Observe around you and look for how many people around you are busy scrolling through their smart phones. Internet searching dynamics have changed. Recently, Search Engine Watch has reported that mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic! Yelp has confirmed in its report that 55% of all searches are from mobile devices. Each industry may reflect varying numbers, but it is safe to say mobile is important for your business.
Whether you like it or not, everyone likes to be in good books of Google. Google recommends us and we do it. On April 21, 2015, Google started rolling out its mobile friendly algorithm update. This effectively boosts mobile search rankings for websites that are mobile friendly. It’s now more important than ever to also pay attention to the mobile speed score of your website. In addition to simply looking at design elements, Google will now also be looking at the performance of your mobile page as a ranking factor.
Mobile Websites: Responsive vs. Dynamic vs. Separate Site
So, what are these mobile websites that have caused such a paradigm shift in the industry? Mobile websites have a unique job to perform. They deliver information to a potential client, but in a slightly different manner than your standard website. The reason being, all the content has to aligned according to the screen size. To have the largest impact, it is important to understand what your options are regarding a mobile site.
Now, your website can either be responsive, dynamic serving, or a completely separate HTML website. A responsive site is one that follows the same HTML and CSS as your browser ready website but is able to render the same on all devices no matter of screen size, platform or orientation. This is achieved through media queries. A dynamic serving site uses a setup where the server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent requesting the page. The last option is to make an entirely different HTML website (i.e. domain, sub-domain, of sub-folder) that is a modified version of your site that is only served to mobile and tablet users.
Perks of a Mobile Optimized Website
- Enhanced User Experience
We all have been there, clicking a link on our mobile shared by a friend, lands us on a page filled with a jumbled load of unorganized garbage. We abandon it immediately uninspired. The website just killed its chance of converting a visitor into a customer. Reports show that that 60% of mobile users in the past 12 months have encountered similar problem. Mobile responsive website on the other hand, serves a clear and crisp experience.
- Engagement and Context
As with everything that exists online, it is about time. You have a limited amount of time to capture a website visitor’s attention. This is even more so the case with mobile devices because users are accessing your website while out and about on the go. If a visitor is able to easily navigate your pages and the content is written mobile friendly, you increase the chance of converting visitors into customers.
- Fast Website Loading Speed
As previously mentioned, time is limited. So it is crucial for the website to load quickly. A normal website that isn’t mobile optimized will render very slowly on your mobile device or in worse case scenarios, it may not load at all. A mobile ready website will load quickly because the code is structured in a way that it is compatible with mobile devices. To prove the point, studies show mobile website users will abandon a page if they have to wait more than 6-10 seconds.
- Portability and Connectivity
A mobile website can be accessed anywhere, any time. Immediate user engagement mobile-specific features such as click-to-call, mapping functions have become a new favorite. Furthermore, if you’re a local business, mobile is particularly significant as more and more visitors will find your site through location-aware technology that connects users to your website when they are in immediate geographic proximity.
A mobile website is cheaper when it comes to building a mobile presence compared to app development. For one thing, app development requires the production of different apps for different platforms (e.g. iPhone vs. Android vs. Blackberry), and submission to an app store. This makes apps much more fragmented and expensive to produce with a longer timeline before they reach target visitors. Further more, an app requires users to download the app before it can be accessed. On the other hand, a mobile website is universal to all contemporary smart phone browsers, making a mobile website more flexible and cost efficient, with fewer barriers between you and your target users.
The mobile web is no longer a concept – it’s a mainstream reality that impacts any organization that aspires to target audiences online. The responsibility now falls on website owners to take advantage of the unique opportunities mobile offers for connecting with the growing number of visitors who will inevitably access their website on mobile devices.
Talking purely in business terms, these two points best describe the benefits of a mobile website:
- A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you 2.5 million in lost sales every year.