Mobile Site Design Begins With Site Structure
Mobile is taking over, there’s no doubt about that. If you don’t have a mobile optimized site, you really do need to take steps to get one. Google’s initiative for over two years now has been to focus almost exclusively on mobile. That’s huge news for us as business owners and internet marketers. But when going mobile, what mobile site structure do we use?
Let’s face it. There are tons of ways to “go mobile” because this is a whole new frontier. Let’s discuss the three main ways you can take your site into this new era mobile era:
All three of these “work”, but there is emerging a best practice among them. Do you know what it is?
Why .mobi is not the best choice for your mobile site structure
Let’s discuss .mobi sites first. This was a new domain extension offered back when we first encountered mobile sites. It allowed for a second domain to exist that was strictly a mobile version. At first glance it seemed like all the rage. But it has fallen by the wayside.
For branding purposes, in other words, so no one else gets the .mobi version of your site, I suggest you buy it. It’s what, $10 a year to own it and keep someone else from having it? For that purpose alone I would suggest buying it, but not to use.
It seems that Google is giving preferential treatment to subdomains over subdirectories. We’ll do a case study on this in the near future, because I always want you to know why I recommend what I do. But for the sake of this post think about why this might be so and evaluate your own mobile choices. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, seriously consider not going with the .mobi.
Why mobile.YourDomain.com is not recommended either
Though this format allows your mobile site to exist on a subdomain instead of a subdirectory, it is simply too long for mobile users to enjoy. There is no reason to use the entire word “mobile” when the signifying letter “m” will do.
It is quickly becoming the standard, partly because it appears to be the site structure Google rewards and because users find it more, well, user-friendly. We always want to be user friendly in our site design and structure.
Why m.YourDomain.com wins hands down for mobile site navigation and structure
You might have guessed it. SEO is super important to all our marketing efforts online. If Google is preferring subdomains over subdirectories we would be wise to give Google what Google wants. And since the other major factor in our marketing efforts involves making our customers or browsers happy, we should consider giving them what they want to.
The m.yourDomain.com structure for your mobile site fills both of those orders and makes everyone happy. (Unless you just really want it to say mobile because you are confused about what the m means! In which case you may not be, until your site is successful!)