In August 2014, ComScore released an announcement that many of us here at Quadra have been anticipating for a while. For the first time, activity on mobile devices was higher than desktop traffic, with 60% of digital activity in the US taking place on mobile devices. Whilst that figure is impressive, there are still some businesses without mobile friendly and responsive websites.
During a Q&A session on the 4th March 2015, Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Switzerland) confirmed that there are changes coming for the Google ranking algorithm, and that “April 21st is a very important day… Have it [your mobile site] ready by the 21st and it will be good”. Now that Google are throwing their weight behind the mobile agenda, having a mobile site is no longer a luxury or an option – it’s a requirement.
With the mobile revolution just over 2 months away, just ignoring the issue won't help. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a short list of my favourite 5 bad excuses for not going mobile – and why none of them are a reason not to have a mobile-friendly site!
“My users don’t use mobiles”
The short answer is “Yes, they do”. The long answer is that with companies such as Facebook reporting that 745 million users access Facebook via their mobiles every day (and 267 million of those are logging on exclusively from mobile devices), it’s hard to identify a single demographic that have access to the internet and don’t browse whilst on the move.
Regardless of the audience, you’re targeting, your service or product, or how you’re marketing content to the masses, your audience uses mobile devices. If you're running Google Analytics, information about mobile users can be found under the Audience tab, under Mobile - Devices.
“Building a mobile site isn’t a priority”
It should be. Mobile devices are becoming the device of choice for many users, and with Google announcing the algorithm update, mobile friendly sites will receive better rankings than desktop-only sites. With 90% of internet users moving between their desktop and their smartphone as part of a single session, 9 out of every 10 users arriving on your site are likely to do so on a mobile. If their first experience with your brand is a broken, non-responsive site, it’s unlikely that they’ll stick around to hear what you have to say.
While your competitors might not be focussed on mobile yet, you can bet that they won’t stay in the dark for long. Upgrading your site ahead of the 21st of April not only gives your site the edge over non-responsive competitors – it also keeps you in the running against your savvy competitors.
“Building a mobile site is difficult”
Not everyone has the knowledge to develop a responsive site, however, this is not a reason not to have one. At some point in the past, you didn’t have a website at all, until the need for a website outweighed the complexity of creating one. As mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches, not having a mobile site is no longer just something that can be placed in a long-term plan and forgotten about.
If the issue is technical knowledge, get in touch with us and discuss the options available to your business – we know how important mobile optimisation is, which is why every site Quadra develops is responsive.
“My existing site is good enough for mobiles”
This is something we hear often, and while in some cases this is true, in many cases the site is “responsive” but hasn’t been tested on the wide variety of mobile devices used by your audience.
If you think your site is responsive enough for mobile, answer the following questions when browsing your site:
- Can I use the site without scrolling sideways?
- Can I get around the site on a mobile as easily as on desktop?
- Can I complete all of the key actions from the mobile site?
- Can I read the font? Now try using a fsmaller screen (320 x 240 px), is it still legible?
- Does the page load in reasonable time
If the answer to any of these is “no”, your site isn’t responsive (or at least, as responsive as it could be). Google has a handy tool for reviewing your site speed, and will identify some small steps you can take to improve your website.
“Mobile users don’t convert as well as desktop users”
I’ve left my favourite (and most common) reason for not supporting mobile users to last. It’s time to unleash a lesser-known marketing secret to the world:
Poor user experience leads to poor conversion rates!
It’s that simple. The less effort you put into making sure mobile users can find your content, the less mobile users will find your content. If you create an enjoyable experience for mobile users, they are more likely to arrive and remain on your site, allowing you more time to get them to convert. If your site isn’t converting, the question shouldn’t be “should I have a mobile site”, it should be “why aren’t users converting”. Through testing you can find out where in the funnel your users are leaving the site, and take the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen.
So there we have it, 5 terrible reasons not to upgrade your site’s usability. If you’re interested in mobile optimisation, please get in touch or leave us a comment below, we’re always happy to chat about anything tech related!