Why A Mobile-Optimized Website Is A Must-Have
It was almost ten years ago when tech analyst Mary Meeker predicted mobile web browsing would overtake that of PC and laptop use. Fast forward to 2017 and consumer browsing habits highlight this as a fact – and woe-betide any website that isn’t optimised for mobile!
There are a number of compelling reasons why any business with an online presence has to cater for users on all platforms. But, more than just being able to access your website from a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, they need to be able to use and engage with the website easily. And – in the case of mobile users – with just one hand.
Consumers Spend a Lot More Time Browsing via Mobile
Data from comScore shows that in August 2016 – the most recent date the figures cover – US consumers spent 87 hours per month browsing on their smartphones. The same report shows just 34 hours were spent browsing the web on laptops and desktops.
With that statistic fixed in your mind, it’s clear to see why ensuring your website works equally well across all platforms, is an essential function of your online offering. When it comes to mobile that means:
- Text the right size that doesn’t require re-sizing.
- Not too many videos, content and images, particularly on a mobile homepage.
- Easy to find and navigate links and pages.
- Touch screen responsiveness.
- The ability to make a purchase or send a message in a few quick touches.
- A fast download speed of all your pages across all platforms.
Get your Mobile Layout Right
Of course, most websites are initially designed for laptops or desktops – although that’s probably evolving, even as of this writing! But, as it is – currently still the norm, it stands to reason that most websites start out as being perfect for laptop or desktop usage.
However, we’re talking about the importance of mobile-friendly websites, so let’s focus on that.
One way to ensure your website works well across all platforms is to use a responsive technology framework. This type of site is based on a grid that automatically re-sizes and shifts to suit the device the site is being viewed on. That makes it a great option that means you don’t need to design a number of different site layouts, as it automatically works with what you have and makes it work for the user.
But, to make it work across all platforms, you’ll need to ensure the design of your website is suitable for all of them too. That means having a homepage that isn’t too cluttered with content, links, images or videos. Instead, go for a simple, but striking layout. One that’s easy to navigate with all the most important links easy to find and clearly identified.
Rankings are Almost as Important as the Consumer Experience
If you use a responsive technology framework with a site that has a lot going on, particularly on the homepage, you’re going to encounter a number of problems that will also hurt your google rankings. For instance, a slower page download speed pushes you down the rankings, as does a site that isn’t well optimised for mobile.
There are a number of open-use (or free to use) such frameworks available online, so it doesn’t have to be a major change or investment for you. But, in the competition to keep consumers engaged, its one you can’t afford to make.
However you create a website that is as mobile-friendly as it is for laptop usage, the important thing is that you do it. If you don’t, it’s likely your potential customers will browse elsewhere and that Google will move you slowly down their list, too.