As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites. In this post today we are going to explain why you should study Web Design for Mobile Devices. Why having a responsive website is so critical to your marketing and some key considerations to keep in mind when designing a responsive website. And the difference between Mobile and Responsive Design.
This post is part of the Why Study Series:
- Why Study Web Design
- Why Study WordPress
- Why Study HTML5
- Why Study CSS3
- Why Study Mobile Website Design
- Why Study jQuery
- Why Study PHP
The Mobile Market is MASSIVE !!
The mobile market has been growing by an estimated 30% every year in the past 3 years, this trend is only growing. With billion of new mobile users browsing the web it is now becoming essential to market effectively for mobile phones.
The primary motive of a business website is to generate revenue. Only a mobile-friendly website can guarantee this. Consider these facts:
- According to the data compiled by the Mobile Marketing Association of Asia, of the nearly 7 billion people worldwide, over 5 billion people own a cell phone, whereas just about 4 billion own a toothbrush.
- According to Morgan Stanley, of the over 5 billion mobile phone owners, 91% keep their mobile devices in close proximity, 24x7x365.
- An average person reports a stolen/missing wallet after 24 hours. Nevertheless, the average lost mobile phone is reported in less than 70 minutes.
- Currently, mobile phones are employed for carrying out 3 out of 5 searches.
- Almost 75% of Smartphone owners depended on their devices for getting directions and location-related information.
- According to Mobile Marketer, an overwhelming 70% of searches carried out on mobiles lead to action in under an hour.
- A stunning 61% of local searches on mobile phones lead to an instant phone call.
- Mobile phone coupons are redeemed 10 times more often than conventional coupons.
- By the end of 2014, over 50% of all internet traffic will be via mobile phones.
- People worldwide favour mobile browsers for banking transactions, local information, travel bookings, shopping, most recent sports news and blogs. They also prefer mobile apps for music, social media, maps, and games.
Hence, it’s prudent that you ask yourself: What does my potential/existing customer see on a Smartphone or tablet in my business website versus my competitor’s fully-responsive or mobile website? Discussed here are some key reasons your business website should be mobile-friendly.
10 Reasons Your Business Website Should be Mobile-Friendly
Reason 1: There’s an Explosive Growth in Mobile Internet Users
You must understand that the mobile audience is exceedingly big already. More importantly, this audience is growing rapidly. The study by three leading authorities Berg Insight, Morgan Stanley Research and Boston Consulting Group has concluded that Internet usage worldwide will unquestionably double from current usage levels, by the end of 2015. The study has also concluded that the majority of users will be using mobile devices as their primary gateway to the Internet.
There’s a Steady Growth in Smartphone Usage
Currently, not all the over 5 billion mobile phone users own a Smartphone. Nevertheless, as low-priced 3G-capable Smartphone devices swamp the market, the Smartphone user base in Australia is growing explosively. Goldman Sachs has forecast that over 80% Americans will own Smartphone devices by 2015. Australians will follow closely, as well.
Reason 2: Recommended by Google
When Google makes recommendations, marketers pay attention because Google controls a large pie (67%) of the search market share. Google’s stance on recommended mobile configuration has always been Responsive Web Design.
Of late, Google has advocated the Responsive Web Design as being the industry best practice.
Responsive Web Design: Single URL, Single HTML
Since responsive design business websites have a single URL and exactly the same HTML, irrespective of device, it’s more efficient and simpler for Google search spiders to crawl, regulate, index, and organise content. In contrast, a separate mobile site has a different URL and separate HTML that’s different from its desktop counterpart. This means that Google spiders have to crawl and index numerous versions of the same website.
Responsive Website Design Delivers Better User-Experience
Another vital reason Google favours responsive business website design is because your content resides on one website and a single URL. Your visitors find it easier to share, engage, and link your content when it resides on a distinct mobile website when compared to content that resides on a conventional desktop website.
For instance, a mobile user shares helpful content from a mobile website with a Facebook friend. Later, when this friend accesses the shared content using a desktop, the user views a stripped down mobile website on the desktop. This definitely results in a below par user-experience. Considering that Google places a huge emphasis on user-experience in its SERP results, this attribute needs to be taken into account for a favourable SEO.
Google Wants Mobile Websites
Google has clearly indicated its desire for mobile websites. Websites fashioned for desktops do not deliver a good user experience when accessed on a Smartphone. Google intends to prevent user frustration by providing web surfers a superior Internet experience. Due to this, more and more business enterprises will begin moving in the direction of Responsive Website Design. Surely, you wouldn’t want your business enterprise to fall behind here. Remember, what works optimally for Google works optimally for your business enterprise, as well.
