At one time, building a well-designed, user-friendly website was enough to position your business to compete with the big boys. But technology changes rapidly, and a great website is no longer enough. Mobile apps are important, but even they cannot replace a top-quality mobile-friendly website. Thanks to the meteoric rise of smartphones and tablets, it is now absolutely essential to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Here are the top 5 reasons why.
1. Customer Demand
With roughly half of all web searches now taking place on mobile devices, customer demand is the main reason to make the switch. Today’s increasingly savvy shoppers move effortlessly between devices. Someone might see your product on her smartphone, research it later in the day on her tablet, and then bring it up on her laptop that night to show the family. Customers expect their web experience to move seamlessly along with them. If your website gets bogged down or refuses to open on a mobile device, customers will simply move on to the next one. This translates into a real loss in potential sales.
2. Google Penalties
In April 2015, Google rolled out sweeping new changes to its algorithm that focus heavily on mobile-friendliness. Websites that are mobile-friendly saw an increase in their rankings, while those that do not take a hit. Google’s algorithm considers mobile design holistically, taking into account everything from how fast the page loads to how readable it is on a small screen. If you want to keep your Google rankings high, your site must be optimized for mobile use.
3. Local SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, includes everything that you do to get higher rankings in Google and other search engines. Local SEO is how you optimize your website for local searches, or those conducted in your immediate area. As more and more customers search for restaurants, shops, and other businesses while on the go, local SEO has become more and more valuable. You don’t want a potential customer to drive right by simply because he did not find your business in a mobile search. A mobile-friendly website with excellent local SEO will ensure that you reach customers in your local area who want exactly what you are selling right now.
4. Keeping Up With the Competition
The reality is that mobile-friendly websites are here to stay, and businesses of all sizes have made it a priority to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile usage. Small businesses have enough trouble keeping up with large corporations, and they live and die by customer loyalty. If your website is not mobile-friendly, your customers might begin to simply pass you by.
5. Ease of Use Across Platforms and Devices
While mobile apps are an excellent way to connect with new prospects and deepen engagement with existing customers, they are not enough on their own. Rather than switching back and forth between a mobile app and a computer-friendly website, many customers prefer to engage with a single website across all of their platforms and devices. Responsive design is a technique that allows you to use the same URL for both desktop and mobile devices. A meta tag known as the meta viewport tag instructs the page to automatically render in the proper size and dimensions for the viewing screen. This means that no matter what type of device a customer uses, your website will appear optimized for that particular device.