Before we begin, you should know that the original title of this post was different. To begin with it was “Why Your Website Should Be Mobile Friendly”. Only one word difference, but quite a significant one, because as I sat and looked over my list of notes and scribbles and was about to start typing, I realised that this isn’t 2013 any more. We live in a world where mobile usage is the norm – statistics vary but mobile exceeds desktop in certain places – and Google themselves have declared mobile friendly, responsive design as being “best practice”, so it’s time to stop with the should, and say your website must be mobile friendly. Here’s why.
1) It Makes Sense – Not the most enlightening of starts, I’ll admit. However it really is as simple as that, it makes sense to have a mobile friendly website. Despite the massive numbers of people using mobile for web browsing, some people still refuse to make their website mobile friendly, or at least provide something for mobile users, eg: an app. Just for a second though, flip the scenario on it’s head and imagine the idea of a website which isn’t usable on desktop devices – despite the falling usage share, most people would find that absolutely absurd, and the same should be thought about none mobile friendly websites.
2) Loss Of Traffic – In the final quarter of 2014, Google gave one of their clearest signals yet that mobile friendly is key as they introduced the “Mobile Friendly” tag to their mobile search results, showing which websites are set up to be usable on mobile and which ones are not. Imagine being a customer browsing on your phone to find a product, service or piece of information. You want to find it as quickly and easily as possible, with no stress or hassle, so when confronted with a list of 10 web properties, are you going to click on the ones where Google is assuring you that it will be usable on your phone, or the one where you’re probably going to have to pinch, zoom and scroll? Lack of mobile friendly tag could lead to a big reduction in click through rate, and therefore a big reduction in traffic to your website.
3) Loss Of Sales – Following on from the previous point, if traffic is dropping because people don’t want to click through to your website, what’s that going to mean? Well it more than likely means a drop in conversions. This means less people signing up to your newsletter, sending you an enquiry or purchasing a product from your website, meaning you have less success and possibly lose money.
4) Struggling To Rank – It was whispered and rumoured for a while, but last year saw the clearest indications yet that Google will take mobile friendliness into account at least partially when ranking websites. Now this is the point where some doubters say that there is no specific “penalty” for lack of mobile friendliness, and at the moment this is true. However if favouritism is given to those which are mobile friendly, then common sense states that as someone goes up others have to go down, and unfortunately, if you’re not mobile friendly, then it is your website which is going to be going down.
5) Greater Call Conversions – Many online businesses are enquiry based, they present the information and selling points to the user, and then try to convince them to go and fetch their phone and make the call. Well what about if they don’t have to go fetch a phone and type in a number, what if the number is already there ready to press and make the call automatically? That’s one of the glory’s of mobile friendly websites, having a click to call button at the top of your website makes it easier than ever for someone to get in touch with you. Statistics vary but in general around 70% of smartphone users think a call button is important, and around 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call. Then once they’re on to a human the odds of them converting into a customer are much higher than if, for example, they have filled out a contact form, where they have to wait potentially days for a reply…a reply which they can miss or ignore.
6) Mobile Search Is Local Search – One of the biggest statistics to remember is that around 50% of mobile searches are for local services. Local searchers more often than not have a commercial intention to convert very quickly or in the near future, for example someone who needs a service such as a local plumber very quickly, or someone who is shopping in a city centre and is looking for a place nearby where they can – for example – have dinner, or purchase a product. This is a major thing to think about for business owners who do not have a mobile friendly website, as not only are you missing out on the business, but as it is local, the likelihood is that the searches, dismayed at your poor website, will simply turn to one of your competitors, giving them a boost over you.
7) None Friendly Websites Frustrate People – Simply put, people wants things quickly. They want it now, not in 10 minutes time. Mobile friendliness is almost expected from people these days and if they come onto a website which is slow, buggy and impossible to use, they will simply get frustrated and angry, and that is not the sort of first impression anyone wants people to get from their company.
And if all of this wasn’t enough, just look how happy our own Tom looks whilst using a mobile friendly website, and then what happens when he comes across one which isn’t…if that isn’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what will be!
If you have any more questions about mobile friendly websites, and how yours can be made mobile friendly, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Dijitul team today, and we look forward to reading any comments you may have, either on the topic or on Tom’s wonderful photos.
Update: Google has now confirmed that a large new mobile focused update will begin rolling out on April 21st 2015, with the vast majority expecting that this will see ranking drops and potentially even penalties for none mobile friendly websites. It has been dubbed “Mobilegeddon” – make sure you’re prepared.