Mobile, mobile, mobile. It’s all we hear about today! Ugh! Well, we’re hearing about mobile because it’s absolutely exploding. Mobile website traffic that is.
Why Having a Mobile Optimized Website Matters
One of our clients was getting about 10% of their website visits from mobile devices in December of 2013. Just 6 months later, that percentage rose to 40%! Then, in August, it hit 60+%. Wow. More than half their visitors were viewing their website on a mobile device!
I’ve got a quick action step for you. Log-in to your Google Analytics right now and check your mobile traffic percentages. Or, if you have a webmaster, send him or her a quick email and ask for it.
Not sure where to look? Here’s a quick screen shot on the left and below. Log in to your Google Analytics dashboard and look at the left navigation. Find “mobile” and click on “Overview”. Then scroll down a bit and look at the percentages for mobile, tablet and desktop. Play around with the timeline and look at the mobile traffic in January of this year vs. this month. Chances are, it’s risen dramatically!
Mobile visits are on the rise because phones and tablets are getting much better in terms of screen size and resolution and more and more people are purchasing them. You can see this in the launch announcement of the iPhone 6.
In addition, everyone is spending more and more TIME on these mobile devices. 75% of Americans admit they bring their phones to the bathroom and 4 out of 5 shoppers use their smartphone to shop.
Here are some things to consider about mobile website traffic:
- Your bounce rate is higher with mobile traffic, but it will skyrocket if you don’t have a good mobile site. (Bounce rate is the number of visitors that leave after visiting just 1 page on your site)
- You’re missing out on leads if you get a visitor and they don’t take action. You miss out on more leads if your site isn’t mobile ready.
- You frustrate visitors trying to find information if you don’t have a good mobile website.
I don’t think I need to make more of a case for the NEED for a mobile ready website, but just in case you aren’t convinced, look at these stats here.
What is a Mobile Optimized Website Anyway?
By now, you’re probably thinking, “Ok, Spence I need a mobile optimized website. What does that actually mean?”
A mobile optimized website is a website that is specifically designed for mobile devices. Mobile devices include smartphones of all sizes and tablets like iPads. Mobile devices have different screen sizes than desktops and laptops, so it’s important that your website displays your content in a visually appealing way. The goal is to make it so that your visitors don’t have to zoom in and scroll all over the place to read your content. Navigation is bigger and is in a toolbar. Font sizes are bigger and you should really only need to scroll down. Not sideways. You’ve probably been on a mobile optimized website before. It looks a little something like this:
See how the words and buttons fit the screen? This is much better than forcing users to zoom in on your website with their fingers. That can be time confusing and frustrating.
What Are Your Options for Mobile Optimized Sites?
There are actually a few different options for creating mobile optimized sites, but there’s really only one route you should take.
1. Separate Mobile Site
One option for creating a mobile optimized site is to create a separate mobile website. This was common a few years ago. The idea is that you build a site that has different content, different menu structure and looks much more simplistic. When someone visits your website (www.XYZRemodeling.com) from a mobile device, they are automatically re-directed to your mobile site (usually something like m.XYZRemodeling.com).
The good thing about this option is that you can provide your users with a much better experience on your mobile site than your main website. However, the downside to this option is that you have two separate websites to manage and there is different content on your mobile site compared to your desktop site. This can be a big negative for users that find some information on your mobile site and want to go back later when they get home. However, when they load up your website on their desktop they can’t find that information, because it’s different.
In addition, Google has stated that Responsive Design is the new best practice for mobile.
2. Responsive Design
Responsive design means that you have one website, one set of pages and they all dynamically adjust sizing and layout based on the device someone is on. Here’s an example of a responsive site viewed on various devices:
You can tell if a website is responsive by opening it in a desktop browser and then dragging the width of the browser window until it’s skinny, like a phone.
Just minimize your browser and drag it all the way to the left. Remodelers Advantage is responsive, so you can try it on this website right now to see what I mean. Notice how the content dynamically morphs and adjusts based on the width of the browser?
If you don’t have a mobile optimized site right now, I definitely recommend going the responsive design route. Anytime Google recommends something as a best practice, it’s always a good idea to follow that.
Next Steps for Ensuring You’re Mobile Ready
Okay, let’s take a look at some good next steps for you.
Step 1. Take out your phone right now and navigate to your website. How does it look? Is it tiny? Do you have to pinch-and-zoom to read anything? Does the content flow off the side so that you have to do a finger-waggle just to read a complete sentence? Then you don’t have a mobile optimized website.
Step 2. Contact your existing website design company and tell them you need to get mobile! If you’d like an unbiased third-party opinion before speaking with them, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to give you our expert opinion…even if you’re not working with us. 🙂
Phone FAQ image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net