Why is it important to have a mobile friendly website?
The internet was first made available to the world on the PC; however with more than 3 billion mobile phones now being used world wide, we are approaching a time where many people’s first internet experience will be through a mobile device.
With mobile device use taking over that of the PC, the business world has no choice other than to adapt. Not having a mobile friendly website is fast becoming akin to committing business suicide.
When people want information and/or services, they want it fast. With the advancement in technology, tablets and mobile phones are quickly becoming the easiest way to achieve this. With top search engines such as Google and Bing ranking responsive websites higher in their searches, those companies that have not yet adapted their websites may be missing the opportunity to attract new customers.
Why should you have a mobile friendly site?
Rise of the smart phones: Smart phones have become affordable over the past few years. These devices are excellent for hand held browsing. With the sale of smart phones increasing it makes sense for companies to have a responsive site that can be easily browsed with these devices.
Popularity of mobile internet: According to studies, over 60% of people use a mobile or tablet for browsing websites online. (click here for more information on current stats and figures)
Locality/location: Many mobile users use their phone to find directions and/or to find nearby services or businesses. If there is no mobile site available for your business then you are potentially losing a customer right in your own area.
Beating the competition: People love to browse whilst out and about, and you often see people ‘showrooming’ with their phone in shops. However, if they find that a site they would normally use is not mobile compatible, they could end up switching to another site which provides similar services but with responsive technology.
SEO: Having a mobile friendly website helps SEO as it improves rankings on search engines. Google made a ‘mobile friendly’ algorithm update in April 2015, which highlights how important they consider website mobile compatibility to be to user experience, in that it is now considered as a ranking signal.
Compatible with all platforms: The alternative to a mobile friendly site are apps that perform similar functions. This can be a very tedious task and quite expensive. You would also have to make different apps for different platforms. All these apps then have to fight hundreds of thousands of other apps to get into the spotlight.
Better user experience: Due to low bandwidth and server speeds it might not have previously been possible to make a mobile site and give the user a good experience. However, better handsets, connectivity, and technologies such as 4G and wifi mean this has now changed; you can be assured that using a good mobile site will be an enriching experience for your customer.
Cost: It is more cost effective to have 1 responsive website than it is to have 2 separate websites (1 for desktop and 1 for mobiles and tablets). It also means that you only have to dedicate resource to update a single website.
Social Media: The biggest thing on the internet today is social networking sites and with most people accessing these through their mobile devices, if they come across a link to your site, they would more than likely want to be able to view it on their mobile screens.
A mobile is currently the most personal form of communication and it is a powerful one, so if you can capture a customer on their mobile, then you should be able to capture them on all other platforms as well.
With the number of people accessing the internet via mobile and tablets rather than a PC, increasing this should be a clear indication for you to start working on a responsive design for your site if you have not done so already.
If you are not someone who is surfing the net from your mobile, then you are in the minority. Most people are using a mobile phone for browsing, which means that any business that does not have a responsive/mobile presence on the internet should make appropriate changes.