You’re Missing Out if Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

Bill Widmer
Bill Widmer
Guest Contributor

While a website is mission-critical for all retailers, a site that is not mobile-friendly might cause more harm than good. Here’s a quick guide to ensuring your site is the optimal gateway for an exceptional shopping experience.

Did you know that mobile browsing is more common than desktop browsing as of two years ago? It’s already become old news – according to this report by ComScore, people are spending more time looking at your website on their phones than they are on their desktop computers.

You are losing out on customers if you’re not mobile friendly. Are you convinced yet? Well, it doesn’t stop there.

Google Punishes Non-Mobile-Friendly Websites

Google has released an update that punishes non-mobile-friendly websites. Web sites that aren’t mobile-friendly are pushed farther down on Google’s search results, which means you won’t be found. On top of that, they put a penalty on sites that don’t load within 1 second. Additionally, a 2012 Google survey found that:

  • 74% of visitors were more likely to return to mobile friendly websites
  • 61% were likely to leave if a site wasn’t mobile friendly, and
  • 67% were more likely to buy at a mobile friendly website

If your website isn’t fast and mobile friendly, it is hurting your business.

Mobile is Important for Brick-and-Mortar As Well

Mobile responsiveness isn’t just for eCommerce. Physical retailers also need to be up with the times.
Why? Because 83% of U.S. consumers go online to research electronics, computers, books, music and movies before buying those items in bricks-and-mortar stores. Yes, they are still shopping in physical locations. However, they are also comparing prices and doing other research on their phones before they choose which physical location to go to. This means two things.

  1. You need to have a mobile-friendly website in order for consumers to even consider you in their search.
  2. By being optimized for mobile you’re more likely to show up in local search results. While doing their research, they’ll have a higher chance of finding your shop and visiting it if you’re mobile friendly.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your sales, mobile-optimization is the way to go. According to Google, in order to be mobile-friendly, your website must:

  • Be formatted to adjust to any screen size without the need to scroll horizontally
  • Have enough separation between links that each one is easy to click on
  • Be able to be read without zooming in or out

In order to find out if your website is mobile-friendly, enter the URL in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Making a website mobile-friendly isn’t rocket science – but it isn’t a walk in the park, either. It’s hard to give you direct advice without knowing what platform you used to build your website. However, there are a few steps you can take. First, check your website in Google’s PageSpeed Tool.

As you can see, the mobile website I checked is in rough shape. Google needs me to “eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.” It’s also talking about prioritizing visible content, leveraging browser caching, and optimizing images. You can’t see it in the screenshot, but it’s also telling me to minify the JavaScript and CSS. If you’re not a web designer, you probably have no idea what any of that means. I didn’t either†when I first read it. It’s OK – it’s not as hard as it might look. There is a great article you can follow to get your mobile pages to load in under 1 second.

Going Beyond Google’s Tools

Once you’ve managed to get your website OK’d by Google, you aren’t necessarily done. Just like you can optimize your content via SEO without optimizing it for the actual human beings reading it, you can optimize your website for Google’s mobile test without optimizing it for the people viewing it. Check out this screenshot of how people view their mobile phone.

People typically look to the middle of their phones. That means you should place the most important above-the-fold content smack dab in the middle of the screen. Check out Neil Patel’s guide to creating mobile-optimized content to learn how you can take advantage of this fact. I hope this quick post has helped you to understand the importance of optimizing your website and your content for mobile. What are your plans for making your website mobile-friendly? Let me know in the comments below!

About the writer: Bill Widmer is the content manager at ChannelApe, a company dedicated to making your eCommerce store run better.  

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