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Mobile Friendly Website Design: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need
We have entered a new age of internet usage—specifically, mobile internet usage. Consumers turn to their mobile devices not just to text, social network, and get directions; they are using them to optimize their lives. So much have mobile devices become ingrained into our daily routine that consumers reflexively reach for their phones when they’re bored, tired, curious, or even hungry (Uber Eats, anyone?).
According to the just-released and much-anticipated Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report, time spent on mobile engaging with digital media has reached 3.3 hours a day for the average consumer.
Because of this shift in consumer online behavior, your digital marketing strategy needs to shift to focus on mobile as well. That means you need to optimize all your marketing campaigns and assets for mobile consumption. The most important asset—and the one you should prioritize—is a mobile-friendly website.
What Does It Mean When a Website Is Mobile-Friendly?
When we talk about mobile-friendly websites, we mean that a website looks and functions great on any mobile device, like a smartphone or a tablet. About 91 percent of mobile users say access to content is critical. That means many may consider leaving a site if they’re unable to find what they’re looking for. A mobile-friendly website should be sized and coded for easy interaction on a mobile device, meaning:
- It’s easy to read the text (no squinting)
- It’s easy to navigate (buttons and links are large enough to be tapped with a finger)
- It’s pleasing to look at (the user experience is enjoyable)
The Importance of Having a Mobile Friendly Website
“Do I need a mobile-friendly website?” Yes. If you want to get and keep more customers, you need a mobile-friendly site.
I can’t put it any plainer than that. Point-blank, if you’re interested in getting new customers (and keeping the ones you have), you need a mobile website design.
Recent studies by Google confirm that ANY business—whether you’re small, medium, or enterprise—needs to have a mobile-friendly website if they want to gain a competitive edge now and maintain it later. But hey, don’t take my word for it—take a look at these mobile marketing statistics:
- 57 percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub)
- 57 percent of all US online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (BrightEdge, 2017)
- 69 percent of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns (BrightEdge, 2017)
- People today have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else—that includes TV, in-store, you name it (Google, 2017)
- 50 percent of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones and will grow to 70 percent by 2020
- Three in four smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs (Google, 2017)
Think carefully about the data above—especially the fact that over 57 percent of people searching for your services are using mobile devices. That means that if you don’t have a mobile website, more than half of your potential customers are going elsewhere. Think about the lifetime value of a single customer. Consider how many people that customer will refer you to (if you provide good service!). Now, consider the value lost if 57 percent of your potential customers sign up with your competitors.
What do my customers want from a mobile site?
When you drill it down, what we’re really talking about is the shifting preferences of the modern consumer. Today’s consumer is much more connected and impatient than five years ago.
So, what does the modern consumer want from your website? They want it to be fast, secure, immediately accessible from a mobile device, and full of great, mobile-friendly content.
Your Website Needs to Be FAST on Mobile Devices
The modern consumer doesn’t like to wait, and thanks to websites like Amazon and Uber, they have extremely high expectations when it comes to speed. Half of the online population (47 percent, to be exact) expects a website to load in 3 seconds or under. If it doesn’t, the user will click the “back” button. Considering the average mobile website still takes 15.3 seconds to load, you have the chance to get ahead if you act now.
Take a look at how speeding up your website can impact your bottom line: Below is an example of a website that has an average of a 5-second load time. Look what happens when we increase site speed to three seconds:
And then to 1.5 seconds:
That’s more than $100k! Learn more about how fast your website should be here.
Your Website Needs to be Secured
As of early 2018, Google started labeling non-secure websites (websites without HTTPS or an SSL certificate) as such in the search bar (see an unsecured website example below). Secure sites would be labeled with a green “locked” symbol, and unsecured websites would be labeled with a “not secure” label.
Your customers are most likely smart, informed people that understand the dangers of website hacks. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you had to make a split-second decision between two almost identical websites, chances are you’re going to pick the one with the green lock over the one with the “not secure” warning.
Your Website Needs to Be Mobile-First, Not Just Responsive
A responsive website literally just resizes the desktop version of your website to be sized for mobile. They usually don’t look that great because everything gets shrunken so much. You can usually tell a responsive site because you’ll likely have to zoom in to see the text.
A mobile-first website is designed to be consumed on mobile first, and then on a desktop. These are the best-looking and functioning ones.
Starting to get the picture? Excellent! Now, the most important thing about having a mobile website design site is that it’s able to quickly give your customers exactly the information they want and not much more. And while the specific information people look for from different sites varies slightly, the data shows that the primary information people want boils down to what local SEOs have been preaching about since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of the Yahoo! Directory…almost as long)—Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP). If you own a retail store, restaurant, or other business where customers come to you, hours of operation are also helpful.
Mobile-Friendly Website Design and SEO
In 2015, the marketing world blew up with what would become known as Mobilegeddon. On April 21, Google announced that mobile-friendliness was now a ranking symbol, meaning mobile-friendly websites appeared higher in the search results. There have been a few updates since then, each one including mobile-friendliness as a key rankings indicator.
It’s simple—better rankings lead to more visits to your website, which results in more leads and sales
How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly: 5 Steps
- Make your website responsive or build it for mobile-first viewing – Making your website responsive means that the layout and display of the page automatically change based on the size of the device screen.
- Make it easy to find key information – The best mobile-friendly website designs prioritize what information is displayed in certain places. For example, your contact information and services/products should always be easy to find on a mobile screen, and your navigation should be minimized.
- Make the buttons larger – If people can’t click your buttons with their fingers, they aren’t big enough.
- Make the font easier to read – You should use a font and font size that is large and clear enough to be read from a smaller screen.
- Compress your images and files – Website speed is key, and large images, files, and videos can significantly slow down your mobile website.
Next Steps: Check Your Website, and If It Isn’t Mobile-Friendly, Get a Mobile Website Design
The first thing I recommend you do is to make sure your website is, in fact, mobile-friendly. You can test it here. The second thing I recommend is to perform the human test. Google’s mobile-testing tool is a piece of software. Software is fallible. While your website might be technically perfect, it could still look awful to visitors. Grab someone and ask them to navigate to your website on their mobile phone. Then ask them to fill out a contact form and test the click-to-call button. If your website is technically sound but can’t be navigated easily, it’s time for a new mobile website design.
Contact us to learn more about getting a custom mobile website design!
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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