Mobile Friendly & Mobile Responsive?

Practices and all small businesses are currently being bombarded by web design companies (mostly in India!) telling them that their practice website is out of date and needs to be made mobile responsive.

I would like to explain the difference here between mobile responsive and mobile friendly and why it is SO important to ensure that your practice website is both.

hand holding i-phone with dog

Mobile responsive means that your website views correctly on all 3 devices  – tablets, pc’s and smartphones. It is a bit like children’s bricks that are stacked one on top of the other – that is how your design is configured when the same website is viewed on a smartphone – the bricks stack themselves one underneath the other.

No one should have to pinch and enlarge a screen which is what happens with a non-mobile responsive outdated website.

Why have a mobile responsive site?

Google has begun penalising any site that does not view properly on a smartphone. Last year 35% of all web browsing took place on a mobile device; this year the figure has already risen to 65%; and so next year we are looking at 75/85%?!

To appear high up in the rankings and to give your visitors a pleasant browsing experience on your practice website, it must be mobile responsive.

So what is mobile friendly?

Mobile friendly means that you have a mobile user usually someone on the move – (hopefully not driving!) who uses their thumb to scroll quickly wanting to get their information fast.  Mobile friendly sites must offer them a Tap to Phone Us function ie one large button on the mobile friendly homepage to ring through to the practice directly.

A short easy register online form (for data collection) should also be easily accessible as well as proper directions, or a function to enter your current address and be taken straight to the practice on Google maps. Everything is done at speed and users have to be given sharp instructions with large visible ‘thumb accessible’ buttons.

Mobile friendly sites will rank very highly with Google as you are offering an excellent user experience. Examples of a mobile friendly homepage produced by Vetwebsites is Penmellyn Vet Group Cornwall mobile friendly homepage.

Apart from ensuring that their practice website achieves top rankings for ‘vets in Cornwall’; many of their clients over the busy summer period, are on holiday in Cornwall. The only reason they would need a local practice is in an emergency.

The mobile friendly homepage offers them a very quick way to phone straight through to the practice, and find the practice with a map of directions.

If you want to find out if your practice website is mobile friendly or not, use one of Google’s many tests www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly

Arielle BVSc MRCVS

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