There are two methods of serving your content to a mobile device; Responsive and Adaptive. There is one main difference between the two, which is the content supplied to the device by the server. With Responsive, the end-user will see the same content as your desktop site, the only difference is that it is styled to be more mobile-friendly. Adaptive technology allows you to provide entirely different content, based on what device the user is using.
Which method is best for you and your business will depend entirely on your needs – there is no quick way of determining whether your website is best suited to either method.
You may, at this point, be wondering why this affects you. Here are the main reasons why:
Since the release of the smartphone, the number of mobile web users has been growing at an incredible rate, with close to 18% of all web traffic now coming from a mobile device – and that percentage increases year-on-year with many predictions putting the number at over 30% by 2020. The number of smartphone users globally currently sits at just over 1.5 billion, but is predicted to rise above 2 billion within the next 2 years. These statistics alone show the massive rate at which people are adopting the mobile web, and just how many users could be leaving your site immediately, simply because the buttons are too small, they can’t read the text, or your navigation doesn’t work properly on mobile devices.
If a user hears about your business and is interested in your products or services, the first reaction will be to look you up on the internet. With the rise of mobile devices, users can now do this immediately, without having to wait until they’re at home with a computer. Whether they’re looking to place an order, fill in your contact form, find out more about you, or simply find a number that they can use to call you, that information could be directly at their fingertips. With a functional mobile website, that information is easier than ever to access.
Although nobody truly understands how search engines pick and choose how websites are ranked, we can study it and place a fairly good, educated guess. All information to-date indicates that sites that are mobile-optimised will be given favourable treatment over those that aren’t. As a search engine is very often the place that people start at to find your website, how close to the top of the list your website is can give you a significant edge over your competitors.
If a user can’t easily read your content, or gets tired of trying to navigate your desktop site on a mobile device, they will leave. It’s as simple as that. If your content is accessible, your users will come back and will use your website in order to contact you. More users means more potential customers, and more potential customers means growth for your business.
All things considered, it is our advice to every company in every business sector that now is the time to get up to date with the latest technology and prepare for the mobile web. Make sure you don’t miss out on providing your users with the information that they need.