The search engines do like to make life difficult if you want to get found in them. Their algorithms are ever-changing and this can often cause shocks to your customer acquisition strategies. When it comes to creating a mobile website this issue is no different – but at least they have set out a definitive set of guidelines.
Many SEO’s, and I speak as one of them, will direct website owners to those guidelines and the most difficult to implement solution. The unfortunate aspect of all this is that it may be easy for a large company to mobilise a hoard of web developers and designers into creating a new site, but not so a small business with limited resources. Furthermore large organisations will probably have a massive amount of data to guide the way. For the small website owner building a mobile website may appear daunting. It doesn’t have to be this way however.
One of the simplest and quickest ways of getting a mobile website live is to use a template solution. Here you won’t have to worry about html5 or the intricacies of mobile-optimisation and microformats – we’ll do that for you. All you should be doing is focusing on the content of your new site and ensure that you encourage customer engagement.
Essentially there are three ways to create a mobile website the Google and the other search engines respond positively. You can:
- Use what’s called “responsive design”
This is actually Google’s preferred option as it essentially requires less work on their behalf. The URL on your site stays the same whether a user was accessing it via a mobile device, tablet or desktop machine. All that changes is the formatting of the page. In theory this is great, but not all small-businesses have the design resource at hand to update websites to do this – especially if your website is more than three or four years old.
- Same URL, different content
Another option is keeping the URL the same, as the above option, but actually serves different content. Here you may be leaving out some content, adding in different content and structurally serving a different template. This option may also require some significant work from your web-designers as they restructure the templates to fit a streamlined version of your content. You will, however, have to tell Google what’s going on as they might view this page as “cloaking“. The way to do this is to use a Vary HTTP header to manage how caching servers serve your content and to instruct Googlebot that there are two different versions of their page and for their two web-crawlers to respond accordingly.
- Separate desktop and mobile URLS
This is the service we offer you. Here we give you the ability to create a streamlined version of your desktop in a mobile-optimised format and co-relate the different versions of the text. This is the simplest version to use as a templated site allows you to focus on the content and we’ll manage the redirection via a sniffer code and manage the SEO.
The issue that we see is that customers just don’t have massive amounts of time to design and implement a new mobile website, they require an ‘out of the box’ or ‘plug and play’ solution which allows them to ‘go live’ within a few minutes. And that’s what we offer at MymCart.