Last year Google revealed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. Information about the 8 remaining countries hasn’t been made public by Google, however we can only imagine that the UK is among those countries. According to data gathered by eMarketer, an independent market research company, it has been estimated that 2016 will be the year that “the amount of time UK adults spend daily with mobile devices will surpass the amount of time spent online via desktop and laptop computers”.
When conducting a search on a mobile browser, a list of websites will appear and next to the results you will see (or not) the two magic words ‘Mobile friendly’. If you are searching from a mobile device, which one will you tap on? The one which says ‘Mobile friendly’, or the one that doesn’t? The truth is that you are more likely to select a website that appears as ‘mobile friendly’ in your browser. Why? Because automatically you know you’ll have a better experience if the website is suited for the device you’re using.
If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you must be thinking right now that it is the way to go. Nonetheless, depending on your circumstances, there is potentially an even better option: going ‘responsive’. What does this mean? Regardless of the device that your website is being accessed on, it will adapt, which potentially is a win-win situation both for your business – as your website won’t be dependent on multiple designs and less support will be needed, meaning lower maintenance costs – and your viewers and potential customers, who will have a better experience!
When might it not be a good idea? If you have an existing site that’s complex and not due for a rebuild, but you still need a mobile friendly site. Then a mobile site is the right way to go, as long as the rules set out by Google are respected.
Now, bearing in mind that the usage of mobile devices for searches is an upwards trend, you might be wondering how will ‘going responsive’ might impact your business. The answer to this question can be summarised in the following points:
- Better SEO: A year ago, Google introduced the ‘Mobilegeddon’, a new mobile friendly ranking algorithm that influences websites’ rankings by favouring those that are mobile friendly. This means that, even if your website has the most accurate and relevant content of the Internet, if it isn’t capable of adapting to different devices, chances are your ranking in the Google search is lower than those that do, and you won’t be reaching as many viewers as you actually could.
- Shopping from mobile devices is on the rise: In 2014, online shopping from mobile devices overtook desktop for the first time, so if you have an eCommerce site which is not responsive – or just mobile friendly – then you’re business will be in clear disadvantage against those sites that do, which turns into a great deal of purchases being missed.
- Share on social media: If your goal is increasing your brand awareness, you should pay attention to this: in the UK 70% of the social media consumption is done through mobile devices. Sharing content on mobile devices is quicker, easier and more intuitive than desktop, and can be done anytime, anywhere. Help your viewers to share your content!
- Better UX: Having a responsive design will guarantee an enhanced user experience, as your site will be capable of performing well on any device. How great is that? A good UX is key to engage your viewers or potential customers – if they are satisfied and like what they see in your landing page, they’ll stay; if they don’t, they’ll leave. UX will make the difference between a high or a low bounce rate. And why is this important? A high bounce rate will negatively impact your search ranking, which means that you’ll be missing impressions and all the potential views that they entail. To achieve a great UX, you’ll need to make sure that your site’s navigation is intuitive, and its overall performance – with special emphasis on load time – doesn’t drive your viewers away.
By now you’ll be pretty much convinced that a responsive website design is the way to go in this digitalised world. However, you might be asking yourself ‘is it enough going responsive? Isn’t having my own mobile app a better option for me?’ Well, the answer to this question truly depends on the special circumstances of every business, and the truth is that mobile apps are not meant for everyone, but that is another topic that we will discuss in a future post.
However, if your website isn’t responsive yet, you will probably have to address if what you need is a mobile app once you have implemented a responsive design. After you’ve evaluated the performance of your new website design, you should be able to decide whether you should or should not develop your own app.
Going ‘responsive’ is a trend that cannot be disregarded. Any business that doesn’t own a responsive – or mobile friendly – site is not performing to its full potential, and this will directly impact on your returns. So if you have already decided that you want to go responsive – or mobile adapted – get in touch with us here, and we will happily give you a consultation for free, our treat!