What is “Mobile-friendly” and Why Is It So Important?


What is “Mobile-friendly” and Why Is It So Important?

Remember when hand sanitizers used to be just “nice to have” before the pandemic hit and made them so important they disappeared off shelves?

Also, remember when having a shiny smartphone was nice to have but then it become something humans can’t survive without?

Similar is the case with mobile optimization or mobile-friendliness for websites. It used to be a cool flashy feature for website owners to have and be proud of. But now, it has become a necessity for your business, something it can’t survive without in the online world.

Why is that? And more importantly, what exactly is “mobile-friendly”?

Unwrapping the Concept of Mobile-friendly

Mobile-friendly has become quite the buzzword ever since customers have started shopping on their cell phones and search engines, prioritizing customer experience as always, have started prioritizing websites that offer a pleasant experience to these users.

Mobile-friendly is a label given to websites that load perfectly on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. In other words, mobile-friendly websites are sites that do not frustrate mobile users with an ugly presentation because of their incomprehensible textual and visual elements, difficult navigation, etc.

These websites help users find what they came looking for more easily and offer a pleasant experience even on relatively small mobile screens.

Why Is It So Important Though?

Yes, we understand what it means when a website is “mobile-friendly.” But what makes it so important?

Answer: A lot of factors. But all these factors are centered around one reality. And that is increased mobile usage.

Over 90% of internet users surf the web on mobiles. And so, more than 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices claims none other than Google itself.

The purpose of a website is to help a business interact with its customers online. And when more than half of these customers are coming in through mobiles, it makes sense why mobile optimization would be an important criterion for a business’s online success.

Being mobile-friendly helps a website be successful in two main ways:

How Mobile Optimization Helps Websites: Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization or SEO helps bridge the gap between a business and its online prospects. It channels online search traffic to relevant websites, helping customers find the right sellers, and businesses the right people to sell to.

SEO helps a business cast a wider net and generate higher volumes of better quality leads that are more likely to buy whatever the business website sells. This powerful strategy helps drive organic exposure for your business and contributes to its credibility.

But SEO only works when your website meets all the ranking factors set by the search engines like Google.

Google, the most commonly used search engine holds its users in high esteem. And so, it ensures they get the best experience, i.e. the most relevant and high-quality results whenever they search for something.

And one thing that takes away from the experience Google is trying to deliver is a website that loads poorly for mobile users – Google’s largest user base.

Think about it yourself: you are looking for quick information. You take out your phone and Google something. You click the first website that Google spits out in the search results only to find that the text is way too big or way too small for your mobile screen, the images make no sense, and worst of all, you have to scroll horizontally to read the entire text! Will you be impressed by Google’s service? Not likely.

After realizing the impact mobile-unfriendly websites have had on the user experience, Google announced that it would reward mobile-friendly websites that offer a pleasant user experience to mobile users.

Google did not just inform website owners that it gives mobile-friendly sites a ranking boost. The search engine giant also said that it “very strongly recommends” mobile-optimized or mobile-friendly pages for your content to have a better chance of reaching and engaging the traffic that Google brings.

Now, if your website is not optimized to load well on mobile devices, it will offer a bad user experience to the largest group out of all of Google’s precious customers. So, your website will struggle to rank higher. And we know what happens to such struggling websites, don’t we? They miss out on all the benefits of SEO.

So what? Even if a website fails to get traffic through SEO, it can still have people come to it through other channels like social media, no?

Sure. But… do you think your website will be of any value to the traffic it does get from other channels if it is not mobile optimized? Not really.

How Mobile Optimization Helps Websites: Increasing Conversions

Say you want to hire a roofing contractor. You find a contractor on social media. They look decent enough so you visit their website. The website takes ages to load. And once it does load, it looks less than appealing. You cannot find any information about the contractor, their services, or even their contact number. The images in their portfolio are too big to fit on your screen and the text is just too much work to read. Will you stay on this website or leave?

Most people would get out of Dodge.

Customers today are spoiled for choice. They hit the back button as soon as they experience even a tiny bit of friction in their shopping experience. And a website that doesn’t load well on mobile is not just a small friction point. It is a huge barrier that blocks the prospects’ path toward becoming a customer, forcing them to turn away and go to the next best option.

When your website fails to retain leads, it inevitably fails on the sales front as well since a customer has to stick around and engage with your website before they can convert i.e. do what you want them to do on your website.

A mobile-friendly website caters to the short-on-time and spoiled-for-choice user and offers them all the right information in a way that doesn’t frustrate them into backing out. Such websites manage to keep users engaged for longer, hence increasing the likelihood of conversion.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobiles, you may be leaving money on the table as your business might be losing many customers who may be coming through on mobile devices.

How Do You Make A Mobile-friendly Website?

Business owners make their websites mobile-friendly in a couple of different ways. Some people build new websites specifically for mobile devices, while others make smaller versions of the same website that serves both desktop and mobile users. In any case, all successful mobile-friendly websites have some common features including:

Simple Navigation

Mobile users don’t have time to find their way through a complex website. If you make them do that, they will leave. Therefore, your website needs to have a simple structure for easy navigation to engage its mobile users and deliver a positive experience.

Clear Content

Generally, people don’t like reading unending paragraphs on their phones (or anywhere for that matter). And that’s especially true when someone is looking for quick information. So, a mobile-friendly website must have clear, to-the-point content that delivers the right information quickly.

Page Load Speed

Mobile users are more impatient than your average desktop users. And so, they don’t wait as long as desktop users do for a website to load. If your website doesn’t load in 3 or even fewer seconds, you may lose a prospect who could have turned into a customer had the website loaded faster.

Therefore, a successful mobile-friendly website needs to load fast to make sure prospects don’t abandon it even before the website gets a chance to introduce itself.

A mobile-friendly website offers the simplest and shortest path to what a prospect is looking for. This feature is now a must-have for businesses in the competitive online space because the less friction a website offers on the path toward conversion, the more successful can the business be.

If you are not sure how to get your website to become mobile-friendly consider working with professional web developers.

Landau Consulting, a web development company in New Jersey, helps businesses in and around NJ build websites that can be valuable to their customers. With a team of professional web developers, designers, SEO specialists, and writers, Landau Consulting gives end-to-end service to business owners looking for success in the daunting online world.

You can contact us here.

Looking for more information on SEO, web development, and IT? Visit the Landau Consulting blog at https://landauconsulting.com/blog for more infographics.