We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of designing for mobile users lately (including this, this and this), but you don’t have to take our word for it. Take Google’s word: According to 2016 data of all websites using Google Analytics, more than 50 percent of all web traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets.
More than 50 percent!
Let’s stop for a moment and do a little role-play, shall we? Consider this scenario: you’re looking for something and you get to a website and it’s a crappy website to look at on the phone – the entire page doesn’t fit on the screen, so you have to scroll around; the places to click are too tiny to manage with fingers; the text is too small to read, and it breaks up funny, making it tough to follow.
What do you do? Do you stick it out and scroll and pinch and squint until you find what you need? Or do you eject immediately because it’s going to be too much work to even bother and certainly there’s got to be another site with similar enough information that’s easier to view?
TRICK QUESTION! You didn’t even see that website because Google won’t show it to you in the search results because it’s not a good mobile experience and Google doesn’t want you to be mad at IT for showing you a crappy website.
So, beyond possibly not showing up at all in the search results (no matter how good your SEO may be), that crappy mobile site is alienating people just like you.
Device Usage in a Typical Day
Lest that not be enough of a wake-up call for you, Google also reports that, in an average day, more than 25 percent of all users use only a smartphone – more than twice as many as those who only use a computer.
And if you still don’t believe that having a mobile-friendly website should be #1 on your priority list, here are 5 more reasons that you should start that project RIGHT NOW.
1. Some Searchers Don’t Use Desktop Computers – EVER.
Google reports that, nearly 4 in 10 users search only on their smartphones in an average day. So, if your site isn’t serving them, you may be missing out on reaching almost half of your target audience. That’s a lot to leave on the table. No matter what you sell, or how you slice it, mobile users represent a significant piece of the pie.
2. Many Searchers Use Multiple Devices.
Life today is much more fluid than it was a decade ago. We have access to the resources we need to do our jobs in more than one place, and on more than one device. We used to be chained to our desks to be productive. No longer.
Google has found that more than a quarter of users search for information or answers on multiple devices, depending on what is most convenient at the time. So, one person may be searching for information using a computer at their office; a tablet at the client meeting; a phone in the car or at lunch; and a laptop at home. If your website doesn’t serve them seamlessly on every device, you’re seriously hampering your business growth prospects.
3. Mobile Search Solves Immediate Needs.
When people are on the go and suddenly remember something they need to buy, or have an issue that needs to be taken care of immediately, they often turn to their phones for a solution. Whether your customers are having “I want to go” moments, “I want to buy” moments or “I want to do” moments, they’re looking on their phone for answers. Google says that almost 70 percent of users turn to mobile first in a time of need.
If your business provides the right solution to meet a consumer’s need, and can grab their attention at the right time, you can effectively increase the possibility of making a sale in these moments. According to a recent Google article, “76% of people who search on their smartphone for something nearby visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.”
Stop scoffing. Millennials may not always be making final decisions, but they are influencing B2B decisions of all types. In fact, millennials represent almost half of all B2B researchers, an increase of 70 percent in the two years since the previous study.
On the B2C side, keep this in mind: millennials are digital natives. They have been interacting with digital devices since birth and they expect the experiences on those devices to be excellent. If yours isn’t, they’ll have no problem moving right along to one that is.
5. Users Want a Fast Mobile Experience.
Too many websites take too long to load. If your site isn’t responsive, it may load slower on mobile devices than on a desktop, which isn’t good news for anyone.
Google says that 53 percent of people will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. On the other hand, it says that – on average – it takes 22 seconds for a mobile landing page to fully load. Now, I’m not good at math but even I can see the problem with these stats.
To see how your site stacks up for page load time, enter your url into this Google Developer Tool. When it comes to user expectations, here’s what happens when your site speed doesn’t meet benchmark standards.
Source: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017
While I could go on, I’m going to stop at only five reasons why you should have a mobile optimized website – if only because that’s how many I promised in the post title. If none of these reasons inspire you to make your site usable on mobile devices then there’s really not more to be said. The rest of us are living in an increasingly mobile-first world. Are you prepared to serve us?