Why m. websites are no good

Article Overview

I love browsing on my mobile. I do it all the time; whether shopping, looking at social media sites or just doing some plain old research. But I can tell you that there are real issues starting to pop up with .m sites, that I see all over the place. The m-dot websites are not what they are all cracked up to be and will come at a cost. Following are a few points to consider before asking your web developers to build you an m. site.

June 17 2013

1. Redirects they are bad for SEO

Google likes 1 URL per website and having a redirect from your main site to a m dot website is just plain bad for search engine optimisation. Google mentions this on their forum so be warned about the SEO implications of an m dot strategy.

2. It Slows The Experience Down

With mobile phone and3G delays, you can be waiting up to 1.5 seconds for the redirect to an m-dot. Users are time poor and will not like this part of the process at all. Speed is the key to winning new clients online and this will certainly count against you. Conversion rates need to be high in the mobile world especially if there is ecommerce involved. M dot redirects in regards to speed is certainly going to count against you.

3. To Many Subdomains

If your online marketing strategy is to have a website that serves each digital segment; such as iphones, tablets and the raft of new technologies yet to come out in 2013/14, how are you going to accommodate these markets. One domain for each device wont cut it and will end up with your URL in a complete mess. Just think about how many sub domains you could have to accommodate each screen/device.

4. It’s not Good for Social Media

Redirects for URLs are hated by social media platforms and cause a lot of confusion when sharing sites. Think about the what happens if a friend shares your m. site and another shares your actual desktop site. These types of confusing URL’s will cause site abandonment, decreased user engagement and an overall increase in web bounce rates.

5. Duplicate Content.

There is no way of getting around this and Google has made it apparently so. The best reach results will come from 1 website with 1 address and 1 page of content. This is across all devices and all platforms. A mobile web site having its own unique domain name (e.g. m.yourbusinessname.com.au) will cause issues as you will be having 2 separate domains with 1 set of content. This is content duplication and you can get your site penalised. This is a horrible experience and is something that should be taken very seriously.

What options are available?

If you’re remotely thinking about launching m. site, bin the idea. There are a number of really good and simple options available to you which should be considered.
The best one that comes to mind is Responsive Web Design, that is a site that automatically resizes, depending on the screen size and device. Its simple, easy and most web design companies should be able to tell you about this. The concept has been around for a few years now and will be the way forward with so many new technologies and platforms emerging. Make sure you ask your web developers about this and scrap any thoughts about m dot websites.
 

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