Apple’s Mobile Site Design Rotten at Core, Ranks Dead Last

Search-Agency-SEO-SEMAccording to a recent survey performed by The Search Agency, Apple ranked dead last in terms of their mobile website design among 100 multichannel retailers. This came as a pretty big surprise, since, you know, it’s Apple. As in, the creator of the iPhone? Maybe you’ve heard of them? Apple’s site failed a few of the benchmarks set by the survey, scoring 0 out of 5 for load time, format, and links to social media and the app store. (That last one seems a bit unfair, though; wouldn’t it be like a snake eating its own tail if the Apple website had a link to an app for the Apple website?) The site scored low marks in the survey’s remaining criteria, not having an “above the fold” search box or store locator, or an easy click-to-call button. The result? 100th place.

Surprising Results About Responsive Design

Even more surprising, however, is that only a single one of these 100 websites employed the much-touted responsive design in their mobile implementations. 91 of the companies still have a dedicated mobile site in the vein, and 8, including Apple, use their single desktop site in the ‘zoom way in and scroll around hoping to hit something useful’ vein. Presumably, Apple does not need to worry about mobile design in quite the same way the other multichannel retailers do, since it has something of a significant leg up in terms of mobile presence. But it still seems like a strange oversight for a company devoted to sleek design principles.

The fact that only one of the top 100 multichannel retailers is using responsive design points to the fact that it may be premature to insist that it’s responsive-or-bust for the future of your mobile content. The fact is that responsive design is great for some things and less worthwhile for others. Retail seems to be an area that does not strictly require responsive content, as users have come to expect a different shopping experience in different areas.

Another major point of interest in the survey is the sheer number of sites that failed the load time test, which gave highest marks to sites that loaded within Google’s recommended one second time frame. Only 16 of the sites passed this metric, a number which responsive design is not likely to improve, based on common opinion.

What the survey speaks to most of all is avoiding a knee-jerk response to the latest buzzwords, and staying true to a strategy that emphasizes quality content across all platforms.
How would your mobile site rank on these metrics?

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John Maloney

John A Maloney is a writer currently living in Honolulu, HI. He earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. He has had a couple poems and stories published in such prestigious rags as The Peninsula Pulse of Door County, WI. He's been to some other places, too. When not writing stellar copy for clients he is writing poetry & fiction, or else hiking various tuff cones & ridgelines on Oahu, or else using a piece of faux-wood epoxy to chase waves in the waters off Waikiki Beach. He just got married, too.

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