Mobile web traffic surpassed that of the desktop back in 2015* and that trend has of course continued. That year also saw Google introduce what has been termed by the media as Mobilegeddon, a set of algorithm updates that would give preference in mobile search engine results to websites that were optimised for mobile devices. With mobile traffic projected to reach 79%**of global internet use by the end of 2018, it would seem inconceivable that companies wouldn’t need the advice to go mobile friendly and provide their customers with a better user experience as well as improving their own search visibility. People are unquestionably using their mobile phones to search for information but also to buy.
However, there is a difference between providing a mobile friendly experience and having a responsive website, and most experts favour the latter. A mobile friendly website is designed to function on a phone or tablet by optimising pages that will appear smaller on the screen. Shape, size and aspect ratio are completely different on a computer screen to your average phone, and so it’s impossible to create a true mobile friendly website on every single type of screen. Zooming in and out to browse is tedious and potentially will result in the customer going elsewhere.
With responsive website design, your website automatically reformats itself no matter what device it is viewed on, adjusting to the screen size and resolution of your device, thereby greatly improving the user experience. What’s more, it meets the demands of Google by avoiding having text that is unreadable or pictures that are indecipherable without zooming or scrolling. In addition, responsive design enables faster loading of pages (as many as 53 per cent* of users will abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load from a mobile device), easy navigation and less bounce rates with a greater opportunity to convert browsers into buyers.
Responsive website design is a clever technique, masterminded by Ethan Marcotte, that uses a single HTML code and a single URL for all platforms by using a fluid grid, flexible images and media queries. As a site identifies the smaller screen and altered proportions of your device, it shifts to a more vertically stacked and simplified presentation. For example, a mobile phone user might see content in a single column whilst the same content might be in two columns on a tablet. Visitors can now simply scroll down the site to experience all essential functions. With responsive website design, you don’t have to maintain separate websites for desktops and mobile phones which can save time and money. In addition, Google Analytics reports will have consolidated your mobile and desktop usage, providing a complete picture. The same will be true for social sharing stats since your web pages will have the same URL.
With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets to access the web, creating a website designed for the mobile user is clearly the best way forward. There are plenty of tutorials available or web design companies out there that can ensure that you maximise your opportunity to capture and keep customers by delivering a website across all platforms that increases your on-line engagement and boosts your sales.
For those that like stats and facts
– Customer experience rather than price and product will be the most important branding feature by 2020 – VisionCritical
– 95% of users indicated that a positive user experience is the most important factor when they visit a website. – Econsultancy
– 90% of consumers use multiple devices to visit the same website. – Google and IPSOS
– 39% of a user’s time is on a desktop platform, and 61% of a user’s time is on a mobile platform. – Global Mobile Report
– As many as 74% of users may return to a website again if it is properly optimized for mobile usage. – Google
– 61% of users may develop a better opinion of a company if its website delivers a positive mobile experience. – Vendasta
– Slow loading times for images cause 39% of users to stop engagement with a website. If delays are encountered during peak traffic times, 75% of users will click off the page and head to competitors’ websites. – Adobe
Source:GoMedia (Eric Gordon)
Sources & Acknowledgements: smashingmagazine.com, searchengineland.com, exabytes.com, sweor
**Zenith Mobile Advertising Forecast report