A few years ago, smart devices were not so widespread. As a result, there was little need for websites that were mobile-friendly. However, over the last couple of years, tablets, smart phones and phablets managed to get into the hearts, minds and hands of most people. In fact, there were approximately 4.77 billion mobile device users in 2017. Most of these users were using smart devices that can connect to the Internet and open websites on the go; yes, this includes your website as well. Some of the best content marketing companies rely on this approach as it ensures that their product is seen and interacted with by as many people as possible.
And statistics show that over 50% of digital advertisement budgets are targeted towards mobile users (2016 study). In addition, it looks like 90% of the top websites ranked by Alexa are adaptive (in other words, they can be displayed on smaller screens without errors) as of March 2017. Retailers, companies, and even governments are working on making their websites mobile-friendly. Why? Because more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to seek information, make purchases, pay bills, and even get loans.
The SEO importance of the mobile version of your website should never be forgotten if you want to increase the number of visitors and conversions. Let’s take a look at what a responsive website is, how it helps businesses, and then look at two examples (Walmart being one of them) of how responsive designs earn money.
Is It Difficult?
The complexity of making a website mobile-friendly depends on each website. It depends on the features, technology, and coding of each individual page. However, it is not as difficult as you expect to make your website display correctly on mobile devices. Of course, in many cases, you will need professional assistance from a web design company to pull it off.
When it comes to SEO, the old rules still apply. Websites should have reduced image sizes, little or no Flash animations at all, CSS-based layouts, etc. There are, of course, a few new features you can play with, such as QR codes and new interesting advertising ideas. The mobile experience you want to offer to your visitors and potential clients also depends on the mobile website. Keep in mind that people want information quickly, and that the space on mobile devices is quite limited. As such, make sure that you present all the relevant information clearly and that everything is easy to access – quickly.
The Benefits of a Mobile Version
In some cases, you may need to create a separate mobile version of your website. This will include all the important information, products and features. Usually, website that have separate versions for desktops and mobile devices are large, complex websites with thousands of products, several bases of operations, and a complex registering and ordering process. A separate version gives you the opportunity to strip all the unimportant information and present only what is relevant to your target audience on mobile devices. Smaller websites can be optimized to display correctly on smaller screens without creating a new version of the site. And remember, Google now rewards websites that are mobile-friendly. In other words, you instantly get a SEO boost as soon as your website is optimized for mobile devices.
It looks like mobile users buy more. So, in addition to reaching a larger audience with a mobile-friendly website and getting a SEO boost from search engines, you also get the chance to sell more. Statistics show that mobile users make smaller purchases, but more frequently. So, if you sell products under $10, mobile users will be the ideal audience. Tablet users spend a bit more than smartphone users, but don’t purchase as frequently.
Mobile-optimized websites have several other qualities that make them more interesting for both consumers and search engines. The pages load faster and the website is more responsive; the load on the server is decreased significantly by the small size of the pages and data. This means that users are more likely to spend more time on your website. Also, user experience is greatly improved on tablets, smartphones and phablets. For example, how frustrating is it to get a desktop version of a website on a mobile device and be unable to tap the links because they display too small? A mobile-friendly websites resolves this problem, in addition to many others.
It may not sound like much, but a delay of just a couple seconds could mean a lost sale. And when we are talking about a website that makes $100,000 or more each day, you quickly understand how much money can be lost each year simply from not having a responsive website that loads quickly and delivers all the relevant information to the consumer as fast as possible.
Notable Examples of Websites That Have Switched to Mobile
In a 2016 study, only 30% of the businesses in the UK had a mobile version of their website. Over 10% did not have a website at all. This means that a mobile-optimized website will also give you an edge over the competition. You can sell more than your competitors because you can get all the traffic they are missing out on by not having a mobile-friendly website. And, depending on what you sell and your traffic rankings, this can translate to thousands of dollars in earnings every day.
A clear example of how mobile optimization can help a website is the case of Offspring, a UK retailer. In 2016, they migrated to a responsive web design. After the migration was complete, the mobile conversion rate increased by over 15%, the revenue from mobile and tablet devices rose by over 100%, and search engine rankings increased by over 25% (resulting in a lot more organic traffic to Offspring).
And then there is Walmart, who managed to increase its conversion rate by 20% and get a 98% increase in mobile orders simply by creating a responsive version of their website. Yes, it took quite a bit of work to pull it off due to the size and complexity of Walmart’s website. However, the resulting increase in sales quickly covered all the costs.The responsive website still brings extra revenue to the company.
In conclusion, having a mobile-friendly website is not just something you need to do because your competitors are doing it too. It is something every business absolutely needs. Mobile user numbers are on the rise, and mobile orders have already surpassed desktop orders. By not having a responsive design and by frustrating your potential customers with a website that displays poorly on their mobile devices, you are basically kicking customers out the door.