As a business owner, you may use your website to sell products, share information or connect with customers. And, for many years, the focus of that website was on a large, graphically-enhanced desktop experience. However, the focus has now shifted.
Since 2008, desktop usage has decreased from 80% of all digital media consumption to around 42%. During that same span, mobile usage has increased from only 12% to over 50% (per Smart Insights).
So, not only is a mobile website strategy encouraged, it is now a necessity. You don’t want over half of your website viewers receiving a sub-par experience.
Is My Website Mobile-Friendly?
Chances are, if your site is more than 3-4 years old, it was not designed with mobile users in mind. But, how do you know?
- Visit your website on an iPhone, iPad or Android device. What does it look like? Is it navigable? Are there elements “out of place?” Overall, is it an enjoyable viewing experience?
- Go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This test will tell you if Google sees your site as optimized for mobile devices.
Why is this so important?
Other than the obvious desire to have all of your customers/visitors enjoying the same experience with your website, there are additional reasons that a lacking mobile site can hurt your business.
In 2015, Google updated their search algorithm to put more emphasis on mobile-friendly websites. They stated…
“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.”
Therefore, having a website that is not optimized for mobile devices can significantly hurt your Google search ranking. And, we all know what that can do to your website traffic.
The Content Dilemma
OK. So, you know the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. We’re done, right? Well, not really. You need to consider your content for a moment.
Think about your website as viewed on a desktop browser.
- Do you have large graphics/photos?
- How about a slider or photo gallery?
- Is your site broken up into multiple columns?
- How is your navigation displayed?
- Can you easily scroll through the site?
These are all questions you need to ask (or ask of your designer) when thinking about mobile content strategy.
Think about it this way…not everything that is viewed at a normal monitor size will be successful (or readable) at a mobile device size.
Large photos may look odd on a mobile device. Does your site’s navigation become too small to read or difficult to select on a mobile device? Are your columns making the site content difficult to read? These are all aspects of your site that may need to be edited for mobile users.
More often than not, your content or site structure will need to be configured differently for mobile devices than on a regular desktop browser. This is called having a responsive website. With this, you receive all the benefits of mobile traffic to the same website as desktop users, but one with a structure and content that “responds” to view properly for all mobile devices.
Many businesses are not only developing content to ensure that mobile users receive an enjoyable website experience, they are also thinking specifically about the needs and uses of mobile viewers. Here are a few examples…
Does your business have multiple locations? Consider website content that changes/updates based on a mobile user’s location/proximity to your business. Integrate with maps to make it easier for customers to find you.
Social Media Integration
More than 60% of social media traffic is from mobile devices (via Business Insider). So, what are ways to integrate your website and social platforms for better mobile integration? The possibilities can be endless.
Home Screen Icons
Does your business need an app? Possibly. But, did you know that you can set a favorite (direct link) to your website on a mobile device? To most users, it looks just like an app on their screen. Not only that, but you can specify the look and feel of the “app” icon for mobile phones.
Example: have your users favorite your contact or news page to their home screen for easy access.
So, I hope we have briefly discussed not only the importance of your mobile website experience, but also skimmed some of the unique possibilities that only mobile offers.
Do you need a mobile-friendly site? We can help. Contact us!