It is doubtful that any type of technology has ever changed as rapidly as the world wide web. In the space of less than three decades the web as we know it has changed in leaps and bounds, from the static “First Website” to today’s interactive powersites like Facebook.com. With all these changes, the way we browse the web has changed as well. Many of the changes to the web were made specifically to accommodate changing trends and user habits. One of these changes is the move to mobile friendly or responsive websites. But why is it important to make sure that your website is responsive or mobile friendly?
Improved user experience
Gone are the days when users would go to their PC and switch it on just to browse the web or search for something on Google. These days all the information in the known universe is available to you on a device the size of your palm that you carry around in your pocket.
In 2015, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) found that 47% of all South Africans use smartphones on a daily basis. They also found that 57% of all internet traffic in South Africa originates from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Since mobile devices have smaller screens, visitors to non-responsive websites have to zoom in and out in order to navigate the site. Because of this they can easily miss important information. Normal websites also have smaller buttons and text, making them hard to read and navigate on a mobile device. In 61% of cases a user will leave your site and go to your competitors’ rather than go through the effort required to navigate a normal website on a mobile device.
Responsive websites automatically adjust the layout, text and image size to the size of the screen that’s used. This means that users can easily navigate the site and get the information they want without zooming or scrolling around.
Increased lead generation
Responsive websites can be configured and designed in such a way that people can easily contact you. For example, you can use a special kind of link with the telephone number on your website so that visitors using mobile devices can just click to call you. No copying and pasting or manually entering the number. This functionality can give you an added edge over your competition.
Improved search visibility
With the number web users browsing from mobile devices, it isn’t at all surprising that Google found that around 60% of all searches on its search engine are done from mobile devices. In South Africa alone that statistic is close to 70%. For that reason, Google began giving preference to mobile friendly or responsive websites as of the 21st of April 2015. Though the initial impact of this change wasn’t as far-reaching as expected, it is bound to increase as more people start using mobile devices to search. This increase is already happening due to mobile apps like the Google app and the Google Assistant that make mobile searches as easy as a voice command.
So no matter how well your site is Search Engine Optimised (SEO’d), if it isn’t mobile friendly or responsive chances are your search engine ranking and performance will be lower than it could be.
Hopefully you can now see that it is of the utmost importance to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. To test it properly, you can use Google’s own testing tool at https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly. Or to get your site mobile friendly, feel free to contact Hosting101 for assistance and guidance.