Reason 3: Single Website, Multiple Devices
Responsive Website Design delivers an excellent user-experience across numerous devices and screen sizes. Since it’s exceedingly difficult to foresee all the diverse devices and screen sizes that visitors to your business website use, creating a responsive website design is critical. A website that functions optimally irrespective of these variables provides a more consistent and superior user-experience when compared to a separate mobile website that’s created for a particular device and screen size.
Advantage of a Website That’s Fashioned for Numerous Devices & Screen Sizes
For instance, just consider an individual searching for a product/service on their Smartphone during a break at workplace. The person finds the product or service and decides to research further after going home. The person will undoubtedly use a desktop after arriving at home ─ certainly not their Smartphone.
In this instance, if the business website in question is responsive, it will deliver a positive user experience to the individual. The transition from mobile to desktop will be smooth because the user will view the same business website on the desktop after arriving at home, as well as, the Smartphone during the break at the workplace, previously. On the contrary, if this business website is a dedicated mobile site, the person would have been frustrated by having to locate the desktop version after arriving home and find the product/service all over again.
Reason 4: Easier to Manage
When you have different desktop and mobile websites for your business, you’ll need separate SEO campaigns, too. Here, you must understand that it’s much simpler managing one business website and one SEO campaign when compared to managing two websites and two SEO campaigns. A responsive website scores over a separate mobile website in this key aspect.
Mobile-Specific SEO Strategy
There are several advantages of a mobile-specific SEO campaign. You can optimise for the prime keywords of your business that potential visitors to your website may use on their mobile devices.
For instance, an individual looking for a local restaurant on a Smartphone is bound to use the word “nearby” or “vicinity” in the search query. Nevertheless, a separate mobile website isn’t a prerequisite for a mobile SEO campaign. You can incorporate mobile-specific keywords effectively into a responsive design website, too.
Reason 5: Small Businesses Need Mobile-Friendly Websites
The escalation in Smartphone and tablet use in Australia has led to a rapid decline in desktop internet browsing. Currently, an astounding 50% of mobile owners use their mobile devices as their key tool for surfing the internet! Mobile devices certainly present a great deal of flexibility and handiness ─ especially when it comes to on-the-go search for swift access to information.
Mobile-Friendly Business Websites Attract More Customers
It’s a confirmed fact that over 90% of mobile users search for a local business enterprise on their device. Nevertheless, what’s even more notable is that these mobile searchers invariably contact the business they query within 24 hours! Hence, if your business website is mobile-friendly, you will attract more customers (and revenue) to your business.
Small Businesses Have Nothing to Lose
At present, over 70% of small business websites in Australia aren’t mobile-friendly. Their customers find it challenging to research and make purchases using mobile devices. Additionally, almost 90% of the small business websites do not facilitate easy viewing on the iPad. Nevertheless, small businesses can gain a competitive edge by taking the mobile challenge head-on.
At Aykira, we give helpful suggestions to make your business website mobile-friendly – find out more about our website development services here .
Reason 6: eCommerce is now effectively mCommerce
The dramatic growth of mCommerce in the last 5 years (over 5000% according to Capgemini & IMRG report) has prompted small businesses to revamp their business websites. You must not delay remodelling your business website to capitalise on this exponential rise in mCommerce.
Convert Visitors Arriving via Mobile Devices into Loyal Customers
An increasing number of people are opting for online purchases to save money, energy and time that making the trip to a retail store takes. Mobile shopping has undoubtedly become more mainstream. You can keep up with this most recent trend by optimising your offline business establishment to cater to mobile users. Just ensure that the user-experience and purchasing process on your business website is glitch-free. Convert mobile visitors into loyal customers.
Avoid the Pitfalls of a Mobile Unfriendly Website
Regardless of the purpose of your business website ─ whether it’s for providing information or for eCommerce ─ a mobile unfriendly website has a detrimental effect on mobile customers. If your business website is mobile unfriendly, over 60% of mobile users will be discouraged greatly and may desist from engaging with your business enterprise in the future. With the popularity of mCommerce expected to rise, deferring the updating of your business website can be perilous.
Reason 7: You’ll Lose Business to Your Competitors
Regardless of the industry your business belongs to, you must always strive to be innovative rather than getting stuck in imitating your competitors. Almost two thirds of medium size enterprises have already remodelled their business websites to boost their online sales. Nevertheless, in the small-size segment, only 20% have opted for mobile-friendly websites.
