Three Simple Reasons Why Mobile-Friendly Web Design Is Not an Option
With each passing month, it seems the requirements of webmasters and bloggers only grows. From the age in which it was OK to have a few words, images and a couple of keywords, to an age where every single element of a website must be carefully considered for compliance and usability, a lot has changed. We have seen the focus move from nominal SEO considerations to social media and now to mobile, the last of which presents some unique challenges with regards to search engine rankings. In the following article, we will talk about three straightforward and simple reasons why mobile-friendly web design today is not just a nice accommodation, but an important requirement.
Google’s Silent Majority
We may often hear about the rapid advance of internet traffic coming from mobile devices. Just a few years ago, the number was less than one-quarter. Today, it is over forty percent. What is even more interesting is the percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices on search engines. Google, in particular, now claims that sixty percent of all searches are performed from mobile devices (!!!). Those who are pinging users with content via Google and other search engines must understand that appealing to mobile users is no longer an option or a choice; it is where a majority of traffic resides. Sites that are poorly-equipped to serve up content on mobile devices will begin to lose quality traffic, search engines will notice, and rankings for a majority of user-performed searches will begin to slide.
Google’s New Mobile Update
Google has slowly but surely been adding penalties and preferences to its SERPs based on which sites serve up reliable mobile content to users versus those who do not, but the bottom really dropped out with this April’s update. Announcing that this mobile update would be bigger in scope than Panda or Penguin, many webmasters have begun seeing rapid reductions in traffic due to their site’s lack of mobile optimization. If the majority of Google traffic originating from mobile devices did not convince you, then this certainly will. It is no longer feasible to be visible to a majority of search engine users if your site cannot provide mobile alternatives – through mobile responsive design – across all devices.
Mobile Engagement Rates Are Higher
Across almost all formats, the rates at which users engage with your website – sharing content, purchasing items, subscribing to lists, emailing for a quote and clicking on ads – are much higher than they are on mobile devices. In the past, this wasn’t a huge deal as mobile traffic comprised a smaller percentage of search. Today, however, pinging users properly matters because they comprise a majority of search traffic and they are more likely to engage with your content. Those who are “on-the-go” tend to know more about what they need, what they wish to know, and so forth. This results in better conversion rates and engagement rates across the board.
Avoiding the mobile future at this point is simply not an option for your site. Not only will you begin to be marginalized by Google in a very large segment of search traffic, but your engagement rates among those who do see you will be lower.