How much time have you spent online today? Of that time, how much of it was via a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet? If you’re like many of us, it’s a lot. While mobile usage has skyrocketed in the last few years, many small businesses have been slow to build a mobile friendly website. I’m hoping that is about to change.
Why Do We Love Mobile So Much?
I own an iPhone 5 and a Retina iPad. Since I purchased those devices my own mobile usage has increased drastically. I use both devices to read and response to email, check on projects, invoice clients, order presents, check social media websites, and play silly games like Words With Friends.
While I spend much of my day on my desktop, I use my mobile devices at night or on the weekends when I’m with my family. It keeps me connected to my digital world and my commitments to our customers and our staff. It keeps me mobile and it allows me to zip out on a Friday afternoon to have ice cream with my kids, because I know I’m still able to manage my responsibilities.
This increased usage isn’t just a trend brought on by nerds like me. Everyone is using their mobile devices and using them a lot. My seven year old drags his iPad everywhere and my thirteen year old panics if her smartphone is out of site. And it isn’t just the young or tech savvy crowd. My mother-in-law and her boyfriend both have tablets and smartphones. They also have a hotspot device so they can connect to the internet via these devices when up north and away from home. They may call me the geek, but they have their own sense of nerdiness and it didn’t come from me. It is part of our society and culture.
Interesting Mobile Trends
- One-third of cell owners (33%) say that their phone is a smartphone (Source: Pew Research Center)
- In a 2013 retailer survey 29% of retailers said more than 20% of their traffic was coming from the mobile web or mobile apps (Source: Marketing Land)
- U.S. mobile Web use has doubled since 2009 (Source: CNN)
- Smartphones and tablets have nearly doubled the time we’re online in the past 3 years (Source: comScore)
- 25% of all smartphone owners do most of their online browsing on their mobile phone (Source: Pew Research Center)
Are You Considering Creating a Mobile Friendly Website?
Up until this year mobile friendly websites were a luxury of large brands or companies with big IT budgets. Then a little thing called responsive design arrived and it changed the mobile landscape for the average business.
Responsive web design allows website developers to best utilize the available screen real estate on desktop and mobile devices. The website adapts in layout without removing massive amounts of web content.
What was once considered a costly expenditure is now part of the standard website design project. Businesses no longer have to create two independent websites or pay to support two websites. They can develop one website that simply adapts to accommodate the smaller footprint of mobile devices.
Benefits of Using Responsive Design
- Captures more mobile traffic
- Captures higher ranking and more search traffic for local terms and phrases
- Improves overall bounce rates because it cuts down on mobile user frustration
- Avoids duplicate content that can result from managing two websites
- Increases online sales (yes people really do buy products off of mobile devices)
- Cheaper than developing separate websites for desktop and mobile usage
- Saves development time because you create only one website
- Provides a consistent user experience across devices (as opposed two multiple websites that look and act differently)
Responsive Design According to Google
Still not drinking my mobile kool-aid? Let’s take a look at some quotes directly from Google on the subject.
- “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.”
- Responsive web design “keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL, which is easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to and for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.”
- “Google can discover your content more efficiently as we wouldn’t need to crawl a page with the different Googlebot user agents to retrieve and index all the content.”
Ready to Go Mobile?
If you’re ready to give your business a mobile friendly website you have a few options. You can hire a website developer to create a custom mobile responsive website that is designed around your business and needs. Or if budget is a major concern, you could purchase a stock WordPress theme that is already mobile responsive.
We’re here to help with either route you’d like to take. Visit our theme store to see some of the great designs we have available for mobile responsive websites or contact us and we’ll create a custom design just for you.