Mobile websites are not just for SEO

If your website is not ready for mobile then you are losing out on revenue, and it’s not just Google that says so.

When web on the mobile first came out brands started designing two websites – one as a desktop version, the other for the mobile. Since then mobiles have developed, and we don’t talk about just the one mobile screen device anymore but a range of different types from smartphone, to tablets, to desktops, to SMART TVs and so on.

Your everyday customer is now on these devices – in fact 80% of internet users browse the internet on a smartphone. This isn’t anything mystical. Just think of what you do every day on your mobile – the audience you are trying to reach is no different.

You now have deliver your brand message in variable sized screens, your customers’ attention span is much shorter, and their intentions are very different – they click on things differently, they buy differently, they view differently, they decide differently.

So there are two viewpoints you have to think about: Theirs and Yours.

Why they want a mobile friendly website

  • 66% of mobile users are frustrated with how long it takes to load the page
  • 16% say if it takes too long they give up
  • 85% of mobile users expect the mobile site to be the same or better than the desktop site
  • 69% of tablet users have used their tablet for shopping in the past 30 days
  • 48% of mobile users said if the site does not work well on mobile then the business does not care about them
  • 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy online on a mobile ready site than a non-mobile ready site

Why you want a mobile friendly website

Recent research (April 2014) from the Aberdeen Group shows some significant difference in the contribution a mobile responsive site can make versus a non-responsive site on an iPhone: The O’Neill clothing brand also saw some staggering increases in business results when testing the differences between the two types of sites over 3 weeks:

  • Conversions increased by 65.71%
  • Transactions increased by 112.50%
  • Their revenue went up by 101.25%

Not all are the same of course; but these figures echo your customer’s sentiments and online behaviours.

Google and mobile

So now Google has announced that it will be particularly looking for mobile ready designs in their mobile SEO strategies. From what we have seen above this is not Google being mean or awkward, it is because Google puts their users – your customers and your business – first, and they can see that with the significant increase in mobile usage in online buyer behaviour, then ensuring sites are responsive and mobile friendly is the best way to go.

Our recommendations

If you haven’t got a responsive design then start planning for one. Some of you might have a mobile.yourname site, but we would recommend responsive. Screens in the future will vary past the usual mobile dimensions, and now customers are browsing in all types of devices often at the same time. A responsive design makes sure your site shows well across all devices not just mobile.

Don’t approach your responsive brief trying to please Google and an SEO strategy. Think customer first, and their potential user journey and funnel experience. This is a great opportunity to be able to increase your online performance so make the most of it.

Francis has extensive experience in working on complex digital marketing strategies for ecommerce, B2B, communities, and more encompassing all digital marketing channels.

Francis Mac Aonghus