If you own an iPhone or Android, you already know these phones are smart enough to open a regular website and re-render it in a way to look semi-decent on the phone. Same with an iPad.
So why do we need a mobile-friendly website? Why put all the time and effort into a mobile website when today’s smart phones are smart enough to fix the problem for us?
Because while the smart phone may be smart enough, Google — and your website — are even smarter. And because you don’t want your visitors to have a “semi-decent” experience on your site.
When you visit a website, your site can recognize whether you’re on a phone or a computer, what operating system you’re using, and even what browser you’re using.
If you visit a site that has both mobile- and desktop-friendly pages, it will send your browser to the appropriate pages, and give you the best-looking site. That means no mobile pages on the laptop, and no regular pages on a mobile phone.
Google knows this as well. They want to give a site’s visitors the best possible experience too. And so, when people search for a site or a keyword or a business on Google, the search engine recognizes what kind of equipment they’re using, what operating system, and what browser. And — this is the important part — they will return the best results for whatever you’re using, and ignore (or push down) the rest.
That means if someone is looking for your restaurant on their mobile phone, and you have a regular old desktop-friendly website, your restaurant won’t show as high on the search results. Do you know whose will? The restaurant across the street, which has its very own mobile site, fully optimized and taking advantage of all the mobile SEO tactics available.
If you want to win mobile search — and you should, because it’s over 15% of all web traffic now, and growing — you need a mobile-friendly website. Better yet, consider getting a mobile-only website and take advantage of the growing mobile web traffic.