The internet is changing and that’s an obvious fact. Users are now able to access the internet in a number of ways that couldn’t have even been imagined 10 years ago. Tablets, laptops, gaming devices, watches, and mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular as a way for visitors to find your website. That’s why having a website that is optimized for devices like mobile (i.e. mobile versions of websites) is extremely important to your business.
Also, if you haven’t heard by now, Google started rolling out its mobile friendly algorithm update on April 21, 2015, which boosts mobile search rankings for websites that are mobile friendly.
Back in May of 2013, we referenced a Search Engine Land report that showed on average, mobile devices resulted in 15% of all traffic. In some categories it was much higher. More recently, Search Engine Watch has reported that mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic! Companies like Yelp have reported that 55% of all searches are from mobile devices. These numbers vary by industry, but it is safe to say mobile is important for your business.
So if you are a Marketing Manager who is struggling to communicate the importance of having a mobile website to your superiors, have no fear. We have compiled some information to help you build a solid case on the benefits of having a mobile website.
But First, Let’s Check Your Site’s Mobile Friendliness
Aside from a manual inspection of your site on a mobile device, an easy way to determine if your site is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes is to check Google Webmaster Tools. If you have submitted your site to webmaster tools, go to Search Traffic > Mobile Usability. Google will show you any errors that affect your site’s mobile friendliness and the proper fixes.
Mobile Websites: Responsive vs. Dynamic vs. Separate Site
Mobile websites have a unique job to perform. They need to deliver information to a prospective client, but in a slightly different manner than your standard website. The reason being, a mobile user will interact with your site differently on a mobile device versus a traditional browser. To have the largest impact, it is important to understand what your options are regarding a mobile site.
Your website can either be responsive, dynamic serving, or a completely separate HTML website. A responsive site is one that follows the same HTML and CSS as your browser ready website but through media queries it is able to render the same on all devices no matter of screen size. A dynamic serving site uses a setup where the server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent requesting the page. The last option is to make an entirely different HTML website (i.e. domain, sub-domain, of sub-folder) that is a modified version of your site that is only served to mobile and tablet users.
5 Mobile Optimized Website Benefits
1. Improved User Experience
We have all been there, a friend sends us a link via text message or email and when we try to open that link on our mobile device, we are presented with a jumbled load of unorganized garbage. This will kill any chance you have of converting that visitor into a customer. If the user can’t easily browse and read the content on your website from their mobile device, they will leave uninspired. Some reports show that 60% of mobile users in the past 12 months have encountered problems when browsing websites that have led them to abandon the page.
2. Increased Average Time on Site
As with everything that exists online, it is about time. You have a limited amount of time to capture a website visitor’s attention. This is even more so the case with mobile devices because users are accessing your website while out and about on the go. If a visitor is able to easily navigate your pages and the content is written mobile friendly, you increase the chance of converting visitors into customers.
3. Faster Website Load Speed
Speed is important because as previously mentioned, time is limited. A normal website that isn’t mobile optimized will render very slowly on your mobile device or in worse case scenarios, it may not load at all. A mobile ready website will load quickly because the code is structured in a way that it is compatible with mobile devices. To prove the point, studies show mobile website users will abandon a page if they have to wait more than 6-10 seconds.
4. Improved Mobile SEO
When it comes to search engine optimization, we are all slaves to Google whether we want that to be the case or not. If Google wants it, we do it. Whether it is link building or more content marketing, if Google recommends it, we usually do it.
According to Google, it is recommended webmasters build their sites as responsive, but if that isn’t an option, they prefer your business makes a separate HTML website to serve to mobile users. This will increase the likelihood your site will rank well in Google mobile search results.
5. Competitive Advantage Over Your Competition
There is the chance that your competition is already ahead of the game with a beautifully optimized mobile website. Out of the top 200 retailers surveyed, 68 companies didn’t have a mobile ready website (1 out of 3). It is safe to assume this is a high number but certain industries are much more progressive in this regard. We recommend visiting the websites of your competition to see if they are mobile optimized. This will give you an idea of the landscape and where your company falls.
As pointed out, mobile websites are important if your business wants to acquire more customers and increase sales. Staying ahead of the curve with a mobile optimized website is going to enable your company to do just that. Let these two points resonate to conclude the benefits of a mobile website:
- A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you 2.5 million in lost sales every year.
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