — a separate, stripped-down version of your main website.

Let’s compare the two

A mobile site is essentially a copy of someone’s website, where the server does the work to deliver an optimized page that is smaller and easier to navigate. This is a good choice when it might be too expensive to redesign responsively. In responsive design, the device does the work and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options. This is a great and flexible solution.

With a mobile site, you must create a different domain (most companies differentiate by using “”). This can add to website management because you have to maintain two separate areas of content. Responsive design allows you to keep your own domain, nothing changes except code on the back-end. Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL avoiding any complicated redirects.

Mobile is not as good for searches because it uses a separate domain. Links shared from mobile browsers will not count as search link equity toward your primary site. Since responsive design embeds new code on the back-end of your website, your link equity is preserved.

Re-working a mobile site might be necessary to stay current with evolving phones and mobile browsers, and this could require higher maintenance costs. The technology is more progressive with responsive design because once added to the site it will work on next months and year’s devices without additional programming required.  This make for a better return on investment.

There are some cons associated with responsive design

…the most common complaint is the potential for increased website load times. While it is important to deliver content with optimal viewing for every device, slow website load times are usually the first thing that turns away a visitor.

Responsive websites delivering complex functionality, such as an ecommerce site, need to be well optimized for speed to decrease website load times and increase performance. However, with a web developer who codes accordingly, slow load times should not be a problem.

The implementation of responsive web design requires an entire site redesign, and responsive websites take a bit longer to develop than the traditional website. This is because the CSS, (Cascading Style Sheet – which is what controls how the site graphically looks), is far more involved than the CSS for traditional websites.

However, if your business is concerned with staying current and being able to survive online make sure you select a web design and web development company well-versed in responsive web design.

Although there is a minority of web users who prefer the abbreviated, mobile version of a website, the majority of users prefer to have access to all the information the website contains, rather than switching to the “view full site” mode to access it. You will not have to worry about website content duplication (or updates) between your main website and a mobile website since a responsive website is not two sites, but one that adjusts itself based on screen resolution.

Happier website visitors will have a positive lasting impression of your business and will be much more likely to refer people they know; resulting in an increase to your bottom line.

Remember, while responsive web design is a relatively new way of building websites, and is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every business, it is regarded as the future of the web design industry. For the vast majority of businesses in the market for a new or improved website it is the best solution. You need to be sure to hire a web design agency who is well-versed in responsive web design; you will have a great online advantage over your competitors.

Did You Know?  The three tenets of responsive web design are fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries to detect screen resolution.

Address Your Need for Mobile SEO

Saturday, April 6th, 2013
Since mobile use is increasing daily, it is important you address the need for mobile search engine optimization, (SEO). The same rules that apply to strong website content – focusing on your target audience; building your brand; creating substance that targets keywords your audience is searching for; etc. – apply to online mobile content.

Do not use a mobile template for your website. This could result in content that is not visible. The result could be a low quality user experience. If your content is clear, you should fully optimize your website so all content that is accessible to desktop users is available to mobile users.

Even though there is controversy about the effectiveness of content, keywords, and SEO, one thing is certain – understanding how and why users are accessing your site will help you adapt to fit the needs of all users, on all devices.

Keep in mind mobile web searches are usually more focused, so since the mobile user’s search is more practical, they will probably insert shorter keywords and be prone to select the auto-suggestion the engine provides.

Mobile websites have to be quick. Even if you have strong content, no mobile user will stay on your site if it is difficult to navigate or slow.

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What is the most important thing about mobile optimization right now?

Responsive website design – responsive web design helps to make sure your website changes size and moves images so information is easy to read and does not involve scrolling to find relevant text. This also helps search engines crawl your content faster.

Mobile devices typically have touchscreens, and pressing a navigation link can be cumbersome.

It is important to streamline the navigation so users focus on the most important and most popular pages of a site. Web developers can consider vertical menus. These are typically easier for users to maneuver when deciding which link to click on, so yes size does matter.

Having social media on a mobile device is important, because people use their phones for entertainment. People are connected to social media when they are on their mobile phones because social apps are so easy to use, so helping users share your content should be made simple.

As previously mentioned, you must consider shorter keywords because people are not interested in typing much on their small keyboards. You should not target long keyword phrases people are not going to use.

Think about geography. Mobile users are more likely to perform local searches because they are usually on the go. This means you should optimize your site for local search. A large reason local search engine optimization is replacing the yellow pages is because they offer easier, faster, and better results for users as well as businesses.

Many businesses are unaware there are mobile analytics available. Google has a mobile section in their web analytics. You can use these analytics to help track the keywords you are targeting, monitor the traffic you are getting and where you are getting it from, on mobile devices.

Reducing your click-through rate, (CTR), is a good thing when it comes to a mobile device. People do not want to be clicking deep into a desktop website, and they will do it even less on a mobile device.

Mobile continues to become all about the apps. More users are using apps to get information quickly through a medium specifically designed for mobile phones. This means you should strongly consider creating an app for your website if you really want visibility.

Did You Know? The first mobile phone with Internet connectivity was the Nokia 9000 Communicator, launched in Finland in 1996.