We’ve talked about responsive design before and why your site needs to go that way. But there’s a lot of reasons why you need to have a responsive, or at the least, mobile web experience. In fact, at the end of the day the key is provide your users with a great mobile site that they can easily navigate, find everything they can on your desktop site, and make a purchase or connection (whatever you’re trying to drive).
While we’ll advocate for the responsive route all day long, there are 5 basic reasons your site needs to be optimized for mobile. Now, don’t get too excited because we’re going to throw out some stats!
1. Mobile search has surpassed desktop.
Now let’s qualify this. For most industries this is true. Google touts figures of about 60% of its searches are conducted on mobile, but this handy Mobile Topics and Themes report from Hitwise shows it varies by industry. For instance, food & beverage showed a breakdown of about 72% of searches were on mobile, with industries like health, sports, and news & media not far behind. On the flip side, Banking only delivered about 39% of mobile-based searches. But that 39% is the lowest number on the chart and that’s not a small piece of the search pie. It’s important you’re not outstripped by your competitors because they thought of those customers coming to their sites through mobile search and you didn’t.
2. Users are on their phones.
If the mobile search numbers aren’t enough to convince you, according to Pew Research Center 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, and it’s spread across all age groups. That’s a large section of your client base to ignore. Plus, a mobile-optimized site is best for user experience and consistency. They want to find everything on their phone that they can find on their desktop because chances are if your services require a bit more decision-making time, they’re probably researching them on multiple devices.
3. Second-screening is a real thing.
Second-screening is basically the idea that consumers are no longer just watching TV. While many large companies capitalize on this by aiming to engage customers on their smartphones during their expensive ad spots, it also applies to you and your small business. According to Accenture’s Digital Video and the Connected Consumer report, 87% of consumers report using a second device while watching TV, with the smartphone getting a whopping 57% of that time. What does that mean to you? While your customer is watching TV, they’re also surfing Facebook, Instagram, local news, and other sources that could send them to your site while they’re on their phones.
4. Google rewards responsive sites.
While whether or not your site is mobile isn’t supposed to be affected your rankings (yet), Google announced more updates at the beginning of this year that includes indexing the mobile version of your site as the primary version. If you have a responsive site, you don’t have to worry about Google grabbing that pared-down mobile site and missing out on your desktop goodness. Keeping the same content, but formatted for the device, means all that hard SEO work you’ve done won’t be lost.
5. Responsive sites allow for great tablet experiences, too.
This one’s a personal pet peeve, but honestly I feel like in every article I’ve read about mobile we always talk about smartphones. The truth is tablets are popular and a lot of consumers, especially in the younger set, are starting to replace traditional laptops with tablets (and if they get crazy they’ll add a bluetooth keyboard). If your site is responsive and optimized for mobile, that should also mean it’s optimized for tablets, too. And that means all sizes of tablets (web developers like myself do miss the days when there was only one size….).
Mobile is Here to Stay
Phew, OK, we are through all the stuffy stats! But hopefully you can see why we will continue to preach this to our clients all day long. The trends won’t be reversing any time soon and mobile adoption gains points by leaps and bounds year after year. We want to make sure that you aren’t missing out on a key lead source for your business.
Keep your company ahead of the curve and schedule a free consultation to see how your site can better benefit your mobile users.