For those of you not familiar - Google has declared that companies which are not building a mobile experiences for their "on the go" visitors to be a bad mobile search result and will begin to remove these non-mobile friendly websites from mobile searches. So just exactly what are your options for complying with Google's new Mobile update? Essentially there are three routes:
Make Your Current Website Mobile Responsive
Create an m(dot) or "m." Separate Mobile Website
Build a Mobile App
Making Your Current Website Mobile Responsive
This tends to be the most popular option for website owners and businesses because it allows for:
- An easy content management experience
- The same overall design of their website, but with an improved mobile experience
- A budget conscious consumer since you only have to tweak the current site as a opposed to a complete redesign
Creating an m(dot) or Separate Mobile Website
This requires building a completely separate website from the desktop version of your website. This is a good option for companies that:
- Need to serve up distinct content from that of the desktop site
- Need to provide their users with complicated functionalities like a client login area
- Don't mind the management of a 2nd, separate mobile website
- Don't mind incurring a significant cost in order to build a separate website
Building a Mobile App
Much like a separate mobile website an app is a costly investment, but this can be a good option for companies:
- That would like to be found in mobile app searches
- Need to serve up complicated functionalities
- Need to provide an experience for customers that want to engage deeper with the brand/organization
- That don't mind navigating the app store requirements
- That don't mind managing multiple app platforms i.e. iOS, Android, Windows...etc.
These options a side if your site works and overall you are pleased with the content as well as look and feel - then the best option might be to hire a web team to make your current website mobile responsive. Within the mobile responsive route Google offers three options for making your site mobile responsive.
If you choose to make your site mobile responsive - you'll be looking at a significantly lower cost and assuming you don't want to change anything else about your site it might only require 15-30 hours of development time. The amount of time it will take depends on:
- Whether or not the company that originally built your site is making the mobile friendly modifications
- The final scope of the updates/changes you want to make along with the mobile tweaks
- How specific you want the mobile experience to function and the extent/number of revisions you need to accomplish this
If a complete website redesign maybe in your near future (the next 3-6 months) it may be worth setting a side these mobile tweaks and instead just start planning your website redesign. Because at the low end it is likely to cost at least $3,000 - $6,000 and it doesn't make much sense to spend that when your website might be completely redesigned in a few months.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below and be sure to check out my full post about Google's Mobile Update over at Digital Third Coast.