Ten years ago, it was a safe bet that anyone accessing your website was using a PC. Now, people are just as likely to access your website from a PC as they are from a mobile phone or a tablet, giving web developers a new challenge to contend with: building a web experience that fits whatever device a visitor is using.
Developers generally stick to one of two approaches, either building a site separately for mobile or creating a responsive site that adapts to whatever device a user is on. This further complicates the website building process, and there’s really no easy way to say which is best. In order to optimize your web presence, you have to consider some facets of your business and what your needs are. Below is a list of questions we typically ask businesses when they’re trying to decide:
- Does your mobile site need full functionality? For many businesses, a mobile site works with only minimal content and functionality. For instance, a business might recognize that their mobile site is primarily for allowing users to access contact info, directions or a list of services, while a full site might offer a blog, detailed content and more. If you think a simple, straightforward site with minimal content works for your mobile site, then you might not need a responsive site. However, most businesses still opt for functionality and content on a mobile site so that mobile visitors aren’t turned off by a bare-bones web presence.
- How important is it that people can easily find your sites through search engines? This one is easy– when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) performance, responsive sites take the cake. Google, the king of search engines, have reported that a single responsive site results in better search rankings than separate. In a nutshell, this is because having a separate mobile site splits your rankings and leads to a weaker SEO rank for both.
- How does your business weigh upfront cost versus long-term operational costs? This one is a little trickier, as it’s something every business needs to consider for itself. Building separate sites is cheaper up-front, as both sites are simpler builds than a single responsive site. However, this means that your business will need to update and maintain two separate bases of code rather than a single base. In the long-run, this can add up to twice the expense of investing in a responsive site from the get-go. You may spend more up-front for a responsive site, but then you only need to update content.
Another point to keep in mind is that the general trend in web development is moving towards responsive sites. As such, it is entirely possible that SEO will move towards accommodating responsive sites over separate sites, though no one can say with certainty whether that will happen.
When making the decision whether to build a responsive site or two separate, talking to a professional can help aid your decision making process and choose the right fit for you. PGN Agency has an extensive track record of bringing our clients returns on their marketing and advertising campaigns. If you would like to learn how PGN can come up with creative marketing solutions to drive YOUR business’s growth, feel free to contact us directly at 248-414-6860. One of our friendly team members will help assess your needs, and put together a game plan for success!