Here's Why Your Business Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website
The web is now the primary information source for most consumers. Businesses with a strong web presence are more likely to thrive than those without one. Whether you’re selling products, offering medical or legal services, or running a business-to-business operation, there’s a good chance most of your potential customers are heading straight to your website to learn more about you before they convert.
But times have changed in the past several years. Not even a decade ago, your primary web concern was whether you site rendered properly on the most popular browsers. And while that’s still necessary, one of your top website priorities now should be on providing a mobile-friendly experience. Perficient Digital notes that as of 2018, nearly 60 percent all website traffic was coming from mobile devices. All told, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, many of your potential customers many probably fleeing to your competitors.
WHAT IS A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE?
When you create a website for your business, the desktop version is the one you’ll see first, as most web development happens on desktop or laptop computers. The desktop version of a website is designed to render properly on desktop-sized computer screens. That way, when a potential customer opens your website on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or any other popular desktop web browser, everything is adjusted to the screen size in a way that makes the text easily readable and the site easily navigable.
Mobile-friendly websites, however, are those that are designed to render the text, images, and other interactive website content to a size that makes it easier to view on much smaller mobile screens. Most mobile-friendly versions of websites do more than just reduce the size of everything, however. They focus on reducing the amount of data that needs to be loaded, as well as use a slightly different design that makes more sense for a mobile-sized screen.
In particular, mobile-friendly websites make it so that all of the main content can be accessed easily by scrolling up or down, without having to slide right or left to see everything.
For example, here’s a side-by-side comparison of our homepage’s desktop and mobile versions:
A key difference from the start is the page category bar at the top. Instead of listing all available page categories horizontally across the top in the mobile version, an accordion menu sits right at the top that makes it easier to view the site while still making sure visitors can easily find the additional site pages. No side-to-side scrolling, and no need to scroll anywhere else on the page to find them.
Some mobile-friendly websites also include floating menu bars that move up and down when the site visitor scrolls up and down. This helps avoid the necessity to slide back up or down the page to find the site menu.
Mobile-friendly websites are also designed to make sure users also don’t have to pinch-to-zoom to read on-page content or images, which is also important on mobile-friendly websites. This adjustment in text-to-screen ratios is important to ensure a better user experience.
WHY ARE MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES NECESSARY?
Over half of all website traffic these days is generated by consumers on mobile devices. There are some other key insights about that data that are meaningful to businesses, however.
CONSUMERS SPEND LESS TIME PER VISIT ON MOBILE DEVICES VERSUS DESKTOPS
When potential customers hit your website via a mobile device, they’re more likely to spend less time on your site than if they were browsing on a desktop or laptop computer. This is seen both the amount of time they spend on the website and the average bounce rate between those two devices.
Mobile users spend an average of about 6 minutes browsing websites on mobile devices, versus over 11 minutes on desktop or laptop computers. You’ll have their attention twice as long on a desktop, but again, most consumers aren’t using desktops these days.
There are probably numerous extenuating factors that make mobile bounces higher than those from desktop connections, and why users overall spend less time on sites via mobile devices. Most notably, mobile devices integrate push notifications from other apps (especially social media) that are designed to pull a users’ attention in multiple directions in ways desktop computers do not.
Regardless of the “why”, these factors help create a complete picture for businesses, which can be summarized in three points:
Consumers are more likely to access your website from a mobile device
Consumers are more likely to spend less time on your site when accessing it from a mobile device
Because mobile users are quick to hop on and then off a website, the mobile version of your website needs to be designed to provide a better user experience, and to convert users faster before they get distracted with other media.
GOOGLE NOW REQUIRES MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITES
Economic and user-experience reasons aside, there’s one very practical reason why you need a mobile-friendly website: Google requires it.
In April 2015, Google created what some call “Mobilegeddon”. The internet giant updated its search algorithm to heavily favor websites that feature mobile-friendly versions their sites’ pages. Now, Google may not even list your key website’s key pages at all if they aren’t rendered properly for mobile devices.
Given 90 percent of all mobile search traffic goes through Google, your business could lose a significant amount of potential business by not implementing mobile-friendly standards on your website.
HOW DO I CREATE A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE?
If you’re doing a DIY job on your website, there may be multiple methods you can employ to get a mobile-friendly version of your site. Your content management system (CMS), for example, may have the necessary tools to both generate and force a mobile-friendly version of your key web pages, or across your entire website.
You can also use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to determine if your website’s pages or code is running a mobile-friendly version.
Many small business owners are not web-developers, however, and most don’t have time to invest in fixing up their website. Outsourcing that task to professionals is often the best, most effective way to ensure you get it done right and quickly.
As well, making your website mobile-friendly is just one of many important strategies to help drive more traffic to your site and increase your web presence. It’s easy for small businesses to fall through the cracks without a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, digital ads, and more. If you need assistance with your small business digital marketing needs, contact Madison Ave Media for a complimentary consultation.