Mobile Website Influences Your Online Sales
If your business website loads swiftly and promotes easy navigation, your customers will be enthused to buy from you. On the contrary, if your website loads slowly and requires frequent zooming in on the products to read, your customers are less likely to buy from you. Many small business enterprises have already recognised the importance of mobile web over their online sales. If your business enterprise doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, there’s no reason you should delay opting for one.
Findings of Google’s Study
If your business lacks a mobile-friendly website, you indirectly help your competitors. A study conducted by Google reveals that:
- Around 50% of Internet users confided that even if they favour a business enterprise, they’d use the enterprise less often if their website weren’t mobile-friendly.
- Over 60% of users will move to your competitor’s website if they don’t find what they’re looking for on your mobile website quickly enough.
- Almost 80% of users who aren’t impressed by the content on a mobile website will move to another website.
Reason 8: Lack of Engagement Results in Lost Revenue
The absence of meaningful engagement with mobile users proves to be tremendously expensive to businesses. Small and medium sized business enterprises in Australia that lack mobile-friendly websites lose billions of dollars in revenue. Less than 20% of SMEs in Australia have mobile-friendly websites. Considering that more than two-thirds of Australians own a Smartphone, the percentage of mobile-friendly websites is abysmally low.
A Mobile Business Website is Indispensable for Your Social Media Campaigns
A mobile business website works optimally with your search, as well as, your social media campaigns. Since many of your potential customers use a Smartphone or tablet to locate your enterprise, Google spiders show a higher affinity for mobile-ready websites. Besides, numerous apps can direct visitors from your mobile site to your enterprise’s social profiles.
Mobile-Ready Website Promotes Targeted Search
A mobile website permits your business enterprise to deliver original content to your customers. This content helps rank your business websites ─ conventional and mobile ─ much better on Google’s lists. Your prime keywords remain the same on both the websites, but mobile users do select slightly different phrasing. Remaining active on social media and providing links to your mobile website guarantees more activity arriving your way. If your links get reposted, your website is assured of a higher rank.
Enhance Engagement With Your Customers by Opting for a Mobile-Friendly Website
If your business enterprise lacks a mobile-ready website or lacks a website altogether (surprisingly, many small businesses do lack a website), NOW is the right time to launch a mobile-friendly website. Opt for a mobile-friendly website for your business ─ your customers want it. Businesses that delay launching a mobile-friendly version of their business website will lose customers and revenue. More importantly, these enterprises will be overtaken by their competitors who have decided to follow the trend.
Reason 9: Mobile-Friendly Website Design Drives Fresh Sales
A mobile web presence results in new sales opportunities for your business enterprise. Since your potential customers use mobile devices on an ongoing basis every day, a mobile-ready website results in sales opportunities that you’d miss out on a conventional business website.
Mobile-Friendly Website Promotes Customer Retention
An overwhelming 66% of Smartphone users said a mobile-friendly website persuades them to make a purchase. Likewise, 74% said that they would definitely revisit a mobile-friendly website.
Reason 10: Setting Up a Mobile Website is Inexpensive & Simple
Getting a mobile website for your business need not be expensive. As with all sophisticated technology, mobile website design and upkeep carried an exorbitant price when it was newly introduced. Nevertheless, you can fashion a mobile variant of your existing business website or even opt for a fresh Responsive Web Design without denting your marketing budget.
It’s not essential to begin from scratch
Setting up a mobile website for your business doesn’t necessitate beginning from scratch. If you own a WordPress or Joomla website, you need to merely incorporate a component that exhibits your existing website content optimally on a mobile device. This is regardless of the device’s screen size. If this option isn’t feasible, your website developer can easily recreate your prime content for easier mobile surfing. Mobile browsers automatically redirect visitors to these modified pages.
What’s the Difference Between Mobile and Responsive Design?
There are two major methods for creating a mobile websites Responsive Design and Mobile Templates. Responsive design requires you only have one website that is coded to adapt to all screen size no matter what the device it’s being displayed on.
In contrast, a mobile template is a completely separate entity requiring you to have a second mobile only website or sub-domain. Mobile templates are also built for each specific, not per screen size. This can cause some issues as we will discuss below.
Responsive design, a term originally coined in a 2010 A List Apart article by Ethan Marcotte, responsive design has been by far the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website. Here are just a few of the undeniable reasons your website needs to be responsive.
