20 Dec Critical – Your website has to be mobile friendly
I am sure you have heard it at least once before, probably hundreds of times.
Your website design must be responsive and adapt to users on their mobile phones, tablets or any device.
It’s no huge secret that mobile (and mobile search) is here to stay. It’s also not a secret that businesses should be not just thinking about mobile users but perhaps even concentrating on them.
Well let’s face it, your mobile is the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we do before going to sleep at night. So, it goes without saying that mobile phones have become an indispensable part of our lives.
Today it is what keeps people connected with the world, their friends, the news, celebrities, companies, everything. So it is no surprise that more than half the world’s population constitutes for mobile-users.
With that said, it becomes self-explanatory that having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option today, but a huge necessity for every single business.
People are ditching desktops and going mobile. But how does that affect your business?
Check out these 8 reasons your website and business can’t afford to remain unresponsive and then see how Breeze Development can help you create a mobile friendly website.
Let’s start with a simple one, 99.9% of the people you and your business come into contact with are on mobile, whether that is your customers, potential investors, employees, everyone.
But it isn’t just that everyone has a mobile phone, it is that everyone is obsessed with their mobile phone, We are not even living in a world where excessive smartphone users can be considered exceptions.
We are no longer living in a world where smartphone users can be considered the exceptions.
From accessing information to purchasing daily need items, your mobile device can get you everything. People use mobile apps and browsers while commuting to work, watching TV, and even while eating.
in 2017/2018 there are literally over 1 billion people are accessing the web from mobile devices. An incredible 80% of all internet users use a smartphone. (This won’t be the last statistic you see today)
These numbers grow year on year and if your business doesn’t want to have the opportunity to perform better for these users then that is your choice.
Carrying on really from the last point, it isn’t just that there are people on mobiles. It is what they are doing on their mobile, it is now responsible for over half of website traffic. We have found that in a lot of the meetings we have with different business owners in all sorts of different industries they are noticing this themselves and are already interested in increasing their mobile traffic.
Consumers in every industry are looking for fast and relevant results and if your website is not optimized for mobile, you are going to lose out on a lot of traffic and a lot of potential clients.
If you are interested in attracting more traffic, you need to be thinking mobile.
There may be an obvious question coming up here… “Why can’t mobile users just engage with my desktop site via their phones?”
The answer to that is…
Users Behave Differently On Mobile
You are right in thinking that it is the same person behind either the mobile, tablet or desktop, however that is where the similarity stops.
Just because someone wanted to look at your product or service the end result can be very different depending on their experience on your site.
We will come on to how design can affect user experience later, but for now, with respect to a users behaviour, the same person may react and behave differently across devices.
One example of this is that mobile users tend to consume more visual media such as short video and images. Hence why social media sites such as Instagram achieved massive success from offering solely video and images respectively.
Another is that people on their mobile are more likely to use social share buttons, you have probably seen them on certain websites you have visited yourselves.
Are these adjustments worth it? People can still buy from my site? Why are mobile visitors anymore important than desktop?
Well although any visitor could be your best customer, whether they are on desktop or mobile, a mobile website design is crucial for your bottom line, because…
Mobile Users Buy More
Statistically, across different devices, mobile users actually spend more than their desktop counterparts – although I personally do most of my own on my laptop.
If you are selling a fairly inexpensive product, such as basic wallets (first thing I seen when I looked up from my keyboard) mobile users are most likely going to be your main market, however perhaps if you are selling luxury holidays then desktop users still make more purchases in your industry.
However, one thing to keep in mind, as we discussed earlier is the behaviour of a mobile user, even users who are buying the £10,000 holiday to Bali on their desktop might have spent a vast amount of time doing research on mobile.
Having just recently visiting Thailand myself I know that my girlfriend spend numerous hours researching everything from restaurants, tours, hotels, weather, etc all on her mobile whether she was on the way to work, in bed, watching the TV as it is so easy to access all this information from your mobile
Going back to the point, these users who do buy on mobile, and that buy a lot will not be coming to you if the mobile User Experience (UX) is poor.
The Actual Design Affects Experience
Take your smartphone out now and go to your own website, do you have to zoom in to read your content and swipe from side to side to see the full page.
If so your website is failing your users and therefore your business, it’s pretty simple – it is annoying.
Let’s face it, people are lazy nowadays, even zooming in to read 3 paragraphs of text is too much for them, it has become harder and harder to gain and then maintain someones attention.
