Businesses online and offline are often hesitant when it comes to understanding if they need a mobile-friendly design for their websites or not. At this point, when smartphones and other mobile devices are fast becoming the primary, dominant method of users’ Internet access, the only possible, most definite answer to this dilemma would be YES, they do, and here’s why…
The reason is actually very simple – mobile is where your customers are.
Below I’ll list some impressive data in support of this statement, as well as give you few other reasons why your website should be responsive and adjust well to whatever size screen it’s being displayed on – desktop, tablet, or smartphone browsers.
Why all websites should be mobile-friendly
Traffic is what we all want, constantly strive for, and work hard to get on our websites. I hope you’ve tried at least a few of the 13 traffic-generating strategies I listed in a recent post. But what if a large part of the people you manage to bring to your site is not using desktop computers but some mobile device? You can be certain they’ll bounce off and leave instead of signing up to your email list.
Log in to your Google Analytics for your traffic sources data (and other performance metrics), check the boxes for “Mobile Traffic” and “Mobile and Tablet Traffic”, and you’ll be able to see the percentage of visitors who come to your website from a mobile or tablet device.
For the first time in history, this year americans used devices more than PCs to access the Internet.
And the trend is still visible, with mobile devices now driving close to 20% of all global Web traffic, and predictions for tablets to surpass desktop and laptop sales by 2015. Many of these people could be headed to your website, and you’d be crazy to ignore the potential.
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More numbers on the explosion of mobile usage…
- 66% of all emails are now opened on either a smartphone (47.2%) or tablet (18.5%). By contrast, PC email opens are down to 34%.
- Facebook has almost a billion monthly active mobile users.
- 78% of Twitter’s monthly active users tweet from a mobile device.
- 67% of users are more likely to make a purchase with a smartphone on a mobile-friendly website.
- 55% of the consumer shopping time spent online in June last year was on mobile devices.
- 46% of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone and 57% are unlikely to recommend the site.
- 48% of users said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphone, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.
I’m sure none of you wants their customers to feel this way…
What is a Responsive Web Design?
Responsive (RWD) is any website design that fits, looks, and functions perfectly on any screen size, regardless if it’s being read on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or a desktop computer. You don’t have to zoom, enlarge, shrink or scroll to see text or click on things when seeing a site on your mobile device; responsive websites provide optimal viewing and user experience.
The above statistics are more than enough reasons to consider starting with, or switching to a responsive, mobile-friendly solution for your site design. Still not convinced? Keep on reading for even more numbers and statistics …
Responsive is Google’s recommended.
In June this year, 69% of the searches carried organic search results from Google. The engine dominates the search market, so it’s their rules we all need to follow. And Google says responsive is their recommended configuration for all websites mainly because:
- There’s only one URL for every piece of content, which makes indexing easier for the engine.
- It’s easier for users too, to interact with, share, and link to your content, if it exists on only one website than if there are separate desktop and mobile sites.
- A responsive website is faster to crawl and index, saving both your website and Google’s resources.
You get one website that fits all devices and screen sizes.
The average number of unique screen resolutions in 2010 was 97, and in 2013 it was 232. This is a fast-developing industry, and it’s virtually impossible to predict the type and exact screen size of the devices people will use in near future. Now that the technology exists, getting a responsive theme for your website seems like the best solution.
Your visitors will also have a more consistent experience using your business’ products and services. Imagine they checked your site while at home on their PC, but decided to make a purchase the next day during a lunch break from their smartphone. It can be frustrating for them to have to search again for a mobile version of the product/service page because there are separate URLs.
It’s far easier to manage and worry about one website.
Optimizing one website for the search engines is more than enough work. Having a separate mobile site only doubles the efforts. Not to mention all the rest of the work required to manage and maintain an online business.
If you have a responsive design, you can still create other mobile-specific SEO campaigns, but then you’ll be able to optimize for keywords that are likely to be searched for by your mobile users.
Lots of your potential web traffic originates from mobile devices. What’s the point in investing time and money in attracting new visitors if you’re effectively throwing half of that possible traffic away?
What do you think? Do you need a mobile-friendly web design? More importantly, does your audience need you to get responsive? Let us know in the comments!