According to StatCounter (2020), 45.52% of UK website traffic is via mobile as opposed to desktop and tablet – and that number is ever-growing. Us Brits were said to have spent an average of 2 hours and 28 minutes scrolling through our smartphones every day in 2018 (Ofcom) – that’s nearly 40 days of the year!
With the possibility that mobile usage could overtake desktop even more so as time goes on, you need to make sure you’re ahead of the game and ahead of your customers.
What it means to be mobile-friendly
Imagine a potential customer visits your website on their mobile and it has not been optimised for that device. They can’t find what they want, it takes longer to find a basic bit of information and is frustrating to use. Because of this, they give up and visit another website – potentially not visiting your website again. You’ve lost a potential customer for good.
To avoid this, you can make sure your site is mobile friendly.
To put it plainly, having a mobile-friendly website is when your regular website can fit a mobile screen comfortably, while still being functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing.
There are a few ways to do this. You can have a separate mobile site or using something called ‘dynamic serving’ to show slightly different content when someone visits your site from a mobile. The most popular way to make your site mobile friendly though is to use something called ‘responsive design’, whereby your site’s content will shrink and rearrange to work on a mobile screen. Good content management systems such will have responsive design automatically built in.
A bad usability experience on mobile can affect your SEO
Google bases its judgements for indexing and ranking on various SEO aspects such as content quality, site speed, meta descriptions and tags, image quality and valid HTML. But in recent years, the mobile-friendliness of your site has become a key ranking factor.
Since July 2019, Google has judged the mobile version of your website as the primary version – they use what’s called the “mobile-first index”. So if your mobile site’s not up to scratch, it will be hard for you to rank in search engine results and you could lose out on visitors to your website.
Aspects such as load speed, image size, small text and clickable elements being too close together are all examples of things which Google may penalise you for – and they’re not great for users either!
Users love the convenience of mobile
Purchasing something on your mobile is convenient. The ability to purchase on the go – anytime and anywhere – has redefined our relationship with retail.
As of April 2019, 43% of UK consumers preferred to shop via their mobile device (statista.com), and that is excluding those who would consult their phones before purchasing in store. Even if your website isn’t e-commerce, the consumer is still shopping for your services to hopefully enquire shortly after.
Once you have got your customer’s interest, you want to keep them there. With the design of a website, not only should it be visually interesting, but it has to be easy to navigate and find information in order to lower your bounce rate.
A website which is easy to use is easy to buy from.
An easy user journey contributes considerably to the amount of sales/enquiries you receive.
Your mobile website needs to promote trust and credibility
While many customers prefer making purchases and enquiries via their mobiles, it can be put people off if the website doesn’t look trustworthy.
It’s hard to trust a poorly designed website, especially if you require credible information or planning to input personal and bank details. For a customer, it feels risky. There’s less of a reassurance that you’re ‘legit’ if your site looks unprofessional. You definitely do not want your customers to feel like that.
A website that looks or performs poorly on a smartphone puts a question mark over the credibility and trustworthiness of your business.
There are many reasons why you should make your website mobile-friendly
Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is a no-brainer. Users are more likely to engage in the first place, stay there for longer and follow through with a purchase or enquiry if they like and trust your business’ website.
If you’ve got any questions about how to benefit from improving the mobile version of your website, feel free to comment below or contact me directly. Website optimisation is a complex topic, so I’m always open to having a chat.