Hi all, and welcome to the first post in our Web Basics series. Today we’re going to be talking about mobile friendly design – what it is and why it’s super important for your organization! Let’s get into it.
Have any of you ever gone to a website on your phone and had to zoom in to read the sentence, then scroll over to finish it, then zoom out to click a button, then pull your hair out and just quit? Me too. Those sites aren’t mobile friendly and tend not to be very easy to use. So what does it mean for a site to be mobile friendly? Well, there are two ends of the spectrum. First there’s adaptive design. Here you essentially have a completely different website for mobile users. While the mobile version is easier to see and to navigate, this is bad because there might not always be the same information and functionality between your mobile site and your desktop site. On the other hand there’s responsive design which means that your site responds to the type of device and size of screen to present information as clear as possible for the user. This is better because it’s the same site and information, just better to look at! Don’t tell anyone I told you, but search engines prefer responsive design as well.
Now that we know what responsive mobile friendly design is, why does it matter for our websites? Well get ready, I’m going to throw some stats at you. In 2009 less than 1% of all Google Searches were from mobile devices. Fast forward to 2015 and mobile traffic had increased by so much that Google announced that search results will now be weighted in part by whether or not your site is mobile friendly. In 2018 Google announces that their indexing and ranking for sites will now be based on the mobile version of a site rather than the desktop version. Now, fast forward again to 2019 and well over 50% of ALL Google searches are done from mobile devices. That means anytime someone is searching your website, there’s a much higher probability that it’s coming from a mobile device.
What does this mean for guys and gals like us trying to increase traffic to our sites? It means that if you’re not making your site easy to navigate for mobile users then you’re probably missing out on potential business or frustrating your users. Studies have shown that the human adult now has an attention span of less than 7 seconds. So if Jane Customer can’t find what she needs in that amount of time she’s probably just going to get frustrated and head back to her search page and try to find another cupcake shop near her.
“So Matt, how the heck am I supposed to know if my site is mobile friendly?”
I have your back reader. Google has this awesome webmaster tool that allows you to see if your website is mobile friendly or not. After pasting your URL into the testing tool Google shows you whether or not your site is mobile friendly and gives you a nice list of reasons why.
Alright readers. Hopefully this has been some helpful information. From here you can use your new found knowledge to either hound your IT department or start your search for a development firm. If you’d like a deeper explanation, or have other questions you’d like answered just shoot me an email! Keep an eye out for our next post on Security.