November, 2017

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Does my website need to have a mobile version?

Do I need to have a separate website, perhaps a .mobi site, specifically designed for optimal display on a mobile phone? Good question! As already explained in another article, it is vitally important to have a mobile-friendly website. But does it have to be a separate site altogether? Do I have to maintain two websites at a time for this purpose? Do I have to pay a web design company more to have a mobile version of my existing website? And what about SEO? Do both my websites have to be optimized for Google?

The short answer? No.

The long answer? With the advent of CSS3 and HTML5, the need for a separate mobi-site is becoming more and more redundant. The .mobi extension is also fast becoming irrelevant. The main reason for this is that most websites nowadays are made to be “responsive” in their design. This means that they “respond” well to different platforms, devices and even browsers. The majority of desktop computers and laptops have screen resolutions of 1366 pixels or wider, while the latest mobile devices have somewhere between 300 and 800 pixels screen width. Add tablets to the mix, and you end up with a third variable between 600 and 1200 pixels, give or take.

This headache has caused for the clever people to come up with responsiveness as a solution, by simply making components or modules display below each other on smaller screens, and next to each other on large screens. This is done by using client-side scripts to determine the user’s screen width, and serving the contents of the website accordingly in a sensible manner. There is also the added factor of letting fonts display as a certain minimum, so that a small screen size does not shrink it to nearly invisible. Some modern CMS themes and templates also give the webmaster the functionality to choose which elements should be excluded from the mobile view.

The conclusion is therefore that you don’t need a separate website for specifically mobile devices, as long as your web developer gives you a fully responsive website solution. If they are using the latest versions of CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla! it shouldn’t even cost much more than a normal site, as most of these themes and templates are inherently responsive.

If you are still apprehensive on the topic, why don’t you contact us for a free quotation?

About the author: Chris van der Walt is a Pretoria-based SEO consultant with more than 10 years hands-on experience in the field. Chris is sole proprietor at Integriweb Pretoria East.

What to watch out for when ordering your SEO

Beware the pitfalls! Search Engine Optimisation is a specialist service, and you may be taken for a ride by companies or individuals who simply don’t know any better or are deliberately misleading you. Are you really getting what you’re paying for? Firstly, let’s look at what SEO is NOT.

Search Engine Submission is NOT SEO. Many companies advertise that they will submit your website to thousands of search engines once a month, under the heading of SEO. This does absolutely nothing to improve your rankings on any of the biggest search engines, most notably Google. In the past six years in the industry, we have not once needed to submit a website to Google. If the job is done properly, Google will find your website by itself, and continue crawling it at regular intervals. Anyway, if your website doesn’t have good quality content, Google will eventually drop your rankings into obscurity, perhaps even dropping your website out of its index completely.

Search Engine Marketing is NOT SEO. SEM comprises paid ads, normally pay-per-click or pay-per-thousand-impressions. It generally works on a bidding system, with the highest bidder getting the best advertising spot. Okay, this is a simplified way of putting it, because there are more factors determining the ad ranking. But the bottom line is that you pay for the ad, which means the bigger budget generally gets more business. Anybody can register for their own Google Adwords account – you don’t have to be a specialist.

A Search Engine-Friendly website is NOT full-service SEO. Although it is a good start, it is only a very small part of it. Search engine-friendliness for your website simply means that Google is able to crawl and index your website. It does not mean that the content and other elements are optimized and maximized for Google. There are hundreds, if not thousands of factors that make Google like (and rank) your website. Many of these factors happen off-site, through factors outside of a mere search engine-friendly website.

Next time you speak to your SEO provider, ask them to clarify exactly what they mean under the heading of SEO. Then maybe give Integriweb a call to verify whether it is the Real McCoy.

About the author: Chris van der Walt is a Pretoria-based SEO consultant with more than 10 years hands-on experience in the field. Chris is sole proprietor at Integriweb Pretoria East.