There are so many devices connected to the internet these days. They range from traditional desktop and laptop computers to phones, tablets, game consoles, televisions, cameras, and even baby monitors. And not all websites perform equally well on all devices. We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to navigate a site that wasn’t designed to be manipulated by fingers on a touchscreen—whether it’s because of buttons that are too small, menus that won’t stay open, or special features that won’t run. No one wants to waste time navigating an awkward website.
A few years ago, a website that wouldn’t work well on mobile device wouldn’t have significantly affected your website traffic. But that has all changed. Recent reports indicate that there are now more adults in the United States who exclusively use the internet on their mobile devices than there are who exclusively use traditional desktop and laptop computers. Here are some basic stats:
- 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source
- 45% of all email is opened from a mobile device
- 80% of American adults have a smartphone
In other words, there are officially more people visiting your site from tablets and cell phones than there are visiting it from computers. With those kinds of numbers, no one should want to run a website that wasn’t mobile-friendly.
What’s more, mobile-friendly sites now have an even greater advantage than a less-frustrating design. Just last week, on April 21st, 2015, Google changed the way their site and search results look at mobile-friendly websites. See, Google has a lot of factors that they use to determine how high a website appears in their search results—things like how popular your website is, how well its content matches the search, how many other sites link to yours, and so on. But from now on, Google will also be checking to see if your website qualifies as mobile-friendly. If it doesn’t, it won’t show up as often when people search from mobile devices.
So if over half the people out there are running Google searches from mobile devices, and non-mobile-friendly sites won’t show up in their results . . . well, we can all do the math on that. It’s time to get on the mobile-friendly bandwagon.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your site qualifies as mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out. Google also has a guide to mobile-friendly sites that you can look at; and if you have a Webmaster Tools account, you can get a full list of any mobile usability issues on your site using the Mobile Usability Report. Get out there and get your site updated before it’s too late!