Mobile Friendly Websites: 7 Reasons Why They Are Essential For Online Marketing

A Mobile Friendly Website Is Necessary To Connect With Your Customers At Key Purchase-Related Moments

Mobile continues to expand rapidly and change the way we do business. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2015 found that 68% of Americans use smartphones, and 92% of Americans own a mobile device. Mobile friendly websites are essential today for digital marketing to connect with customers and increase sales and leads.

Here are 7 reasons why your business should have a mobile friendly website to support your online marketing strategy.

1. A majority of online searches are made on mobile devices

Most people are visiting websites using smartphones. This is happening even when people are at home or at work and have access to a desktop computer. We are choosing to use our smartphones to look for online information, make a purchase or contact a business.

Here are some interesting statistics from Google.

  • In 2015, the number of search queries on mobile devices on Google in the USA exceeded those on desktops.
  • 94% of people in the USA who own smartphones use their smartphones to search for local information.
  • 77% of mobile searches will occur at home or at work where desktop computers are also available.
  • 82% of smartphone users search online to find local businesses

These statistics show that people are increasingly choosing to use their smartphones to search for information online.
They are not using their desktops for online searches even when desktops are available.

2. Mobile Friendly Websites increase opportunities for customer engagement with your business

Customers are constantly using their smartphones throughout the day to search for information. We are using our smartphones when we are out running chores, shopping, picking up the kids or travelling.

According to Google,

  • 3 out of 10 mobile searches lead to a valuable business result.

When a customer performs an online search on their smartphone and decides to visit your website, is your website mobile friendly? Have you checked how your website looks on a smartphone?

Your website needs to be mobile friendly to perform well on a smart phone. It has to be optimized for mobile to be useful to mobile customers. All the key content, navigation menus, images and forms need to be optimized for mobile and user friendly for the mobile customer.

An older website that was designed to perform well on desktops only will not perform well on a smartphone. The customer will have to pinch and zoom or scroll sideways to read any information. A lot of the information will only be partially visible or cut off. This will result in a frustrated customer who will leave your site for a competitor’s website and will probably never return.

3. People are engaging with their smartphones in “Micro-Moments” throughout the day

A Think With Google article on How Micro-Moments Are Changing the Rules talks about how Micro-Moments are influencing customer decisions.

Micro-Moments are dozens of targeted moments during the day that customers are engaging with their smartphones to look up information online.

According to the article, these micro-moments include:

  • I-want-to know moments- when customers are using their smartphones to search for information online
  • I-want-to-go moments- when the customer is searching for a local business or planning a trip to a store to shop
  • I-want-to-buy moments- when the customer is consulting her smartphone in a store and ready to buy
  • I-want-to-do moments- When the customer is looking for help on how to do something.

According to the Think With Google article,

  • 91% of people use their smartphones to find additional information while they are working on something
  • 82% of people check their smartphones while they are in a store to make shopping decisions

These micro-moments are very focused on using smartphones to accomplish a task.

4. A mobile friendly website ensures that your business is present across the purchasing journey

At these crucial decision-making micro-moments when your customer is searching for information, your business must be present to succeed.

When the customer is looking for the information they need, your website must provide valuable information in a mobile friendly format.

Your website has to assist the customer with the information they need to make his decision.

Your website has to be mobile friendly to perform well and provide a positive user experience to the customer.

5. Google ranks Mobile friendly websites higher in search rankings

On April 21, 2015, Google began to use mobile-friendliness as a search ranking factor. This means that Mobile friendly websites receive higher search rankings and appear higher on Google search engine listings when a relevant search is performed.

All our search engine optimization or SEO efforts are focused on optimizing our websites to get a higher search ranking on Google. A lot of the search methods used by Google are not directly under our control.

However, ensuring that you have a mobile friendly website is something you can control. It is one more method to improve your website SEO and Google search rankings.

Today, Google is the largest search engine and controls about 65% of search traffic. This makes having a mobile friendly website essential to getting higher search rankings on Google.

6. Google Is Testing A New Mobile-First Search Index

Today Google’s search index looks at the desktop version of a web page to decide if it is relevant to a user search. The desktop version of the web page is then listed in the search engine rankings results pages.

According to the Google Webmaster Central Blog, this is soon to change. The article titled Mobile-First Indexing, published on November 4, 2016, states that Google is testing a new Mobile-First search index.

Google states in the article that their Mobile-First search index will continue to be a single index for both mobile and desktop versions of a website. However, it will use the mobile version of the website to determine search rankings.

Most online searches today on Google and others are taking place on mobile devices. The current Google search index evaluates the desktop version of a website first. If the mobile version of a website is different from the desktop version of a site, the actual page that the user sees on the search results will be different. This is why Google is changing their search index to make it mobile-first to ensure that the mobile version of the website is seen on mobile devices.

If you have a responsive website, no changes are needed. A responsive website is designed with responsive web design. The advantage of a responsive site is that the same content is used for both desktop and mobile versions of a website. The site is mobile friendly and will scale in size to fit the size of the device that is used for browsing- whether it is a smartphone, desktop or laptop.

According to the article, websites that have only desktop versions will continue to be indexed.

Google has been increasingly focusing on a Mobile First strategy and this is one more indication of how important Mobile has become. It is very important to have a mobile friendly website with responsive design to ensure that your website ranks well in Google search rankings.

7. Mobile Friendly websites should have Responsive Web Design

Do you need to have a separate Mobile site and a desktop website? Certainly Not! You only need to have a single Responsive website.

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is used to develop mobile friendly websites. With Google soon introducing a new Mobile-First search index, Responsive Design becomes even more important. A website that is Responsive will ensure that the key information is available across both mobile and desktop searches.

Google recommends using Responsive Web Design over other web design types

The advantage of responsive web design or RWD is that you only need to update and maintain a single website on a single url. The same website will be designed to scale in size and perform well on all types of devices from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops.

If you have an older desktop website, you can have a new mobile friendly or responsive website built for you by a web developer.

Conclusion

Mobile is re-defining the way we live and do business. Consider how often you yourself use your smartphone throughout the day for looking up online information. How often have you quit a website in frustration when it took to long to load or was un-readable on your smartphone?

Mobile friendly websites are essential for every business, small or large. A mobile friendly website is the foundation of your online marketing strategy. It is the online hub for all your marketing efforts.

All your marketing efforts refer customers to your website. Your business card, brochure and all your social media efforts direct customers to your website for more information. Make sure your website is designed to be responsive and mobile friendly. A mobile friendly website is absolutely essential to compete in business today.

First Published: October 17, 2016. Updated: January 20, 2017.

Sources

  1. Think with Google, How Micro-Moments are changing the rules, Sridhar Ramaswamy, April 2015,
    https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-micromoments-are-changing-rules.html
  2. Google Webmaster Central Blog, Mobile-First Indexing, November 4, 2016, https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html
  3. Search Engine Land, Within months, Google to divide its index, giving mobile users better & fresher content, Barry Schwartz, October 13, 2016, http://searchengineland.com/google-divide-index-giving-mobile-users-better-fresher-content-261037
  4. Pew Research Center, Technology Device Ownership: 2015

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Gold Mango Design LLC. helps small and medium businesses establish a strong online marketing presence. We design WordPress websites, Responsive or Mobile-friendly websites and Custom websites. We provide internet marketing services including SEO or Search Engine Optimization and Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click services. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com

 
 

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