You don’t have to look far to find countless marketing and web design blogs confidently asserting that it’s absolutely crucial to have a mobile-responsive website, and we don’t disagree with them.
However, most of these publications fail to sway a large proportion of their readers as they don’t tell them why it’s crucial to have a mobile responsive website, and how a properly mobile-optimized site can markedly improve their business.
That’s where this article is different. We’re going to succinctly explain the three main, data backed reasons why your site should go mobile nowadays. The reasons are in no particular order. So, without further ado, here we go.
1. Responsive Sites Have Higher SEO Rankings.
This is arguably one of the biggest reasons why you should go responsive when designing your website. In 2015, Google officially publicly announced that they are going to start using mobile optimization as a ranking signal by stating, in no uncertain terms, that they’re now “boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results”.
Image Source: lynda.com
Their rationale was simple. More people than ever are searching Google and browsing the internet in general, from mobile phones, and sites that aren’t mobile responsive provide a sub-par website user experience. They frustrate visitors by making them wrestle with the site, pinching and zooming frantically and twisting their phone every which way just to see the page properly.
This means the user can’t complete their goal easily (whether that’s finding some information on the site or purchasing something). And if the visitors can’t complete their goal on the site easily, then Google is not meeting their goal of serving up the right pages for users.
It’s not entirely altruistic, as Google knows if it keeps serving up hard to navigate pages that aren’t optimized for mobile, to mobile users, it will leave space for a competing search engine that does.
In 2016 the big G doubled down on this, officially stating that they are going to be putting even more emphasis on the mobile optimization ranking signal.
Put simply, if your website is mobile-optimized then it’s likely going to be ranked even higher than before on Google’s mobile search results, and if your site isn’t, then it’s pages are going to plummet further in Google’s mobile search rankings. Ouch.
We’d be hard pressed to find a business out there that couldn’t do with higher Google rankings and the organic, free traffic that comes as a result of that, so from that perspective, it’s really a no brainer. Have your site mobile optimized or watch your search traffic rapidly decrease before your very eyes. We’re not kidding.
2. Responsive Sites Have Higher Conversion Rates.
Want more sales or sign-ups? Then read on. A study From Google conducted by two independent market research firms, Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, surveyed 1,088 US adult smartphone users. They found that 67 percent of respondents are more likely to buy a product or service from a “mobile-friendly site”. Google supports this research with the assertion that “if your site offers a great mobile experience, users are more likely to make a purchase”.
Even more interestingly, if your website isn’t mobile-optimized, you will increasingly be pushing your visitors into the arms of your competitor’s sites that are. The same survey found that “61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site”.
Still not convinced?
Well, a recent study by the Aberdeen Group found that that mobile optimized websites achieve an approximately 11% higher visitor-to-buyer ratio conversion rate compared to sites that aren’t mobile optimized.
Finally, if you need some real-life examples, the internet is brimming with them. According to a research compilation by eConsultancy, fashion retailer Bench saw a 100% conversion rate increase after going mobile-responsive. And Horze, the equestrian supplies retailer, saw a 19 percent conversion rate increase from mobile since going responsive.
It’s simple. Mobile-optimized sites convert a higher proportion of mobile visitors into buyers and reduces the number of them clicking off your site and onto a competitors site.
3. Mobile Optimized Webites Get More Traffic.
There are a few main reasons why mobile optimized sites are getting the lion’s share of the traffic. Firstly, research from Statista shows, that as of Q1 2018, 51% of global traffic was coming from mobiles, that’s up from 31.16% in Q1 2015. A dramatic increase. We’ll let that sink in for a second.
Secondly, as we discussed above, Google is actively increasing the search ranking for mobile optimized sites on their mobile search results pages (which is quickly becoming the dominant search results page, as the stats from Statista, directly above show mobile traffic starting to eclipse desktop traffic), and subsequently decreasing the search ranking of non-responsive sites.
Thirdly, recent research from Comscore, cited by MarketingLand has found that “nearly 80 percent of social media time (is) now spent on mobile devices”. So, if your site is even getting a small proportion of it’s traffic through the major social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) and increasingly most sites are, then a vast majority of those users will be bouncing from your site quickly if its not mobile optimized, as, as was stated above, most people are now visiting social media platforms from their mobiles.
Image source: waystomakesite.com
So, there you have it. The research is quite clear, if you want higher search engine rankings, more relevant organic traffic, higher conversion rates and greater customer satisfaction rates, then you simply must go responsive. Even if it means getter a professional website evaluation to make sure the mobile-responsiveness is proper.
Not listening to this advice leads to the inevitable question of not if, but when your websites rankings, traffic and conversion rates start to noticeably decline as search engines penalize you further and your competitors with responsive sites gobble up your business. Thankfully, it can all be prevented, but the time to act is now.