These days, the mobile optimization of most websites goes without question.
According to Statista, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.53 percent of global website traffic as of 2020, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.
And mobile internet usage is only growing. Gone are the days where we can assume that most website visitors are viewing your website on a full browser.
Mobile optimization is about making sure that visitors who access your website through mobile devices have an outstanding experience that’s customized to their device. The most successful mobile optimization should feel seamless for the mobile user.
There are a few ways to optimize your website’s user experience:
- Responsive site: It follows the same HTML and CSS as your full website but renders the same on all devices, adjusting to the screen size.
- Dynamic-serving site: Its server will respond with different HTML and CSS on the same URL, depending on what device is being used by the visitor.
- Separate HTML site: It is an entirely different HTML website that is a modified version of your site and is only served to mobile and tablet users.
Fun fact: You can actually check the mobile friendliness of your website with Google Webmaster Tools. Once you submit your site, you can navigate to Search Traffic and then Mobile Usability to see any errors that affect your mobile optimization (as well as suggested fixes).
If your website isn’t quite ready for mobile primetime, here are six reasons why you should consider an upgrade.
Better user experience
This shouldn’t require a ton of explanation. If you’ve ever opened a link on your mobile browser where the website wasn’t optimized for mobile, you’ve seen the teeny tiny rendering (or jumbled, hot-mess rendering) that can happen.
It simply leads to a difficult user experience. The determined visitor can make it work by zooming in or rotating the screen, but you risk losing your visitors with a bad experience.
About 60 percent of mobile users in the past 12 months have encountered problems when browsing websites that have led them to abandon the page.
You don’t want your website to be part of that statistic.
More time spent on your website
While many value pageviews, time is the true currency online. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert to a customer.
When a user can easily navigate your mobile-optimized website, the longer they’ll browse.
Faster load speed
When you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, the amount of time it takes for your site to load on a mobile device can be significantly longer. And by significant, we really do mean mere seconds many times because every second counts.
In fact, your non-optimized site might not render at all.
This is just another way to lose visitors (and potential customers).
Website visitors are impatient. They will abandon a page if they have to wait more than six to 10 seconds.
Boost your mobile SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an entire range of topics all on its own, but in this case, mobile optimization will boost your website’s rankings in Google searches.
Specifically, Google recommends a responsive approach to mobile optimization. If that’s not possible, the second-best option for mobile SEO is to create a separate HTML website to serve to mobile users.
With mobile usage only increasing, you really open yourself up to a section of the market who do prefer to browse the internet on their mobile devices.
Better reach is simply better for your business as you can engage these visitors and better convert them into customers.
Competitive edge (or being competitive at all)
We’ll be honest. It’s likely that your competition is already using mobile optimization for its website(s). Of course, this can vary by industry and location (local or national brands).
But whether it’s about getting ahead of your competition or simply matching their sophistication level, either reason is equally valid in this economic climate.
Pull up your competitors’ websites on your mobile device and see how they’re approaching mobile optimization. What are they prioritizing in their layouts? How clean is the design? How fast does it load? Are they even optimized at all?
This will give you a solid perspective of what you’re up against.
Keep in mind that when you are designing for mobile optimization, you want to focus on:
- Larger buttons
- Autofill form fields
- Multiple screens (instead of scrolling)
- Smaller images
- Autodetected location settings
If you’re one of the three businesses right now that have not improved the mobile experience of your website, now is the time to upgrade and level up.