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Did you know that over 80% of Internet users own a smartphone? According to We Are Social, more than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones and more than 1 in 5 of the world’s population have shopped online in the past 30 days alone. It’s no secret that mobiles are here for the long run and this is something that businesses need to be addressing. After all, could you afford to be missing out on an audience that big?

 

Everyone uses mobile devices

When was the last time you met someone without a mobile phone or tablet? Half of the population of Earth own some kind of mobile phone or device and this is a whole new market to be targeting. If a business has a website designed purely for desktop, which may have the best design and easy to navigate, but it is hard to access for those who approach it via a mobile device then it won’t perform too well. Considering that the average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rate (CMS Report), it is incredibly important to have a website that can be optimised towards the huge proportion of those who will use it.

 

It benefits your reputation

A business’s reputation is one of the key factors that will keep customers coming back for more. Reports from socPub show that 57% of users say that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. The last thing you want is people talking about how poor your website is and advising their friends to visit your competitors rather than you. People will remember a website that they have had a good experience with and bear it in mind when they want a similar service or product in the future. Since reputation is everything, businesses cannot afford to lose customers from a bad experience online.

 

It helps build your business’ credibility and relevance

Similar to the business’ reputation, a business’ credibility is vitally important. It doesn’t matter what you sell, if your website is not mobile optimised and the experience smartphone users have is poor then the company will be seen as unsatisfactory. This will encourage your potential customers to seek what they are looking for elsewhere, losing business that you could have possibly taken. A mobile-friendly site will provide a fitting experience to all those who visit it and therefore will encourage those who have used your website to see you as a credible resource for whatever product or service that they were looking for. Any happy customers will return to your website and also tell others about it if they are looking for anything similar.

 

Google says so

In April 2015, the Google algorithm changed and it tweaked the way that Google displays mobile search results. Businesses that use websites that are mobile optimised rank higher in search results than those who do not, it is that simple. So if you want your adverts to appear higher than others when people are searching for your keywords, make your websites mobile-friendly. Google says that sites that aren’t mobile-friendly require the users to pinch or zoom in order to read the content and therefore they find this “a frustrating experience and are likely to abandon the site”.

 

There’s a whole new demographic to reach

Although the vast majority of 16-24-year-olds own smartphones, those aged 55-64 are joining the ‘Smartphone Revolution’ with the ownership of mobile devices in this age group more than doubling since 2012, going from 19% to 50% (Ofcom). Since those of an elderly age have not grown up and worked with computers and mobiles, they will find it a lot harder to use them compared to younger people. Therefore the use of smartphones is much more appealing to them compared to laptops and desktops. By using smartphones, they can have everything on one device such as texts, phone calls, social media apps and Internet browsing. For example, people over 50 years old are now the fastest growing demographic on Facebook with 72% of them using it. Whether this is to reconnect with old friends or meet new people, there is an increasing amount of people this age purchasing and using smartphones for all the different things that can be done with them. By making your website mobile-friendly, it will open it up to all those who use mobile devices rather than computers and bring in more traffic, and effectively, more conversions to your business.

 

It increases your accessibility

Having a mobile optimised site it allows for that huge percentage of people who use their smartphones to search the web to reach your website. Since Google rewards websites that are mobile-friendly by ranking them higher in mobile search results than others, it allows your website to appear to a potential customer at the exact time that it is being searched for. Making a website mobile-friendly automatically opens it up to anyone performing a mobile search, and customers won’t need to hunt for a website or type in an exact URL.

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are quickly becoming redundant within this digital age, and this has meant that near enough all businesses have websites that are mobile-friendly. This means that those who do not have a site optimised for mobile devices will be pushed even further down the search results pages and consequentially lose prospective customers from this. If you want a website that performs well and helps to grow your business, it needs to be mobile-friendly.

Brett Dixon
Brett Dixon
Brett is a Director and Co-Founder of DP Online Marketing and is Google Qualified in Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping, Video and Analytics. Brett regularly writes for industry magazines and also a guest lecturer at Lincoln University. He is also a member of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM.)
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