Desktop internet usage is rapidly declining. Mobile is by far the predominant means of access to the world wide web.
Firstly, whether it be via smartphone or tablet, the world increasingly connects to the digital market via mobile devices rather than via desktop.
Secondly, Mobile Apps form a large part of this engagement, preoccupying the mobile space for many users and making transitions off mobile less likely.
In addition, demographics play a huge role in preselecting mobile. The overwhelming entry point to the web for the current generations of users is mobile.
For emerging markets, mobile networks provide the only internet access. Prime examples are in Asia and Africa, where desktop access will never be an option for the majority of users.
Finally, mobile search share continues to grow rapidly and it will eventually dominate internet search. Search Engines, such as Google, have already separated search results on the basis of whether websites are mobile friendly or not.
Google is also about to announce a massive change to its ranking results. Soon a 'mobile first index' will be used for website rankings. Google will therefore be indexing the mobile versions of website pages and not the desktop web page versions as its primary index.
The main implication for web design is that websites have to take mobile into account first before any other form of browsing behaviour, hence the term 'Mobile First Design'.
Websites have to become faster, and much more user friendly.
Many existing websites offer up a different version of the website depending on the device being used to access it.
A separate mobile web design used to be the solution to providing mobile content for older websites. This was before the development of mobile responsive web design technologies.
In order to make separate Mobile web pages work better and load faster and to reduce administration, many 'mobile' sites were actually desktop 'lite' website versions.
The problem with Mobile Website Design offering a much lighter version of the web page is that very often the indexed keyword content for the mobile site would be inferior to the desktop website.
The Search mobile user agent, the Search bot, may also be directed at the desktop default, the incorrect version of the web page!
Enforced economies in content for exclusively mobile web pages would mean that the website would rank lower and will lose traffic in a mobile first world.
A mobile responsive web design has the identical content for all its web pages, irrespective of the device. It works equally well on Mobile, Desktop and even on a Smart TV!
New technologies make the pages load faster.
However Responsive Web Design also needs to account for the way content appears on the page on a Mobile device. The technology by itself is not the answer to everything.
ITM build innovative responsive web design with a Mobile First focus.
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