In a time where even a refrigerator can access the internet, it’s crucial that a website can be used universally across a family of devices. If someone can only access your website on the desktop you’ve already lost them to the competition. Mobile devices are increasingly becoming the norm and if your website can’t handle that, you’re in trouble.
As of this year, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic were from a mobile device. However, only about 35% of business websites are optimized for mobile. With numbers that high, it’s hard to imagine why mobile optimization hasn’t become a more forefront thought in web development. Not only will the outreach of a website be increased, it will also further the experience a user will have with your site.
If properly optimized, 73% of mobile searches result in users continuing to stay and use that site for more than what they originally searched for. The longer someone stays on your site, the bigger the payoff. Not only will you be able to sell your company and prove its worth to that user. But you will also prove it in the eyes of Google.
One of the many ways that Google ranks websites is as basic as how people are using that site. If someone clicks the link to your webpage, but immediately hits the back button because of compatibility issues; it’s going to hurt your ranking. When something negative like that is seen by Google it’s going to place your site lower and lower the more it happens. Pushing you from page one to the dreaded page two of search results. Having a website that can be used by anyone, anywhere, is going to help you get to that top spot with Google.
Another benefit to having mobile optimization in mind is that it adds credibility to your company. If you take the time and make sure your site is going to run smoothly across any device; people are going to notice. People want information as soon as they can access it. Having a website they can use to its full potential proves that your site is where they need to be.
There are so many different things to consider changing when optimizing for mobile devices. Having responsive design is only the first step. Some of the most important ones are also the ones most overlooked. The biggest factor should be content. For mobile it’s best to make sure that all photos and videos will load. And that they aren’t going to take up the entire screen when they do. It’s important to resize text and photos when viewing on mobile devices. Mobile users need to see and read all of your content.
The next step is to focus on interactivity. Don’t ignore drop down menus and navigation buttons. When a someone is using a thumb their precision is going to be a lot lower than a pointer from a mouse. So it’s important to make sure that menus will be able to scroll and buttons can resize for the device. If someone can’t navigate through a site they will give up and find another option.
Don’t forget to pay attention to loading speed. This is a deal breaker for so many users. If your site takes too long to load you’ve already lost them. And if you’ve lost your new users you’re taking a hit with Google as well. Mobile devices, load slower than a desktop. So making sure that having the right amount of content on pages and reduced image sizes will help cut off those smaller seconds of upload speed.
Every part of the a website experience matters to not only the user, but also to your company. In order to prove that you matter to users you need to be able to anticipate their needs. It’s not only important to know why do they need to come to you, but also how are they going to get to your site. By formatting things to allow every device, maybe even refrigerators, you’re catching that large percent of users’ other websites aren’t.