Why do you need a mobile website?

How much time have you spent on a mobile phone today?

If you are a statistical adult, you spend about 5 hours a day browsing the internet and social media using your phone.

During that time, you probably visited a dozen websites.

How would you describe those websites? Fast and simple? Easy to navigate? Clear and responsive? Or maybe you thought some of the sites were sluggish or difficult to use?

How about emails you got this week – did you have to “pinch” the screen to read the whole one? Did you have problems with images that didn’t want to load? Were you confused on having weird signs in your email?

Annoying right?

You just wanted to check what’s the contact address to one store but you can’t find the contact info while you are browsing the page on your mobile.

Or the page freezes and crashes your browser. Why couldn’t the company take better care of their website?

But how easy to use and mobile responsive is your website? Did you think about it?

If your answer is no, don’t worry, many companies didn’t bother with it either. “Why would our customers visit the website on a mobile device?” they thought.

That’s why some pages are difficult or even impossible to view on mobile devices, even today. The most common issues reported by mobile website users are:

  • Mobile sites don’t fit properly on a smaller screen size and are hard to navigate
  • Everything on the website is too small or too big, so the user has to pinch and zoom to see what they’re looking for
  • Page loads very slowly.
  • The links and buttons are too small, so the user repeatedly clicks the wrong button.
  • Website user has difficulties in finding the information he needs because there’s no search engine on the mobile website

You might have the most amazing and user – friendly desktop website out there but if it doesn’t work nearly as good on mobile devices (pictures don’t load and you just have weird signs instead of title, the font is too big or too small to read), you’re missing on a lot of opportunities to gain new clients!

53% of mobile users immediately abandon a website that isn’t optimised for mobile – so no, they are not going to wait until they get home to see your site on a proper computer!

What is mobile optimisation?

Putting this simply, mobile optimization is making your website as useful on any mobile device (smartphone, iPhone, tablet) as on a regular desktop.

It’s adding changes to your website so customers can quickly open, browse, select, and order your products while on a portable device they are using at the moment.

Types of mobile websites:  

  • Mobile friendly website: it’s a smaller version of your original website. It does work on mobile devices but isn’t the easiest to use – since everything on the website is smaller, the text is pretty hard to read without zooming, and you have to be extra careful to click on the correct button.
  • Mobile optimised website: A desktop website customised in such a way that it’s much easier to use on a mobile device than mobile friendly version. It has a larger font for the text to be easier to read, bigger “thumb friendly” buttons, fewer images to make the page load faster and simplified navigation. Such pages also give the visitors the option to switch to desktop version, if so they wish.
  • Mobile responsive website: The most advanced form of mobile websites. This type of sites rather than just detect are you mobile or a desktop user orientates itself and its content based on the screen size of your device. Such websites can seamlessly adapt itself to virtually any kind of mobile device and thus are the most comfortable and most pleasant to use (unfortunately, building such a page is also the most expensive).

As for which type is the best – well, there’s no precise answer. There are dozens of surveys, researches and stats on this topic and as for now, the results are relatively inconclusive.

There’s the only thing everyone is sure of – having a mobile website isn’t just a nice thing to do for your customers, it’s also an incredibly smart business move!

Nowadays, web users spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones.

Look around yourself when you are on a bus, when you are waiting for your ordered food or when you are in a queue – how many people are using their phones at the moment?

Probably many of them – browsing their social media account, checking their emails or reading the news. Is it surprising now that according to Statista, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones?

Not convinced? Here are more stats to show you that mobile usage is on the rise!

  • 57% of all US online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (BrightEdge, 2017)
  • About 3 in 5 consumers check their email on the go, and 75% of Americans say they use their smartphones most often to check email
  • 51% of customers say that they use mobile devices to discover new brands and products (BrightEdge, 2017)
  • 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on Mobile (Google, 2017)
  • 46% of people say they would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience (Google, 2017)
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub)
  • Over 40% of online transactions are now done on mobile (Google, 2017)
  • Smartphone users are 50% more likely to expect to purchase something immediately while using their smartphone compared to a year ago (Google, 2017)
  • More than 90% of buyers reporting a superior mobile experience say they are likely to buy from the same vendor again, compared to only 50% of those who had a poor experience.
I’m still not convinced I should get a mobile phone website, what can I gain from it?

That’s a good question! Optimising your website for mobiles will take time and effort but there’s a number of reasons why should you be doing this.

See the list of mobile website benefits:

Everyone has a mobile phone

In today’s world, having a mobile device and using it to browse the internet is no longer anything unusual.

A vast majority of people, including kids have a smartphone, and many also have a tablet device. 87% of millennials have their smartphone on their side day and night. Around 1.2 billion people are accessing the internet using mobile devices.

So in other words, if someone is online, it’s very likely they are using their mobile device right now.

Can you afford to ignore so many potential customers?

If you think today’s stats on mobile usage are impressive, just have a look at the predictions of mobile phone usage in the future! By 2020, it is predicted that there will be over 6 billions of smartphone users led and they will account for 80% of all mobile data traffic!  

Mobile users are buyers

As e-commerce’s popularity is growing every day, so is the amount of time and money consumers are spending using their mobile devices.

