Should there be a Separate Mobile Friendly Website?

Searching on a mobile phone (Updated 2017)

Sonet Digital was one of a handful of companies at the forefront of optimising mobile web content for handheld devices. Initially, the focus on refining search capabilities for smaller devices was limited. However, the rapid expansion of the mobile web has significantly increased the demand for mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) services.

Accessibility Challenges vs. Mobile Web Requirements

A recent real-life example was for a client in the hospitality sector who engaged us to redesign their website. They required an optimised version specifically tailored for mobile web users. Our initial approach considered creating a separate micro-site for mobile users. After a discussion with Alan Hill, he raised concerns and drew a comparison to past web accessibility issues, where separate sites for improved accessibility existed alongside the main site.

Guided by recommendations from organisations like the W3C, we shifted our focus to enhancing the existing site’s accessibility rather than building separate mobile-specific sites. This change aligned with our reservations about creating separate mobile sites. Following careful consideration, and the upcoming W3C guidelines for Mobile Web Best Practices that emphasise a unified web presence with necessary adjustments.

Mobile ready solutions

As a result, we’ve developed several mobile-ready sites. These sites are optimised to perform effectively across various smartphone devices. As our ongoing projects are near completion, we’re preparing a detailed case study to illustrate our approach to mobile search engine optimisation.

The Role of the Mobile Web in Our Future 

Regardless of personal perspectives on using small devices for web browsing, the use of mobile smartphones will play a significant role in how we search for content.