1. Mobile Usage is Exploding
This might not be a surprise for most of you, yet despite the impressive statistics below many businesses do not yet have a mobile website. Hopefully reading through these statistics will light a fire to stop ignoring the need for a mobile website.
- Over 20% of Google searches are being performed on a mobile device.
- In 2012 more than half of the local searches were performed on a mobile device.
- In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device
- 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience
- 25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets.
(via Smart Insights)
2. Positive User Experience Is Key
According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, if a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor). It’s also said that if they have a positive experience with your mobile website a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.
3. Blogging and Social Activities Bring Mobile Visitors
If you’re like most Inbound Marketers and have elements of blogging and social media incorporated in your strategy, you probably have been seeing increased mobile traffic. A recent study by ComScore cites that 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.
With this being said, if you are sharing out content links or links to your website and don’t have a mobile friendly website, you’re not only going to experience high bounce rates and low conversion rates but also a frustrated audience.
4. Responsive Design is Preferred for SEO
In June 2012 at SMX Advanced, Google’s Pierre Farr went on the record to declare that Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates. Having one single URL makes it easier for Google bot to crawl your site, Google’s external link algorithm and reduces the chance of on-page SEO errors. For all these reasons, responsive sites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate, mobile template site.
5. A Speedy Responsive Website is Key
According to the Google PageSpeed Developers standards recommends that the content above the fold on a mobile device loads in under 1 second and the entire page loads in under 2 seconds. This is typically not possible when loading a desktop website on a mobile device. When a user has to wait too long for a page to load, there’s an extremely high chance they will leave your site.
Curious about how well your current website is performing on a mobile device? Google Developers has this nifty little tool to check your mobile site’s speed. Test it now!
6. Responsive Adapts to Future Devices
One of the big benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size not device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website it will display properly for that screen size. So in the future as new devices (TVs, watches, glasses, etc.) are being used for web browsing, your responsive site will still look beautiful.
Moving forward it will be extremely critical that your website provides mobile users an easy-to-use experience. Having a mobile website is no longer a simply a nice feature, rather it is a necessity and literally impact the growth of your business.
Are you curious the possible return having a mobile website might have? I’d suggest checking out is this “Full Value of Mobile” calculator by Google. Here you can input different variables about your business and marketing and it will give you a full run down of how your metrics can be increased with proper mobile design.
3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy
As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites.
If SEO is a core component of your digital marketing strategy, having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential.
Mobile sales have already overtaken desktop sales, and mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. It is only logical that mobile search will overtake desktop search at some point in the near future as well.
Since 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, companies that rely on SEO are wise to begin making the transition to mobile-friendly websites, and responsive web design specifically.
The argument between whether to choose a responsive website or a separate mobile website is a highly debated topic. However, the truth is that both options have their pros and cons.
The option that is best for your business depends on many factors, such as the purpose of the website, the intended target audience, and whether SEO is a factor.
If SEO is a factor, here are three reasons why responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.
1. Recommended By Google
With 67 percent search market share, when Google speaks, search marketers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.
This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.
Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.
Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates a less than optimal user-experience, and because of the large emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.
2. One Website, Many Devices
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive web design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. This is an important characteristic, since it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes searchers will use to access your site. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user-experience than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.
Let’s take the following example. Someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find a site that has the product they’re looking for, and decide to continue researching this product on the same site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone.
If the site in this example is responsive, this person will have a positive user-experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop because they will view the same site on their desktop as they did on their smartphone. On the other hand, if the site is a dedicated mobile site, this person will become frustrated with the fact that they have to locate the desktop version of the site, and find the product all over again.
3. Easier to Manage
Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over a separate mobile site.
That being said, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, such as optimizing for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smartphone.
For example, someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word “nearby” in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy, and there’s no reason why mobile-specific keywords can’t be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.
Responsive web design is recommended by Google, it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, and it also makes managing your SEO strategy easier. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.
Five Reasons to Think Mobile-First for your Web Design
Responsive website design is the new black, and everyone is dying to join the fad. A responsive website uses coding and a design system that adapts to different screen sizes. The goal? To make your site look just as good on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop PC or laptop.
Most websites are designed for larger screens first; then responsive alternatives are added later, sometimes as a separate, “stepchild” site. The result? The mobile version may be awkward to navigate at best or even ignored and never updated.
But a new way of approaching web design is catching on: mobile-first design. In other words, the design team creates the mobile site first, conceived primarily for smaller screens, and then adapts the site for larger screens, enhancing wherever possible. This kind of thinking results in mobile sites with a higher functionality on smaller screens.