People are getting more and more comfortable with spending more money using mobile websites and apps –  well, as long as the buying process is quick and easy.

93% of people who use their mobile device to research a product will eventually make a purchase – that is unless you will turn them off with your website.

And with improved access to the mobile internet and the arrival of 5G service, e-commerce sales made using mobile devices are predicted to reach $12 billion by 2021!

Google gives favourable treatment to mobile response sites

Since April 2015, Google started to use mobile-friendliness as a parameter used to define website search rankings.

What does it mean?

Websites which have a dedicated mobile site or are optimised to work seamlessly on mobile devices are ranked higher by Google’s algorithm than websites that aren’t.

Google says the reason for this is that it makes it easier for users of various devices to find the best search results that can be viewed on their chosen device, whether it is a tablet or a smartphone.  

Google also released a tool designed for checking is your website mobile friendly – mobile-friendly test tool.

All you need to do is to enter your website address, and Google will tell you whether or not your site passes the test. If it fails, then it’s possible that your website takes a hit in Google’s ranking.

Over half of the whole traffic is now on mobile

According to Statista, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic in 2018 was generated through mobile phones. What this means is that already over half of all web traffic is via mobile and experts predict those numbers will only go up!

“Okay, but why can’t mobile users just use my desktop site on their phones?”, you probably want to ask. They can’t because…

Mobile users are different from desktop users

While technically it might be the same person that uses the internet on a desktop computer and a mobile phone, the way they use the internet is way different.

When using a regular desktop website, people are sitting comfortably and have more time to read through longer pieces of text and find the information they need.

But when on a mobile, speed and efficiency is the key.

People check mobile websites when they’re standing in line at the store, waiting for their food to be served or sitting in the bus – meaning, they have way less time (and many distractions more) to find the information they want.

The thing is, a basic website does not look well when viewed on a small screen of a portable device. If the page does even load, visitors have to zoom the content or swipe across the screen to read the text and have problems with finding the information they came for.

The visitor does not have time for this, so he/she abandons the page, to look for one that gives them the information they need faster.

Can you afford to lose potential customers just because your webpage isn’t optimised for mobile devices?    

How can I optimise my website for mobiles?

Ready for optimising your website?

Here are some things you should pay attention do while making your website more accessible and easier to use for mobile device users!

Less is more

The screen on a smartphone is much smaller than that on a regular computer, so reading longer pieces of text take much more time (and effort) on mobile than if you read the same text on a desktop.

Who does have time for that? Try to limit the amount of text on your mobile website to the possible minimum.

Use a clean, big, legible font.

Always make sure that your chosen font type is legible on various mobile devices, otherwise, your customer might find a jumbled mess instead of a product description.

You might feel tempted to use a stylised font instead of a “boring” regular font but there’s no guarantee will the font look as great on your customer smartphone as it looked on your tablet.

Font size is incredibly important too –  too small forces the users to continuously zoom in, while with too big ones users have either to change phone orientation or scroll across the screen to read the entirety of the text.

The faster it loads, the better!

One of the biggest pain points for mobile users is sluggish load times on mobile. Anything more than a few seconds of page loading and people start to get frustrated and switch to another site.

The most responsible for massive load time are images and animations – so cut them off whenever possible and resize the rest. Have in mind that load time is also a significant ranking signal for Google!

Use images sparingly

One of the most significant problems with mobile pages is the loading speed – and people don’t have time to wait several seconds for the website to load. Quite often it’s the number or quality of the images to blame.

Large or HD quality images not only load slowly on mobile phones, but they also consume quite a lot of mobile data. Limiting the number of images and converting them so they would take less space will surely speed up your website and improve your customers experience with your site.  

Make your site navigation easier to use

Typical website navigation doesn’t do its job well on mobile phones, especially on touchscreens.

Why?

Instead of a mouse with which you can precisely click on even small buttons or find exactly the page you need out of the menu with several different pages available, people use their fingers (especially thumb) to browse your website.  And our fingers are sadly much less precise than a mouse cursor, which leads to frequent misclicks.

To make your website menu easier to use on a mobile device, make sure the text font and clickable elements are big enough for the user to not need zooming in and that there is enough space between the links to avoid accidentally clicking on the wrong page.    

Avoid Flash and Java

Your mobile website is not a place for flashy animations – they take way too much time to load and eat up a considerable portion of your visitor mobile data.

Besides, a large number of devices do not support Flash or Java (for example, all Apple devices) so your visitor might not be even able to access your website if there’s Flash or Java used.  

Make contact data and crucial information easy to find

If a mobile phone user comes to a website, he/she is typically looking for essential information: directions to a specific store, restaurant’s phone number to reserve a table, opening hours of gym or today’s menu. And they expect to find the information fast, without having to scroll through your staff bio or the latest news from the industry.

So put the most critical information in a visible,  easy to reach place – for example, by using a “click to call” button that allows your website visitor to contact you with a single click.

Mobile optimization might sound like a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Since many companies are still behind when it comes to user-friendly mobile websites, having one is giving you a considerable advantage over them – it shows your company is modern, reliable and trustworthy.

So what are you waiting for?

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