Industry10 Reasons Your Website Needs to be Mobile Optimized

Jacob McMillen
writes on October 1, 2015

Share with your friends










Submit

You’ve heard it before.

Not once. Not twice. I probably can’t even count it on two hands.

It’s no secret that mobile is here to stay. It’s no secret that businesses need to begin thinking about mobile users.

But why?

Sure, we all know that a responsive site makes mobile browsing simpler. But what makes this a NEED? Why is mobile-optimization a must for YOUR business?

Check out these 10 reasons your website can’t afford to remain unresponsive, and then see how Crazy Egg can help you optimize your mobile site.

1. Everyone’s on mobile.

We are no longer living in a world where smartphone users can be considered the exceptions.

We are not even living in a world where excessive smartphone users can be considered exceptions.

Today, 1.2 billion people are accessing the web from mobile devices. An incredible 80% of all internet users use a smartphone. In other words, if they’re online, they are most likely on their phones.

And today’s statistics are only half the story. These numbers will be even more skewed towards mobile in the future. Simply put, you NEED to be thinking mobile, because EVERYONE is on mobile.

2. Over half of web traffic is mobile.

I have yet to meet a website owner who wasn’t interested in increasing traffic.

As of May, 2014 (over a year ago), mobile media consumption was 21% higher than that of desktop, accounting for a 51% of ALL digital media consumption.

This means that over half of all web traffic is via mobile. If you are interested in attracting mobile traffic (aka traffic), you need to be thinking mobile.

The obvious question that comes up here is, “Why can’t mobile users just engage with my desktop site via their phones?”

The answer to that is…

3. Mobile users behave differently.

While it’s theoretically the same people behind both mobile and desktop traffic, these people tend to behave differently across devices.

Despite limited bandwidth, mobile users tend to consume a disproportionately high amount of visual media, with a major focus on short video and images. Social media sites like Vine and Instagram achieved massive success from offering solely video and images respectively.

Capturing this traffic requires an optimized design, harnessing the power of these media types to engage users.

For example, when Bryan Harris switched to SumoMe’s mobile-optimized share bar, his social shares immediately DOUBLED.

Source

Imagine doubling your traffic with a few tweaks. This took literally 5 minute of Bryan’s time.

Making these adjustments is crucial for your bottom line, because…

4. Mobile users buy more.

Across devices, mobile users actually spend more than their desktop counterparts.

Smartphone users account for the lowest dollar amount per transaction. These users are conditioned to make small, frequent purchases. If you are attempting to sell something below $10, mobile users are an ideal audience for your offer.

Tablet users, on the other hand, have the highest average transaction value of any device, including desktops.

Source

But these users probably won’t be purchasing from your site if the mobile UX is poor.

5. Mobile users switch screens.

According to surveys, 90% of people switch between devices to accomplish a goal.

This means that even if desktop is handling the bulk of your conversions, users WILL engage with your site via mobile at some point in the sales process. Often, users will browse on their phones while bored, looking for things that interest them, and then move to a desktop to complete the purchase once the’ve found something that catches their eye.

If your site can’t handle every type of screen, you are missing out on sales.

6. Mobile landing pages require different strategies.

Your landing page is your conversion workhorse. It HAS to get the job done if you are interested in generating online revenue.

But did you know that what works for desktop landing pages is NOT the same as what works for mobile landing pages? Certain principles remain constant, but mobile screens can’t handle the same style of presentation you would employ on a full desktop screen.

If your business is hoping to take advantage of the small, frequent purchasing behavior of mobile users, you’ll need to create responsive landing pages with mobile users in mind.

According to GetResponse, mobile landing pages should include the following:

  • 5-word headlines
  • Minimalist design
  • Bright button CTA
  • Lightning fast page-load speed

7. Google favors mobile responsiveness

For some time now, Google has favored mobile friendliness in its SERP rankings.

As of April, however, the stakes have been raised, and mobile responsiveness is more important than ever for pleasing Google and acquiring organic traffic.

With Google’s latest major algorithm update, the company enacted significant penalties for websites failing to meet its standards for mobile friendliness. While this change wasn’t quite the “mobile-geddon” SEO’s predicted, it did create some waves, with mobile friendly pages taking much less of a hit.

Source

If you are serious about improving your organic traffic (or simply not losing it), you need to optimize your website for mobile.

8. Social media referrals are on mobile.

91% of mobile internet access is used for social activities. As social media continues to grow and evolve, it’s finding its primary hub on mobile devices.

If your business is involved social media marketing of any sort, there is a better than average chance incoming traffic will be accessing your site via mobile devices.

An unresponsive site can negate your content marketing efforts and waste your paid advertising dollars. If you want to take full advantage of your social audiences, you need a site designed to seamlessly catch their social browsing click-throughs.

9. Great mobile sites differentiate your brand.

By this point, if your brand has yet to optimize its website, you may be feeling like you need to play catchup.