If they can’t get the information / product on your website as easily and as quickly as possible, I am pretty sure your competitor will be happy to help them out.
What about your menu, is it easy to click each menu item with your index finger or could you click the wrong link? It sounds simple enough but if people click the wrong link and get annoyed then they will leave. You might have seen a lot more of the below:
This is called a ‘Hamburger menu’ and this has become more popular thanks to mobile design for two main reasons.
1) It is clean and doesn’t disrupt your design
2) When you click it your menu opens up with buttons large enough to click.
Google Prioritizes Mobile-Friendly Website
Obviously, Google doesn’t need an introduction however their algorithm announcement in April 2015 has still been ignored by some business owners and as we said earlier they have got stricter on this year on year.
Google gives more preference to mobile-friendly websites in its search engine search results. Moreover, it also penalizes and lowers the ranking of those websites that are not easy to use on mobile.
You don’t want that, do you?
The whole purpose of going online is to get more people to find you. The fact that your website is optimized for mobile translates to more users landing on your page since that’s what Google also wants.
What’s more, Google is going to roll out a new Mobile First Index which is going to change the landscape of SEO and the way search engine listings work.
After this update, Google will start indexing websites on the basis of their mobile version of content. In short, Google will start ranking its search based on the mobile version of content.
Social media referrals
Mobile browsing is used for social activities much more than desktop. As social media continues to grow and evolve, it’s finding its primary hub on mobile devices.
If your business is involved social media marketing of any sort, there is a better than average chance incoming traffic will be accessing your site via mobile devices.
An unresponsive site can negate your content marketing efforts and waste your advertising time and money. If you want to take full advantage of your social audiences, you need a site designed to seamlessly catch their social browsing click-throughs.
If you are not ready for someone to click through to your website from social media, on their mobile device expecting to see a well designed, easy to use website then you could be losing out – massively.
Lowers the Bounce Rate
If you are delivering great content on your website such as a well-written blog but it is not readable to a mobile user then they won’t stick around to attempt to read it, especially if it is a longer piece of content.
There is no point wasting your energy even writing it (or paying someone to) as 50% of your visitors will hit the page and leave within 5-10 seconds.
Visitors, as we said, are lazy, they won’t stick around for long if they have to zoom in and out to read the content available on your site as they get frustrated and X out of the window.
An un-optimized website therefore can increase a website’s bounce rate and as you may know, a higher bounce rate translates to lower search engine rankings with the likes of Google as they deem your website less relevant.
Testing Mobile-Friendliness of your website design
Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool
No surprise here, Google has made it nice and easy for you by designing their own test tool that allows you to gauge into the mobile-friendly quotient of your website. It’s called Google Mobile friendly test tool.
All you have to do is just add your Website’s domain name / URL into the search box and hit the ‘Run Test’ button.
Then Google will do the rest of the work and analyzes the different aspects of your web-page to generate a comprehensive mobile usability report of your website. As we have said you need to make sure that your website can pass this test if you are serious about progressing with your website and online presence.
Google’s page speed toolGoogle has another great tool that you can use to test your website.
We have already checked whether your website is mobile friendly so now it is time to check your website loading speed, we haven’t touched on this yet but it really is a key factor in whether people will stay on your website and then hopefully buy from you or leave and increase your bounce rate.
A fast loading website helps with many different factors including your Search Engine Optimisation, your bounce rate and your conversion rate, this is both true and important for both desktop websites and mobile friendly websites. However, on a mobile website people are using their own data and 3G/4G or are needing quicker information on a mobile so therefore it is perhaps more important for someone on the mobile version of your desktop.
You should be aiming for your website to load in less than 3/4 seconds or you will be discouraging users and forcing them to leave your site.
The link for Google’s own page speed test tool is here – Google’s page speed tool. If you are after a second opinion then gtmetrix.com is another great tool that we use quite frequently at Breeze.
Overall, I can’t stress how important it is to make your website mobile friendly, so much so that we won’t create a website that isn’t mobile friendly. Going mobile is no longer a choice or a luxury. It is now a huge necessity if you want to stay afloat in the highly-competitive online landscape.
Be sure to take the necessary steps to make sure that your companies website is still now optimized for mobile screens and to give the best user experience for your customers.
The first step to optimizing for mobile is implementing a responsive website design. If you feel confident in doing this yourself then go ahead however if you are looking for some help with this please check out our website design services or get in touch here today to make real steps to taking your website to the next level.