When thinking about a website for your project or business, your first thought often turns to the look of it when viewed on your desktop or laptop computer, however in the modern age, it is important to also think about what your website will look like on a mobile phone, particularly a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android device. In addition, websites also can look quite different on tablet devices such as an iPad.
Previously, the solution was to build different versions of the website depending on which device the user was using when viewing, however the modern solution for mobile-friendly websites is responsive web design. Responsive websites will adjust to any device on which they are viewed, whether that be a smaller screen iPhone SE or a huge LCD screen on the wall.
Do my visitors view websites on a mobile device?
Many business may be surprised by the number of potential customers who look for their site from a mobile phone, particularly in their initial searches. Studies have shown that half of digital traffic online now comes via mobile devices and apps, and the figure is growing. It makes sense…think about your last journey on the tube and train and the number of people with their attention focused firmly on their mobile device. These are opportunities for looking for solutions on search engines such as Google.
We took a look at the analytics of some of the sites we oversee, and on average our clients were seeing anything from 35-70% of their traffic coming from mobile devices. Even if the figure is as low as 35%, that’s a fair chunk of traffic that isn’t enjoying a good experience when viewing your website.
When it comes to e-commerce or shopping on a mobile device, it’s a similar story. It was reported on Black Friday in 2014, a massive day for those who sell online, that mobile shopping had exceeded shopping done via a desktop device for the first time.
Is Google penalising our website?
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, then its performance in terms of appearing high in search engines such as Google is going to be affected.
While a lot of the factors Google takes into account when devising its algorithms are speculative, it has made it clear that a mobile friendly website is important. In 2015, Google made the below announcement…
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
You can test how Google rates your website in terms of mobile here.
Are we putting off potential customers?
Put yourself in the position of a potential user for your website, a customer for your business.
They have a few moments to search for a solution to their needs so they look at websites on their phone. They look down the listings in Google and come across your website which isn’t mobile friendly, where they need to expand the page to find the information, click a link and then have to do the same. Your competitor has a mobile optimised website which they can navigate with ease.
Which are they more likely to follow up with?