It’s probably no surprise by now that mobile Internet usage has been skyrocketing over the last few years. According to a Morgan Stanley report, Mobile internet usage is expected to match desktop usage by 2014. Even with this compelling evidence, the vast majority of business websites are still not mobile friendly. This is not only causing a headache for users but also a loss in business opportunity.
In today’s blog we are going to explain why having a responsive website is so critical to your marketing and some key considerations to keep in mind when designing a responsive website.
What’s the Difference Between Mobile and Responsive Design?
There are two major methods for creating a mobile websites Responsive Design and Mobile Templates. Responsive design requires you only have one website that is coded to adapt to all screen size no matter what the device it’s being displayed on.
In contrast, a mobile template is a completely separate entity requiring you to have a second mobile only website or sub-domain. Mobile templates are also built for each specific, not per screen size. This can cause some issues as we will discuss below.
Responsive design, a term originally coined in a 2010 A List Apart article by Ethan Marcotte, responsive design has been by far the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website. Here are just a few of the undeniable reasons your website needs to be responsive.
1. Mobile Usage is Exploding
This might not be a surprise for most of you, yet despite the impressive statistics below many businesses do not yet have a mobile website. Hopefully reading through these statistics will light a fire to stop ignoring the need for a mobile website.
Over 20% of Google searches are being performed on a mobile device.
In 2012 more than half of the local searches were performed on a mobile device.
In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device
61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience
25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets.
According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, if a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor). It’s also said that if they have a positive experience with your mobile website a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.
3. Blogging and Social Activities Bring Mobile Visitors
If you’re like most Inbound Marketers and have elements of blogging and social media incorporated in your strategy, you probably have been seeing increased mobile traffic. A recent study by ComScore cites that 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.
With this being said, if you are sharing out content links or links to your website and don’t have a mobile friendly website, you’re not only going to experience high bounce rates and low conversion rates but also a frustrated audience.
4. Responsive Design is Preferred for SEO
In June 2012 at SMX Advanced, Google’s Pierre Farr went on the record to declare that Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates. Having one single URL makes it easier for Google bot to crawl your site, Google’s external link algorithm and reduces the chance of on-page SEO errors. For all these reasons, responsive sites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate, mobile template site.
5. A Speedy Responsive Website is Key
According to the Google PageSpeed Developers standards recommends that the content above the fold on a mobile device loads in under 1 second and the entire page loads in under 2 seconds. This is typically not possible when loading a desktop website on a mobile device. When a user has to wait too long for a page to load, there’s an extremely high chance they will leave your site.
Curious about how well your current website is performing on a mobile device? Google Developers has this nifty little tool to check your mobile site’s speed. Test it now!
6. Responsive Adapts to Future Devices
One of the big benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size not device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website it will display properly for that screen size. So in the future as new devices (TVs, watches, glasses, etc.) are being used for web browsing, your responsive site will still look beautiful.
Moving forward it will be extremely critical that your website provides mobile users an easy-to-use experience. Having a mobile website is no longer a simply a nice feature, rather it is a necessity and literally impact the growth of your business.
Are you curious the possible return having a mobile website might have? I’d suggest checking out is this “Full Value of Mobile” calculator by Google. Here you can input different variables about your business and marketing and it will give you a full run down of how your metrics can be increased with proper mobile design.
If you have any questions or have comments on this topic, I’d encourage you to post in the comments below and I’d love to chat.
The resident Director of Inbound Marketing at Savvy Panda, Luke Summerfield and his team develop web and marketing success stories for medium to fortune 100 companies and nonprofits. Luke is also the head instructor of Master Inbound, a comprehensive online Inbound Marketing training course.
Originally published Nov 25, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017