5 facts about mobile-friendly websites that every business should consider
Back in March, Google’s announcement that mobile-friendly websites will rank higher than sites that aren’t mobile-friendly caused controversy and a storm of comment.
To sort the fact from the fiction and to put Google’s decision in context, here are the five essential facts we believe you need to bear in mind.
- The rankings will only apply to smartphone search results. So if you are a garden designer based in Horsham, for example, your listing on mobiles and tablets is likely to lose ranking over a period of time, because mobile-friendly websites will be ranked higher by Google and your site will be ranked lower. The result is very likely to be fewer visitors and consequently fewer leads.
- The number of global users of mobile devices has now overtaken the number of desktop users, a tipping point that was reached in early 2014: conclusive proof that mobile marketing is hugely significant to your business and likely to be even more so in the future.
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Research in the US and Europe also shows they ‘multi-acess’ the internet across a variety of devices, with smart watches, smart TV and smart wristbands complementing PCs/laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles.
- In the US in 2015 to date, average mobile internet usage time is now equal to time spent on desktop, laptop and other connected devices. So if you aren’t able connecting with your customers through mobile searches you are likely to miss out to competitors who are.
- Mobile customers also behave differently. 2014 research shows conversion and ‘add to cart’ rates on tablets, iPads and Kindle Fires exceed those for PCs/laptops. However, smartphone conversion rates are almost half those from desktop devices.
- Drilling further down, recent research suggests that in the UK, women are more likely than men to own an iPhone, tablet or Kindle Fire.
- All the above means you need to consider the nature of your customer base. What is their demographic? Are the majority male or female? How old are they and what is the penetration of smartphones and tablets for that age group? Losing ranking for smartphone searches is going to affect your business a great deal more if you sell houses than if you sell hearing aids. But for most businesses, every lead counts so even losing a small percentage of leads because your site is losing ranking on smartphones and tablets is still a problem.
And here’s a final factor, overlooked but nevertheless important to your business. It isn’t simply impatience of convenience that makes mobile-friendly sites appealing. With their (usually) vertical design and imposed simplicity, mobile sites have a speed and graphic appeal sometimes lacking from their desktop versions. Compare the National Gallery’s main website with its mobile version and you’ll see what we mean. Having everything vertically stacked has focused the marketers’ minds on prioritising the ‘sizzle’, hooking visitors in with clear, fast navigation and making the top of the landing page as appealing as possible.
For all the above reasons, we would always recommend at Two Lizards that any new site has a mobile-friendly version from the word go. You can see some examples of our work by using you smartphone or tablet to visit www.showerpower.co.uk, www.truebeautysalon.co.uk or www.nichollsboreholes.co.uk [or www.akikosmusicroom.com ] And we can help you make the most of your mobile and smartphone exposure with a range of complementary marketing services including SEO, blogging/social media and (unusually) local business listings consultancy and management.
One thing is certain. With the move to mobile become a tidal wave, ignoring the need for mobile-friendly website isn’t going to go away and it’s likely to affect your marketing even more as we move forward to 2016 and beyond.
Like to find out more? Simply contact us or call us now on 01403 731028. We’d love to talk.