As business owners it’s always important to keep up to date to big changes happening in how your customers are shopping for your products or services. One of the biggest impacts on shopping habits over the past few years has been a massive shift to smartphone friendly websites. With phones in nearly every person’s pocket it’s a primary device for many users, especially if they are on the go and shopping in a physical location.
Starting mid 2016 we have seen a huge industry shift to mobile first whether it’s the type of traffic we are seeing visiting websites or Google updating their algorithm to support a mobile-first internet marketing strategy. Not only has Google penalized websites that are not mobile-friendly but they rank mobile versions of websites separately from the desktop versions. This means if you are using a mobile-only version of your website, such as a m.your-domain.com you could be missing out on traffic due to a poor user experience and likely lack of proper SEO on the mobile version of your website.
Mobile First Design & User Experience
Mobile first website design and the user experience is something that has become more important than ever. The desktop user experience has always been very forgiving. There is a lot of screen space and with monitor resolutions continuing to get larger as we get better technology, it just becomes more so. It’s a huge canvas on which to paint your brand.
By contrast, mobile is quite the opposite as phones have small screen sizes which means every bit of screen space is exponentially more valuable. Not only has this shifted the website design to a more “stacked” approach rather than the classic two or three column designs that have been popular since the 90’s.
In addition to ensuring everything looks good and functions properly when viewed on a smart phone, page load speed has become a large focus point for web developers. Statistics show that most people will leave a website if it does not load within 3 seconds, even more at 5, and even less with anything longer than 7 seconds to load. While desktops are often equipped with fast internet and a large capacity for processing data, smartphones are still not as fast due to wireless connectivity and perhaps someone having an older phone. This means page load speed on mobile is more important than ever, and Google even backs it up by taking page load speed into consideration for ranking.
The Bottom Line For Business Owners
All of these changes may sound like small insignificant details of the online world but I can assure you it is a big deal. Smart phones have changed how people consume and shop as they go throughout life. It allows us to browse the internet late at night from our beds or from the couch while watching TV. It allows us to spot check prices and reviews for products before we pick it off the shelf. If you’ve ever done any sort of price matching you have experiences first hand the benefits of what some call the Zero Moment of Truth. It is the moment that you pull out your phone and use the internet to help you make a decision on a purchase. This behavior is completely new and nothing that businesses have had to adapt to in the past because of how much information i available on the Internet.
Whether you’re advertising on Pay Per Click Ads, building or maintaining a website, you are selling widgets out of a shop on Main street, or you’re helping out your neighbors in a service vehicle at their homes and businesses, having a mobile friendly presence is important and can mean the difference between feast or famine for many businesses.