Why You Need Mobile Design

Obviously, a mobile responsive site makes browsing easier for everyone, but does that make it a NEED? Why is an optimized site a MUST for your business? Those are definitely good questions to ask.

Do something for me today. Count how many times you use your smartphone. Think about how many times you look something up really quick, or reference a website, or open an app. I bet it's more than you realize.

I can't count how many times I've heard that "mobile is here to stay." I know you've heard it as well, so it's no secret that businesses need to be thinking about mobile users when they're looking at website design, and especially in their marketing efforts. But why?

Obviously, a mobile responsive site makes browsing easier for everyone, but does that make it a NEED? Why is an optimized site a MUST for your business? Those are definitely good questions to ask yourself, so check out these 5 reasons why you can't afford to remain unresponsive.

Let's Get Going.

1. Everyone is on Mobile. Everyone.

There are currently 1.2 BILLION mobile users in the world, according to recent data. More incredibly, 80% of all internet users are on a smartphone. That's a global average, so you know that the averages in the United States are even higher. So it's safe to assume that if someone is visiting your website, there's a good chance they're on a smartphone.

2. Mobile Web Traffic has Officially Overtaken Desktop

We've all been assuming this was coming, but in the past two years, it became official. A 2014 analysis found that mobile browsing was 21% higher than desktop browsing. And just this year, Google announced that 2015 stats showed that more than 50% of searches on the website came from a mobile device. It's important to note too, Google's stats only counted smartphones, not tablets. So if you throw tablets into the mix, the number of non-desktop searches shoots up even more.

I can't say it enough—everyone is on mobile. You can't assume your customers don't need it. Because they'll eventually access your site from their phone according to…

3. Mobile Users Trade Between Devices

Sure, they might come to your site first from their desktop. But according to surveys, 90% of people switch between devices regularly. Meaning, they might visit your site first on their desktop, but they'll come back to that site on their phones or tablets at some point. And if those sites aren't responsive, they're going to have a bad experience.

Anyone who deals with marketing has heard of UI and UX (which stands for User Interface and User Experience, respectively). That user experience is so important that entire industries and job positions have grown around it. If your site isn't mobile friendly, you're not creating a good user experience for your visitors.

4. Google Ranks Mobile Responsive Sites Higher

In 2015, Google rocked the search industry with their updated search algorithm, because it now ranks mobile-friendly sites higher than sites that don't cater to the mobile market. So if your competitor has a mobile-optimized site, and you don't, then it's pretty likely they'll rank higher than you in the Google search results.

If you have your site optimized for specific keywords, (like New Home Construction for instance), having a mobile friendly site will help those keywords work that much better. If search engine ranking is important to you, then you absolutely must have a mobile friendly website.

5. Social Media Referrals Are More Likely Mobile

A recent study showed that 91% of all all mobile traffic was for social activities, like Facebook, Instagram, or Houzz. So as social media continues to grow, it's finding the bulk of its users on mobile devices.

If you're advertising on social media at all, there's a very high probability that your attracting mobile users to your site. If your site isn't optimized to their device, then you're going to lose those visitors relatively quickly. In fact, according to Google Analytics tracking data, websites that are not mobile responsive have higher than average mobile bounce rates. This means that mobile visitors are coming to your site, and not browsing around at all. That's a sign that there's a problem.

So That's That.

Health Checkup

There's a few things you can do to verify the responsiveness of your website. Google has a tool that will tell you how well your site is optimized, and give you a list of the good or bad. Just visit the Google Responsiveness Tool, type in your website address, and see the results.

There's also a self-test you can do right now. Just take your phone out, and browse to your own website:

  • Is it easily readable immediately, or did you have to pinch and zoom?
  • Does it draw your eye to your key selling points?
  • Is it easy to navigate with a simple click?
  • Does it load quickly?

If you're answering "no" to a lot of these questions, then it's time to bring your website up to modern-day standards. Just like building codes, web standards are in place to keep your site functioning correctly—on all browsers, and all devices—and take advantage of long-term trends in usage.