The importance of having a mobile-friendly website for your business.
We’ve talked before about why your small business needs a website and the things your business website needs, one of which was a responsive design. A couple of things have happened this week to bring it back into the forefront of our minds.
Firstly, the new Apple Watch finally got delivered to us this week (cue much excitement mingled with complete confusion). The clarity with which the information is displayed on a 38mm screen is staggering and reminds you that, if you want to, you can minimise information down to something so brief. It makes you wonder why some people struggle to scale down from desktop to iPad to iPhone (especially with how big the iPhone 7 screen is!).
The second thing that happened was, during a spot of lazy evening Facebook browsing (on my phone, obviously), I clicked on a news article and it took me to a non-responsive site. I couldn’t read a thing and it only took me 2 seconds to realise this. 1 second later, I was back on Facebook and scrolling down to the next article. I didn’t even blink before hitting the back arrow and I definitely didn’t consider zooming and scrolling to read the article. I knew that there would be many other sites covering the same topic that Facebook’s timeline algorithm would conveniently offer up to me within a couple of scrolls so I figured I’d take the lazy option and read one of those instead
Without hesitation, I’d do the same if I were looking to buy something and the reality is that so will most other people.
Not swayed by my personal anecdotes? Let’s look at some more objective information instead.
Cold, hard stats.
As early back as 2012, a Google survey found that:
- 74% of visitors were more likely to return to mobile friendly websites
- 61% were likely to leave if a site wasn’t mobile friendly, and
- 67% were more likely to buy at a mobile friendly website
If that’s not enough, according to Google, more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.
And, of course, that’s not forgetting that mobile browsing accounts for the majority (ie in excess of 60%) of all web traffic.
Imagine having a website that immediately excludes 60% of your potential customer base. Would you continue any other activity in your business that significantly reduced your potential customers in a similar way?
It’s what your customers expect from you.
Think about how you use your phone.
You most likely carry your phone around with you at all times; keep it close by. You’re not alone as, on average, we touch our phone 2,617 times a day. If you’re one of the heaviest users, it can be double that at up to 5,427 times per day.
This equates to using your phone from anywhere between 145 and 225 minutes a day.
Your phone is the thing you pick up to kill time: at the bus stop, train station, on the toilet, when you’re bored, watching tv, waiting for the kettle to boil, to avoid people during your commute. Do you turn to your computer in the same sort of way? Is it a similarly constant companion? I suspect not.
Imagine how jarring it feels for any of your potential customers for you not to be part of this? There is a range of huge range of choice available online; this puts the buyer back in control to select the cheapest, best, the one that most closely aligns with them. They won’t take more than a second to decide if that’s you.
Google will penalise your website if its not mobile friendly.
Like so many of the other elements that go into modern web development, success (to a large extent) comes down to your ability to work with Google.
Search terms guide the titles and descriptions we put on images and pages.
The priority rankings given to sites with SSL encryption mean that we’re all going round adding that in.
So, when Google wants you to have a mobile friendly site, you know you’re going to have to play ball if you want to rank well for organic search which we imagine you do.