The world now has over 7 billion cell phones. With that kind of market, it’s a mistake NOT to make sure your site is a mobile-friendly website. What “mobile friendly” means is that the user experience is not spoiled by viewing your site on a smart phone or other device rather than a computer screen. When a mobile user visits your site they expect to find it easy to view and to navigate. Disappointing them will only send them elsewhere. The trend for the foreseeable future is to design sites that are responsive – able to detect the visitor’s device and optimize it for mobile users.
If your site is not mobile friendly, here are ten good reasons why you should change it, and soon:
In 2014, Google added a “Mobile Friendly” tag to mobile search results, a hint as to which sites to visit and which to avoid. It’s the same feeling you get when you start to download a game to your desktop and notice it’s labeled ‘Mobile’. It’s not for you. It’s frustrating, and you’ll never look for that game again. If you’re on a mobile phone and looking at search results, you’re going to stick to mobile-friendly listings. If your site is not on the list of approved sites, all those millions of mobile users will pass it by. There goes a big chunk of traffic that was actually searching for a site like yours.
If you don’t have the traffic, you don’t have the sales. Even if you are getting some mobile traffic, it’s the conversion that matters. Conversion rates will drop. As more people surf the Web on the go rather than from home, you’ll be losing money. When you think about it, it’s well worth the investment to accommodate those users, too.
3. Drop in SEO Rank
Google has started using mobile-friendliness as a factor in ranking websites. While there may be no real penalty for not being mobile friendly, if other site rankings are going up, yours is bound to be going down.
4. Call Conversion
Many sites are call-based, which means part of their income comes from users who are urged to “Call now!”. This is something that would clearly work best with smart phone users who already have the phone in their hand. Moreover, they can make that call with a single click. Whereas, with a conventional website, they have to fill out a form or send an email, and wait for a response. By which time they likely lose interest. Around 70% of cell users think a call button on a site is important. So should you.
5. Local Search
Roughly half of all mobile users are looking for a physical location in their area. They aren’t looking to order something now that won’t arrive for another two weeks. If a user finds a product he/she is looking for is on sale a mile from home, that’s more likely to convert to a sale in the near future. A site that has no presence to local mobile users is losing business. Even if you have the same product at a lower price than the store down the street, how likely is it that these mobile users will find it?
6. Frustrated Users
People, especially Internet visitors, want things now. They don’t want to wait for pages to load. And people who habitually use their smart phone to surf the Web are not going to waste time maneuvering around a page that clearly doesn’t work. Not only will they move on quickly, they’ll feel resentment and never waste their time on your site again – if they remember you at all.
7. Offline Marketing
Email campaigns do wonders to build mailing lists and notify potential customers of special deals and new products. Mobile devices do more. Nobody sits at their computer waiting for emails 24/7. But most people keep their smart phones handy. If they get a text from a trusted vendor about a good deal on a product they want, they are much more likely to follow up on it then and there, as opposed to an email that might never get noticed at all.
8. No Flash
Flash is a very common means of developing animation and other effects to make webpages more entertaining. But most phone OS don’t support it for their browsers. If you’re still using Flash in a rising tide of smart phones, you may want to consider at least replacing that. Even if your site is otherwise appealing, Flash banners and ads will instantly turn mobile users off.
9. Bounce Rates
Mobile users who expect a webpage to display quickly and function properly on their computer also expect the same for pages they visit from their cell phones. If they can see that isn’t happening, they may move one before the page even gets done loading. If every cell phone user does that – and the vast majority of them will if they have the same problem – you’ve just locked out potential customers before you even get a chance to sell to them.
10. Common Sense
That really does sum it up. Despite the massive amount of people surfing the web from their tablets and smart phones, some site owners have not bothered to redesign their pages for this new market. They may think computer users will provide enough business – but the sad fact is that smart device sales are growing, and computer sales are shrinking. So will yours eventually, without a mobile-friendly website.
If a bigger market share, better SEO rank, and more revenue isn’t enough to motivate you, pull out your own phone and revisit a site that didn’t seem to render properly. How good is the experience? If the answer is “not very”, you can be sure every single one of the millions of smart device owners out there feels the same way. Can you really afford to alienate them?