In other words, when seen on a smartphone, a mobile-first site will look—well—smarter.
We know what you’re thinking: why does it matter what’s designed first, as long as the site’s responsive, right? Well, let’s look at five reasons why, when you redesign your website, you should be thinking mobile-first, focusing more on how your site will look on smaller screens.
1. Mobile as an Afterthought is Expensive
Imagine this scenario: You’re shopping for a new design for your site. You find just what you’re looking for. The layout is smart, and navigation intuitive, and those colors really pop. Only then do you notice that the design’s either not responsive or poorly so.
Now you have a dilemma. Do you pay a team of designers to make your site mobile after the fact? Do you scrap that design altogether and keep shopping, admitting that your search so far has been a waste of time and money?
Trying to retrofit a responsive design is more expensive that the other way around. If you think mobile first, you’ll be saving yourself all kinds of money and heartache.
2. Your Customers have already Gone Mobile
More Americans own a smartphone than a desktop computer, according Pewinternet.org. Yes, 58% of American adults own a smartphone and 42% own a tablet. That means your audience is more likely to find you on their mobile device than on a traditional computer. Their eye, much like a wine connoisseur’s palate, is trained to appreciate a fine mobile site and reject a messy one.
It only makes sense to focus more of your energies and resources in the media-form most likely to be tasted first by your visitors.
3. Mobile has a Worldwide Reach
If your website is intended to reach beyond the US, the need for mobile only multiplies. In most developing countries, for example, mobile has saturated faster than personal computers. That means children and teens are coming up now that own smartphones, so-called phablets, or tablets having never even used a computer. According to Pewglobal.org, 37% of people in China own a smartphone, those percentages rise to 38, 39, and a whopping 45% in Jordan, Chile, and Lebanon, respectively. And those figures are only going to rise over the next five years.
According to Smartplanet.com, Africa is quickly developing a mobile-centric culture. CNN reports that 65% of weekend Google searches in South Africa come from a mobile device.
Whether your website promotes a business or nonprofit, or even if it’s a simple personal travel blog, your audience can more quickly become worldwide if you design with a focus on mobile.
4. First Impression = Mobile Impression
According to a Unifiedsocial.com infographic, not only are more people surfing the web on mobile devices than ever before, but mobile users are more likely to share that they are reading. For example, mobile uses are 66% more likely to retweet something compared to desktop users, and Pinterest content is shared nearly 3x more often on mobile than on desktop. Last year, Marketingland.com reported that 60% of its users were on mobile devices, and that figure has surely grown since then.
That means that, for most of your website’s audience, their first impression of your site will most likely be a mobile impression, perhaps after they tap a shared link to your site or content. Don’t you want to put your best foot forward and design with mobile in mind first?
Because the internet is so packed with websites to visit, any visitor you have is likely to only visit your site once, never to return again if you don’t catch their eye right from the start. If most visitors will visit your site from a mobile device, then your mobile first impression is much more important than your PC first impression. It’s all in the numbers.
5. You’ll be Ahead of the Game
Yes, responsive website design is the new black, but many major websites aren’t following that curve too well. Restive.io report claims that less than 15% of the Fortune 1,000 websites are responsive in design. So the trend hasn’t exactly taken off.
Imagine: if you design your site as mobile-first, you’ll be better off than 85% of the top enterprise websites!
So, in your next web design, think mobile-first and create a mobile web experience that will stun, impress, and inspire visitors, no matter their screen size.
Where To Study Web Design For Mobile
If you can design mobile websites you are set to be a well sought after designer these days. Everybody is rushing to get themselves “Mobile”. This class provides you with the concepts and skills to use HTML5 effectively to design websites for mobile devices.
This course really covers all aspects of mobile design, starting with a brief history all the way through to the future of mobile website design.
You get hands-on training working with basic through advanced techniques to get the most out of your experience. You will learn the basics of coding for mobile web design, beginning with HTML and advancing to more complex HTML5 fundamentals. You will also learn basics to advanced CSS techniques to complete your mobile web design course.
As you might expect, a mobile website is designed specifically for mobile devices, not to be confused with viewing a site made for desktop browsers on a mobile browser. Mobile websites are characterized by their simple “drill-down” architecture, or the simple presentation of navigation links that take you to a page or level deeper.
Though mobile websites are fairly easy to create, they fail to display consistently across multiple mobile browsers – a trait common to all mobile web mediums. We will teach you how to detect mobile devices and how to design so that your website looks good on over 5000 different devices.