And if it does, how well does it work?
Here are some numbers from Pew’s Internet Project to get this started.
As of January 2014:
90% of American adults have a cell phone
58% of American adults have a smartphone
32% of American adults own an e-reader
42% of American adults own a tablet computer
As of May 2013, 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online.
Concerned yet? Now is the time to be.
There’s mobile and there’s mobile friendly. Just about very website is available to any mobile device with internet access. But how well does your site look when it’s viewed on a screen 4 inches across? Can you see your main menu? How about the Contact link? Where’s your essential info like a phone number or address? Do you run an ecommerce site? Can you buy a product from your web store with your phone?
If you answer no to any of these and don’t do anything about it, then you’re saying goodbye to potentially 63% of your visitors. What more reason do you need?
Why should your website be mobile optimized?
1. Reduced Bounce Rate
Have you checked you analytics recently? When your not-so-mobile-friendly site gets loaded on a phone or tablet nothing about it looks like it’s meant to. All those carefully positioned elements are either totally rearranged or just microscopic. It’s no surprise that a visitor ejects right away. You’re asking them to do a lot of extra work to see your site and they simply won’t – not when they can go to your competitor and get want they want.
2. Increased Return Traffic
A well designed, mobile friendly website represents you well but a poorly designed site can do some serious damage to your reputation. From a study conducted by Google, “50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly,” whereas when they visited a site that is mobile friendly, “74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future.” How many hits like this are you willing to take?
3. Higher Conversion Rate
Cell phones are the new yellow pages. This is not news. Even though those phone books keep showing up on our doorsteps, no one is using them. Virtually everyone you know is checking for phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation on their phones. Users on a mobile device don’t use the web the same way as desktop users. Mobile users often use their devices directly before taking an action. If you’re hungry, you check for good restaurants nearby (restaurant owners, is that menu visible on your site? It needs to be). If you’re in a waiting room you may want to order that item you came across earlier in the day or get the address of that shop so you can stop in on the way home. If there’s no menu available for the cafe, the web store doesn’t work properly on your phone, or you can’t find the address to the shop, you may just do your business elsewhere.
The take away message is that, just like on your desktop site, you want the user’s experience to be frictionless. That will keep them coming back again and again.[author title="About the Author"]