By: Masha Saakova, Digital Marketing Manager
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in November 2016, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. That number is up from just 35% in 2011. Although smartphone use was already widespread among generations X and Y, it is the adults ages 50+ and families with lower incomes that are showing the largest increases in smartphone ownership. But are these smartphone owners truly browsing websites and buying products on their phone?
The data gives a clear answer: ‘Yes’.
Last year, more people accessed the internet using their mobile devices than desktop computers. We’ve seen the same trend at SPINEN. Generally speaking, at least a third of the traffic to our clients’ websites comes from smartphone and tablet devices. For e-commerce websites, the desktop and mobile/tablet traffic is split almost evenly. Not only are people browsing on the go, they are shopping too.
It’s no surprise that as smartphone and tablet usage continues to grow, websites are expected to provide a more mobile-friendly user experience. These are just some of the benefits of a website that caters to the mobile user:
- The text is easier to read because it is properly adjusted to the size of the viewing device.
- The website is simpler to navigate because buttons and links are clearly visible and are large enough to tap with a finger.
- The website is optimized for loading speed to accommodate mobile networks that are usually slower than home or office internet connections.
Play the video below to see how a responsive website behaves as the size of the viewing device changes. In this case, resizing the browser window simulates the screen real estate available on a mobile or tablet device. You’ll notice how every element on the website is re-arranged and downsized in order to fit the available space. You can test this idea with any website.
Put simply, a fast, streamlined user experience and a responsive design keeps the visitors on your website, thereby reducing the bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave after viewing just one page). It also keeps them away from your competitors’ websites. Ignore this user base and you risk losing customers and sales.
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to optimize your website for mobile devices is the boost it’ll get in search visibility on search engines such as Google. As of April 2015, Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking attribute when determining which sites should rank higher in search results. Mobile-optimized websites are considered to be more relevant and of higher quality because they are least likely to present usability problems to the visitors. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it ranks lower on a search results page than your competitors’ websites.
At SPINEN, all new websites are created with mobile optimizations in mind. If you need help ushering your old website into the future, get in touch with us today.