The recent expansion in high-end mobile devices has definitely injected some impetus into the need for more technically sophisticated mobile sites – but what about content quality?
On the surface, there’s no obvious reason why mobile sites should perform worse than their desktop counterparts – they often draw on the same pool of expertise and are created by overlapping technical and content teams. And yet, during the research for our analysis of FTSE100 mobile websites, we discovered an interesting trend: that mobile sites often perform worse than desktop sites when it comes to general website errors. For example, we found that:
- Mobile webpages are more than twice as likely to have broken links
- Mobile websites fare worse for basic accessibility criteria, such as use of image “alt” text
- Mobile websites score worse for basic on-page SEO, such as use of meta description and semantic <h> headings
So why is this?
The time factor
Lack of expertise certainly isn’t the case, since these are general content errors which apply just as much to desktop sites as they do to mobile ones. But if web managers and editors are already aware of these issues, how come they are slipping through the net?
The problem, it seems, is the nature of the net. While many businesses have some sort of monitoring process – manual or otherwise – in place for their desktop sites, they aren’t yet investing the same amount of time and energy into monitoring mobile sites – and this leads to problems.
The fact is, just as desktop sites degrade over time, mobile sites can quickly become error-ridden and out of date. Ultimately, they need the same care and attention as desktop sites.
Keeping an eye on mobile
Establishing monitoring processes to ensure all your mobile content is fresh, up to date and in line with your policies and standards, means you can rest assured you are always serving up a high-quality experience to users. We recognise this, which is why ActiveStandards includes functionality that provides ongoing QA and website analysis, covering mobile-specific and general best practice issues as well as your organisation’s criteria. This includes checking content for general issues such as SEO, missing headings and broken links as well as mobile-specific usability issues such as access keys.
Additionally, we help clients ensure their mobile content reflects the same high standards as their desktops sites, through our web policies service – helping clients set a specific, tailored set of parameters for their mobile content.