Have you ever looked at a website on your phone and had to zoom in to see or read something? Were you annoyed? The answer is probably yes, and you aren't alone in that. So what happened? Well, in short, that website wasn't mobile-friendly or mobile responsive.
You've probably heard the words "mobile responsive" and "mobile-friendly," but do you know what they mean? AWeber describes mobile responsiveness as "a website or email displayed on a mobile device that automatically adjusts it's sizing, layout, and proportions to display in a legible manner on the device." Basically, it just means that the website is designed to fit the screen that you're looking at it on. This generally involves readable text without zooming, proper spacing for buttons, and no horizontal scrolling.
Those phrases are used interchangeably through most of the internet, but there are a lot of differences between them. Mobile friendly usually is a single design that works well across numerous platforms, like desktop and mobile. The content stays static and looks typically the same as the desktop version, just shrunk to fit a mobile screen.
Mobile responsive, on the other hand, is dynamic content and design that moves and adapts based on the device size. The layout is different with each device, optimized specifically for that user. And while mobile-friendly is okay, the industry is moving more and more toward mobile responsive designs since they provide a better user experience (we'll talk about this later).
Well, while it might not seem like a huge thing, it is and should be one of the top priorities when designing a website. In 2016, the number of smartphone users surpassed 2 billion. Your consumers are online, and they're using their mobile devices to get there. Over 60 percent of online searches now come from a mobile device.
Not only are your customers online, but they're also looking for a good experience. For example, 40 percent of users have gone to a competitor's website after a poor mobile experience. That's a lot of consumers that could be leaving your site for your competition.
Making your website mobile responsive isn't just a perk you should add to your website—it's essential to the quality of your website.
Mobile responsive websites have so many benefits. Not only does it make it easier for your customers to see and understand the information on your website, but it also creates a better user experience.
User experience is the overall interaction the user has with a product, like a website. It can vary from how long it takes for a page to load, how the navigation is set up, if there are calls-to-action, and so much more. And it's essential to take that into account when designing your website or writing content. Fifty-two percent of online shoppers claim that quick page loading influences their loyalty to a site. Even beyond that, it costs you money. Slow-loading websites cost retailers an estimated $2 billion in lost sales each year. That's a lot of people that could become loyal customers to your competition if you're not paying attention to their overall experience. And you need to start paying attention to user experience now. Only 55 percent of companies are currently conducting any user experience testing.
Start paying attention to user experience now and get a jump on your competition.
By ensuring your site is mobile responsive, you gain a potentially higher reach to the customers using smaller devices. That's expanding your customer base to audience members you might not have talked to before. And if your site is mobile-responsive, they're more likely to come back. Seventy-four percent of people are likely to return to a website if it is optimized for mobile. You get to reach new potential customers and potentially create more brand loyalty at the same time.
Beyond that, a responsive design can help your SEO. Search engines are looking at user experience more closely when determining your SEO, meaning your user experience is crucial for your site to be easily found. For proof, Google drives 96 percent of mobile search traffic and recommends responsive design as a best practice.
Having a mobile responsive website and looking at user experience has never been more critical. You could be losing out on sales, more loyal customers, and higher reach. Take a look at your website from the point of view of a customer. Would you stay on it?
Dani James is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications from Arkansas State University with focuses in Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media Management.
When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, and watching The Office.