Earlier this year, Google began to officially roll out its mobile-first index. For businesses, this means that having a mobile responsive web site is no longer a competitive advantage – it’s become a necessity.
Just consider the fact that 60% of all searches are from a mobile device, with certain industries showing numbers as high as 72%. It’s no wonder that the king of search engines has decided to prioritize the mobile-friendly website design.
With mobile changing the way users are searching and engaging online –consider that Google says 20% of mobile searches are voice initiated –not investing in the mobile experience is a sure way of lining your competitor’s pockets. As if that wasn’t enough, here are five points that prove mobile-friendly web design is no longer an option.
The Race Between Desktop and Mobile Users
Today, 51.5% of searches worldwide are initiated from mobile devices. Fewer people are using their desktops and businesses no longer have the luxury of assuming the desktop version of their website is enough to satisfy the majority of their audience. With smartphone technology that’s more accessible and intuitive, this remains true no matter what the demographics.
Just over half. That’s the amount of traffic that might be turning away from an unoptimized website.
Your Audience Is Spending More Time on Mobile
The average person spends hours a day engaging online with their mobile device. Unlike desktops, they’re not limited to sitting in front of a monitor. This means that they’re online anytime the urge strikes them. This might be while lounging around at home, standing in line, or when they’re out and want information about a local business that they’re thinking about visiting.
Considering this, it becomes obvious that a mobile-optimized site gives a business more opportunities to engage. But, all this time that they’re spending on mobile means something else, too.
They’re increasingly impatient.
Mobile users aren’t likely to wait around more than 2-3 seconds for a site to load. Why should they when it’s super easy to back out and go to another site that’s optimized for speed on mobile?
Generational Waves Are Shifting
Businesses of all sizes, in all industries, need to be looking at the generational shifts in the consumer market. This includes businesses that currently cater to baby boomers, who are settling into becoming the upper generation of consumers age-wise.
The oldest of Generation X are saying hello to their 50s, while the oldest millennials are hovering around their late 30s. These two generations alone span their early twenties to early fifties, and they make up a massive section of the consumer market. They’re also likely to be using a mobile device to connect with businesses.
It doesn’t stop there. The oldest of Generation Z is graduating from college and entering the workforce. This is a generation who has never known life without technology. To them, it’s fundamental. A mobile-friendly design is essential to stay competitive now and remain a competitor in the future.
Mobile Optimization is Key to Local Traffic
Local search is important for any business, but especially small businesses and those just starting out. Unfortunately, many small and new businesses are slow to jump on the responsive web design train.
One of the reasons that mobile optimization is so vital for local traffic is that Google has replaced the Yellow Pages of the old days. When someone is looking for a local business, they grab their smartphone. What comes up in their search has a significant effect on who they’ll consider doing business with.
Say, for example, you’re a local restaurant. A group of friends are out and want to go somewhere to eat, but they can’t decide where. They pull out their phones and do a search. You come up as one of 3 restaurants in a 1-mile radius.
Because you’re new to them, they want to check out your menu first, so they navigate to your website. But, not only is your site slow to load, your menu is next to impossible to read on smaller screen sizes. They lose interest quickly, back out and check out the other place down the road.
It’s too bad that your site wasn’t responsive because 50% of users who look up a local business from their mobile phones will visit that business the same day.
It’s a Ranking Factor for Google
Let’s get straight to the point here. What search engines, especially Google, have to say about mobile optimization matters. If you want to show up in search results, it’s crucial to pay attention to the metrics used to rank businesses in search engine result pages.
Today, Google says that responsive web design matters and they solidified the point with their mobile-first index.
It used to be that Google looked at standard, non-mobile sites first for indexing purposes. Now, with the impact that mobile responsiveness has on user experience, they’ve adapted by prioritizing mobile-optimized sites first when indexing.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t get ranked at all if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site. What it does mean is that the chances of landing on the ever-coveted page one of Google are slim to none if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
The effects of this can be far-reaching. For example, a business that isn’t optimized for the mobile-first index is likely to see a significant drop in traffic in just a few months. This can have a substantial impact on revenue, and the long-term success of your business. “For small businesses that rely on local traffic, this is even truer.” According to Mike at Spartanburg Web Design
Now Is the Time to Make a Difference
Even if your site isn’t mobile friendly today, it doesn’t mean that the future is out of your grasp. Now is the time to connect with a responsive web design company that can show you how simple changes in design produce major results. We have the knowledge and experience to create a mobile-friendly site that gets your business noticed by search engines and customers. Connect with us at Direction, Inc. to learn more.
President, Direction Inc.