SEO and Mobile vs Responsive Web Design

At the moment I’m monitoring mentions about “Responsive Web Design” on google alerts to continue to post the relevant content on Responsive Web Designs and compile it for a new website I’m building that contains a series of resources on #RWD.

This morning I came across this article, For Mobile SEO Ask “What Do Mobile Searchers Need?”, and couldn’t help but post a comment.

An interesting article with some good points, however you don’t seem to have looked into every aspect of the problem.

First off, I agree that ideally an adaptive approach is best for anyone with an online presence. By adaptive I mean you have both mobile and responsive sites for the potential customer to access.

Unfortunately sometimes maintaing multiple sites with multiple content is difficult. I’ve worked for some very good CMS providers that allow content to be shared between the full and mobile dedicated sites, however it is still a reasonably large overhead for website owners to steer down only one path.

Of course if you’re in the top 100 forbes companies then sure go for it, but for the smaller businesses it is sometimes just out of their reach.

Having said that you’re article seems to focus largely on the use of mobile with search, however you don’t cover the context of the mobile search. Were they on the bus, in the car, sitting on the couch, lying in bed, passing time on the toilet? Each location offers a different context as to the type of content that the user is looking to get.

It’s not enough to just direct mobile users to a cut down version of the site. Doing this is punishing users for using mobile devices.

As I mentioned above ideally you have two sites running, your full website and a cut down, fast loading, transaction focussed mobile site that contains the option to return to your full website (and remember the selection). And what happens when they arrive on the full website? That’s right, it responds to the best possible layout for the canvas that it is being viewed on.

A question for you:

At the end of the day is it better to have a site with great onsite SEO, or is it better to have a site that gets tonnes of linkbacks because it provides an awesome experience?

There is a lot of thought that needs to go into your online strategy, especially when it comes to implementing a growing trend of web design and layouts.

If you’re thinking about updating your website design, or looking to make your existing design responsive then get in touch and we can work out the best possible solution for your online presence.

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