We’ve all heard that having an online presence is essential for business owners in today’s digital marketplace. If you haven’t already got a website, you are probably looking at making one yourself, or getting one designed for you.
This is great for your company’s exposure, as most people prefer to search for information about goods and services online first, before making contact with you.
So, you have a website set up and you are all set, right? Well, not exactly.
The way that we access the internet is changing. Now, you’ve probably heard this a few times before, but mobile devices really are becoming the preferred way that people get online and browse the internet.
According to Statista, the worldwide stats on internet device usage show that mobile reached 51.89% of global traffic in 2018. This means that tomorrow’s internet user is far more likely to be visiting your website on a mobile device than on a desktop or laptop.
In order for you to make the most out of your online efforts, you will need to make sure that your website displays itself perfectly on the ever growing number of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. To do that, you need to design your webpage with mobile optimization in mind.
What is mobile optimization?
Mobile optimization in a few ways. A popular method is to create a responsive website, which means that the overall structure and body of the website changes and resizes itself according to the size of the screen. This is an easy way to ensure that your website is viewable on both desktop and mobile devices.
Another more involved method is to create a second version of your website – a mobile site that has been optimized for touch screen devices. This website has to contain the same content as your desktop site, so that Google’s search index ranks both pages equally.
Google will then promote the mobile version of the site above the desktop site, making it a far more likely target for your potential clients to land on. It is for this reason that you must make sure that all of your company’s most relevant information is accessible on both versions of your website, especially your mobile one.
Luckily there are many different website building applications and services that can help you create the perfect mobile website, or test the responsiveness of your existing website, and make changes as they are needed.
Why optimize for mobile when PCs are so common?
If you had asked this question 10 years ago, then the answer would be “You shouldn’t”. But things have changed drastically in a relatively small amount of time, and the overwhelming sentiment is that mobile users are becoming the biggest user base for internet activities.
As a result, PCs and laptops are far less common than they once were. The trend of smart device adoption is on an ever climbing trajectory for mobile device dominance, while the sales on new computers and laptops are at all time lows, and dropping.
This is due to the fact that most people find that the intuitive design and overall user friendly nature of smart devices make them a better choice than larger devices like laptops and desktops.
So, generally speaking, the notion that desktop PCs and laptops are still king of the hill in the consumer tech space is no longer true. That is not to say that you won’t have any desktop and laptop users logging onto your website, but the numbers are set to dwindle significantly in the coming years.
More reasons to optimize
The overarching principle that should be applied to your website is that it should give the users what they came for. You should think about how a mobile user’s needs might be better served by your mobile site. Ideally, you want your customers to feel glad that they visited your brand online, and not frustrated.
The last thing that you need is negative customer feedback about what is essentially the first impression of your business, So, with this in mind, we look at other reasons you should consider when it comes to optimizing your website for mobile user consumption.
- Improves User Experience: Users need to be able to navigate your website with no extra effort, and in order to do that you need to ensure that the appropriate mobile optimizations have been made. By creating an online presence that is both fun to use and easy to navigate, you solidify the user experience, ensuring that your customers will come back.
- Increases the average time spent on your site by mobile users: It’s true: having a mobile optimized website will keep your mobile users engaged for longer. This is because an enjoyable experience will encourage your users to explore the length and breadth of your site.
- Websites load faster: When you optimize your website for mobile devices, it greatly decreases the loading times, and this is for a few reasons. Firstly, the different media types such as pictures and text will automatically render at the correct resolutions
This saves time because the pictures will not first load as full sized images, and then get resized afterwards. Text is a similar story. Instead of an entire page of text loading in the wrong format, and then rearranging themselves, the text will be generated at the correct font sizes and types.
- Mobile SEO boosts = better search results for your site: Where two different versions of a website exist (traditional and mobile versions), the mobile version receives preference and is displayed first for mobile users. This means that a potential competitor that has a mobile website will be more likely to appear higher up on Google’s search results than your traditional desktop website.
When you compound this over the course of a few months, or even years, then it adds up to large numbers of lost business that you could have turned into revenue.
- Gives you the edge against competing websites: This is where it makes a lot of business sense for your online enterprise, whether you are a one man (or woman) organization, or a corporate powerhouse. Having mobile optimized websites will get you ahead of your competitors in search results, and is an excellent way to bring more business in to bolster your balance sheet.
Mobile user growth projections, where is the technology headed?
There has been a definite rise in mobile and smart device usage in recent years, and we can expect to see the trend continue on. There are a few matters that might change things in the future, mainly related to smart speakers and smart watches.
These devices often have no displays built into them, and provide information via voice activated AI systems, allowing users to control smart home devices, music and built in assistant commands such as reminders and alarm clock alerts. How much of the market share they take over is yet to be seen, but the smartphone and tablet platforms are certainly here to stay.
Other innovations that will help to define the way that users connect to the internet are coming out of the telecommunications space – mainly the 5G standard.
The faster mobile internet speeds will change the way that mobile web pages are created, as well as the content that will be served from them. Having almost no limitations on data transfers, when compared to the current internet speeds that we are limited to at the present.
Until then, we can expect mobile site development to continue innovating and optimizing the way that mobile websites are created and deployed on the internet.
Optimizing your website for mobile is something that has to be seriously considered, especially if your website offers functionality that can’t be accessed from anywhere else.
Your website is often the first place of contact that your users will encounter, and if you can make them feel connected to your company and brand, then you are far more likely to make a sale, or retain a customer.
Your mobile audience expects you to provide them with a platform that is accessible and as fully functionally built as the desktop.