In today’s market, a large number of your website’s viewers will be using a mobile device.
Pull out your phone and open up your website.
Is the font too small to read?
Are the links too close together?
Do you have any flash videos that don’t work on your phone?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, your site probably isn’t well-optimized for mobile.
If you don’t have a strong mobile site, your reader’s user experience and your search engine ranking may suffer.
Mobile Usage Is Exploding
It’s not just advisable or smart to have a mobile-friendly website… it’s vital.
Don’t believe us?
The numbers speak for themselves:
The percentage of smartphone owners in the united states rose from 58% percent to 64% in just one year.
But when you consider how many of those people are regularly online, that number gets even more impressive. A whopping 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
But how does this rise in mobile use impact how you market your business? Statistics show that smartphones are an important part of the buyer's journey for consumers everywhere.
91% of smartphone users turn to their phones for ideas when completing tasks.
82% of users consult their phones while in a store choosing products.
If your business is location-based, it’s even more important that you have a mobile site. Certain searches are more likely to happen on mobile devices than other. For example, 88% of all “near me” searches come from mobile devices. And, get this... the number of people performing “near me” searches has doubled in the past year.
The majority of consumers are turning to their phones when they have a question or need to make a purchase. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you won’t get business from those consumers. Smartphone viewers will find your site only to discover small font and an unpleasant user experience.
Or worse, they may not find your site in the search engine results at all.
Search Engines Are Prioritizing Mobile Websites
The boom in mobile users has caused a stir in the search engine world. Recent updates from major search engines have impacted how sites appear in mobile search results.
Google: The Leader of the Pack
According to a recent survey,78% of mobile searches are conducted using Google. (Bing and Yahoo are Google’s closest competitors at 3% and 5%.) This means that ranking well in Google’s results is essential.
Google has been building its focus on mobile devices for years. In 2013, the search engine published recommendations for building mobile-friendly sites. Then, in 2014, it began tagging search results as either mobile-friendly or not. Finally, in 2015, Google announced that being mobile-friendly would impact site’s ranking in mobile search results.
The addition of mobile-friendliness to Google’s ranking factors was so impactful that the change was dubbed “mobilegeddon.”
In 2015, Bing followed Google’s lead and began tagging search results for websites that were mobile-friendly. They found that their users strongly prefer pages with the mobile-friendly tag. The search engine also stated that whether or not a site is mobile-friendly impacts their search ranking.
Yahoo’s search engine is powered largely by Bing. That means that if your website is optimized for Bing, it’s optimized for Yahoo. (Convenient, eh?) However, one area where the two sites do differ is in their treatment of mobile searches. Thus far, Yahoo hasn’t announced big changes in how mobile search results are ranked.
Because almost all of your search engine traffic will come from these three search engines, it’s important to make sure your site shows up in their search results, especially your mobile site.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, your content isn’t showing up when your customers are searching for a solution you can provide, which means you’re losing business.
Tips For Mobile-Friendly Websites
Your website has to be optimized for mobile in order for your business to survive the boom in smartphone and tablet use. The following tips will help you make your site mobile-friendly:
- Check out Google or Bing’s tools to see how mobile-friendly your website is. This will tell you what aspects of your site won’t show up well on a mobile device (such as flash videos or small fonts) so that you know what you need to tweak.
- Make sure part of your SEO strategy is tailored specifically to mobile users. Because a hefty chunk of your site’s traffic is likely to come from mobile searches, it’s important to make sure you understand how search engines rank your site in mobile search results.
- Consider using a responsive site design. A responsive site design is Google’s recommended website layout for mobile sites. This type of design allows your website to adjust to fit a variety of screen sizes without creating the need to use new URLS or HTML for different devices.
- Put as much care into optimizing your mobile site as you would the desktop version. For example, speed is even more important for mobile sites than desktop sites, so pay attention to how fast yours loads. Slow mobile site speeds can lose you traffic.
- Use your analytics software to track what devices your consumers are using. This will allow you to understand what pages and content your customers are accessing from which devices. This insight will allow you to tailor your site for the buyer's-journey of mobile consumers. For example, if your business has a physical location, you’ll probably discover that more mobile users find your site through searches like “waffle joints near me” or “auto-repair near me.” In this example, you could then make sure your business was listed with directories such as Google Maps and Yelp, and that your site had a page with directions to your shop.
Did your site’s search ranking survive “mobilegeddon”?
If not, you’ll need to optimize your website for mobile traffic. The vast majority of consumers have smartphones and don’t hesitate to use them when shopping or looking for information. Plus, the number of smartphone users will only grow.
Optimizing your website for mobile is one of the best things you can do to help your business thrive in the new online market.