Are you unsure whether a mobile-friendly website is really necessary for your company? In an increasingly mobile world, a website that adapts to every screen size is no longer optional for online businesses, but essential.
Here, we break down exactly what makes a mobile-friendly website so important to the ongoing success of your online business:
What is a mobile-friendly website, and how is it different?
Before you opt for a mobile-friendly website, you need to understand what it is, and how it differs from its predecessors.
Built using mobile-friendly web design – known as responsive web design – a mobile-friendly site is not simply a website that can be viewed on a mobile device.
Instead, a mobile-friendly website is actually built specifically with different screen sizes in mind, with the different design elements that make up the website able to automatically adapt for any device – be it a mobile, tablet, or desktop computer.
This means that on smaller screens, your website will load faster, display perfectly, and allow for easy navigation, without any need for users to scroll across the page or zoom in to view content, resulting in a much better customer experience than on a website without a mobile-friendly design.
So how can this significantly benefit your online business?
Customers are going mobile more than ever before
Mobile usage is rising at an incredible rate year on year, with recent figures showing that in the UK, 66% of people now use their mobile phones to browse the web.
What this means is that your potential customers are increasingly choosing to search for information and make purchases using mobile devices instead of desktop computers, with over half of Google searches now occurring on smartphones and tablets.
With so many people increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to search online, by refusing to update your site to accommodate modern browsing habits, you risk losing out on a considerable amount of business.
Mobile-friendly websites convert visits into sales
Why are you at risk of missing out on business without a mobile-friendly site? Because for customers browsing online with a mobile phone, functionality is key, and if you don’t provide a great user experience, they’ll go and find it somewhere else.
In fact, 61% of mobile users will leave a site immediately if they can’t easily find the information they need, so by ignoring the demand for a website that works on smaller screens, you could unintentionally be helping your competitors to poach a significant amount of your customers.
This won’t just be a one-time thing either – 74% of people who visit a mobile-friendly website are more likely to return to that site in the future, so once your online business loses a customer to a mobile-friendly competitor, more often than not, they’re gone forever.
Mobile friendliness is a search engine ranking factor
It’s not just customers who care about user experience. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing now give precedence to mobile-friendly websites when a relevant search is performed, with these sites appearing higher in results than websites not designed for mobile viewing.
Google has even announced plans to bring out a mobile-first search index, which means that the mobile version of a website will be used to determine how relevant it is to a user’s query. This is bad news for websites that aren’t mobile-friendly, as they are less likely to be seen as legitimate search results.
Without a website that’s been built with responsive web design, your online business is, therefore, unlikely to perform well in organic search results. To give your website its best chance of being found by new customers, it needs to be mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly design is future-proof
The thing about websites that aren’t built for mobiles is that they’re outdated. You know it, your customers know it, and search engines know it. Meanwhile, responsive websites deliver fast loading pages, easy navigation, and a streamlined, satisfactory experience on every screen.
Not only is this great for your online business today, but it will also benefit you in the future too.
Mobile use is set to rise, and customers are starting to expect more and more from the companies they interact with on the web – the least you can do is provide them with the ability to purchase your products effortlessly from any device.
What’s more, because it’s built with a responsive design, your mobile-friendly website will continue to provide a fantastic user experience no matter what new devices your customers use.
Whether they are browsing with smart TVs or with wearable tech such as smart watches and glasses, your site will able to adapt to the different screen sizes, making it a valuable long-term investment.
So, if you want to keep your customers happy now and in the future, a mobile-friendly website is critical for your online business.