Wednesday, 11 April 2018 09:26

Why a Mobile-Friendly Website is Critical in 2018

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Mobile technology has grown to be a part of everyday life for most of us. Unfortunately, not everyone considers the use of a smartphone when it comes to website design. In today’s market, you might as well send your customers to your competitors. That’s essentially what not having a mobile-friendly site is doing.

By not having a responsive website that displays well on smartphones and tablets, you’re alienating a majority of your audience. This will undoubtedly result in losing out on revenue.

Since the first of the year, I've been designing my clients' websites mobile first. In other words, I build them giving priority to how well they function and display on mobile devices. Here are 6 reasons why:

1. Desktop vs Mobile Users
In 2016, mobile users surpassed desktop in Internet traffic. Today, just over 52% of all Internet users browse websites from a smartphone. This means that more than half of those people visiting your site are doing so from mobile technology.

Why is this important? Because having a basic site simply does not look good when viewed on a small screen. It’s more difficult to use and requires visitors to zoom into content in order to read it. The experience results in a poor opinion from the visitor, who may not come back to your site later.

2. You May Be Losing Half of Your Visitors
As many as 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load from a mobile device. This means you’re essentially cutting your income in half from those who use smartphones.

Mobile-friendly website design relies on speed and layout. If the images are too large or if there are elements like Flash, they will reduce the speed of your site. These elements are what will drive users to the competition.

3. Using Google to Search for Businesses
More searches are performed on Google from mobile technology than desktops in the United States. This includes business information, product details, reviews and more.

This goes to show why it’s vital to have a mobile site ready and optimized for mobile SEO. Think of it as an interactive phone book in the palm of a consumer’s hand. Even in a local environment, your walk-in customers are going to find you on sites like Google.

4. Regular Shoppers Use Smartphones
About 60% of smartphone users in the United States make purchases at least once per month. As many as one in five will do so globally on a daily basis. This aspect alone should be enough to focus your attention on mobile-friendly site design.

If you don’t have a responsive site, imagine what a 20% increase in daily sales would do for your company. The return on investment for even a small business could theoretically pay for itself within days from a properly designed and optimized mobile site.

5. The Mobile First Index
Google is shifting search results to rank according to a mobile-first index. This doesn’t mean that desktops are no longer considered, but it does mean a mobile-friendly website will be given priority in the very near future (July) and that you should consider incorporating mobile SEO for Google Mobile-First Indexing.

What does this mean for your website? It means that sites without mobile-friendly design and layout will be ranked lower. For some, it may mean a drastic drop in organic search traffic. If the site is ready for smartphones and tablets, then it may also mean a considerable improvement in search rank.

6. Quick Mobile Search Results
Optimizing the site for mobile searches is very effective in terms of turn around. In reality, approximately 70% of these results in an action on a website within an hour.

A website that isn’t optimized for mobile-first isn’t going to rank well on the results page. This means you’re handing the competition quick traffic and sales. Consider how nearly half of consumers search on mobile devices daily and what that could mean for your business.

Conclusion

These 6 facts and many more scream just one thing: IF YOU DON’T HAVE A MOBILE-FRIENDLY SITE YOU ARE LOSING MONEY! Period.

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Jeff Barkacs

Jeff has been in advertising and marketing since 1988 when he started selling, writing, and producing TV spots for local cable insertion. From there he went on to work in radio, print, and specialty advertising. In 2002 he saw the future of marketing was digital. Since then he has worked exclusively in website design, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. He's worn many hats in the industry and in life, as he is a victim of male pattern baldness. His favorites are fedoras.

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