While that’s true to some extent, the reality is that many sites remain unoptimized for mobile. According to a recent survey, only 56% of small business websites are responsive.

What does this mean for your business?

It means you have a fantastic opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. Statistically, nearly half you competitors could have unoptimized sites. Furthermore, a big chunk of those who have implemented responsive design are probably doing a pretty poor job of it.

Optimized your site for mobile is an easy way to immediately gain an edge.

10. Mobile advertising is still underutilized.

In the same way that mobile offers an incredible opportunity for brand differentiation, it also offers an unparalleled opportunity in advertising returns.

Americans currently spend 24% of their time on mobile devices, and yet only 8% of ad spending goes toward mobile advertising. According to Kleiner Perkins, this represents a $25 billion opportunity gap.

Underutilized = cost-efficient

Today is a prime time for investing in mobile advertising, but the channel won’t be underutilized for long. In the next 3 years, mobile ad spending is projected to hit $42 billion, quickly eliminating the opportunity gap and bringing up costs as the demand continues to increase.

Source

Now is the time to invest in mobile ad spending, and you need a responsive design to accomplish this.

Get Mobile

The first step to optimizing for mobile is implementing a responsive website design.

Check out Treehouse’s web design courses for everything you need to begin designing responsive websites.

The second step is optimizing your marketing efforts for mobile within your responsive design. This involves analyzing how customers are engaging with your site and adjusting accordingly.

Crazy Egg is offering an exclusive 90-day free trial for Treehouse readers to help you do just that. Crazy Egg lets you observe exactly how users are behaving on your mobile and desktop sites, allowing you to give potential clients more of what they want and less of what they don’t.

Click here to start your free Crazy Egg trial.

19 Responses to “10 Reasons Your Website Needs to be Mobile Optimized”

  1. It is true that most internet traffic is mobile, especially when I think about myself. I pretty much only use my computer for school and work, left to my own devices I will pretty much always use my phone. Also, a mobile-friendly website looks good to customers. It kind of shows that you are up to date and more put together. Thank you for all of your helpful information and tips!

  2. Great article indeed. And when you want to see how optimized your web pages actually are, run the URLs in Mobilizer and see how users on each type of device are actually viewing each page.

  3. Thanks for sharing useful ideas. The benefits of mobile optimization are clear. Today, most people use mobile devices to surf web. If your web design is responsive, that is an advantage and great experience.

  4. Great post, clearly mobile is important for reaching general public, no argument. But I looked in detail at a number of sites and believe that for many B2B companies it is not as critical. In my study in Jan 16 (http://www.global-river.co.uk/mobile-friendly-website) I have found that Mobile rankings are as much affected by the ratio of actual mobile users your site has rather than the mobile friendliness of the site. I also found that the ratio of mobile uses is not linked to the mobile friendliness of your site but to the business that you are in.

  5. Excellent point to learn mobile optimized website.

  6. Fantastic article , appreciate it

  7. I remember Web designer magazine doing a feature on the Mobile Web ten years ago. Predating the existence of responsive design technologies. Certainly the world has shifted in that direction significantly since.

    I recently updated my website (which had been responsive before), to be fully responsive and adapt well to any browser width. These days you can’t ignore mobile users, and whenever I tell someone that I have a website, they immediately whip out their phone and want to take a gander.

    Great article!

  8. Great! Can’t agree more to this. 🙂

  9. Valuable read. Thanks for this.

    There is HUGE untapped potential in the mobile marketing sphere and I’m not sure why businesses in general haven’t realized this.

    Perhaps it’s an adjustment to the Millennial generation – a change of thinking and behavior is required from marketers. In addition, not enough research is being done on target markets (mobile users) and I suppose many marketers assume that what works on desktop will work for mobile.

    In essence, the transformation is significantly slower than it should be, and this may be due to fear/lack of research/a one-size-fits-all mentality.

    • Thanks Cassie!

      I think a lot of people simply don’t have the expectation that this game is changing every year. As soon as you learn something, it’s going to already be somewhat outdated. It takes a lot of hard work just to keep up, let alone innovate.

  10. Mobile Optimized site is a must nowadays, especially if you are making money out of your website.

    Great stuff guys.

    Thanks.

  11. Im surprised im the first to comment how lame this ad disguised as a blog post is.

      • Yes, i know what content marketing is. But as a paying Treehouse subscriber, I dont want to be sold 3rd party products through the blog I read as a student.

        If we could get a warning that the following blog post is Sponsored; that would make it tolerable.

        • Jacob McMillen on October 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm said:

          Gotcha. Well, I’m just the guy they brought in to talk about why you should be focusing on mobile, so I can’t help you there.

          Since the blog is free for anyone to read, I’m imagining your paid subscription has more to do with the 1000+ how-to videos than it does with the company blog.

          Best of luck

Leave a Reply

Learning to code can be fun!

Get started today with a free trial and discover why thousands of students are choosing Treehouse to learn about web development, design, and business.

Learn more