Essential Marketing for Florists

Google Warning: Give Mobile Users What They Want!

If you’re not doing what you can to reach out to mobile users, you’re handing your competition all kinds of business. As highlighted in a recent post on the Google Mobile blog, it’s more important than ever to create mobile-friendly websites. Apps and mobile themes for websites are popular solutions, but they generally miss the mark in terms of keeping visitors happy. Learn more about the importance of creating mobile-friendly websites and how responsive web design can help below.

Survey Shows that Users Give High Marks to Mobile-Friendly Sites

The Google blog post that’s mentioned above revolves a survey that was conducted on behalf of Google by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger. The survey asked approximately 1,000 smartphone users about their mobile browsing habits. The results are nothing short of striking, and the consensus couldn’t be clearer: Mobile Internet users expect to be greeted with mobile-friendly websites. When they encounter sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, they take their business elsewhere.

Lessons Learned from the Survey

The Google survey is full of eye-opening information. A few key highlights include:

  • 74 percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to return to sites that are optimized for mobile devices.
  • 96 percent of respondents said they have encountered sites that clearly aren’t designed for mobile devices.
  • 36 percent of those who encountered non-mobile-friendly sites said they feel they wasted their time by visiting them.
  • 50 percent said they were less likely to give their business to companies that don’t have mobile-friendly sites, even if they already like those businesses.
  • Approximately half of those who responded said companies that don’t have mobile-friendly sites don’t care about their businesses.
  • 52 percent of those who responded said they were less likely to engage with companies that don’t have mobile-friendly websites.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to make purchases from mobile-friendly sites.
  • 61 percent of the people who were surveyed said they click away if they don’t see what they need on a mobile site immediately.

 

Are Mobile Themes Viable Solutions?

In an effort to provide mobile-friendly websites in the quickest and most cost-effective way possible, some companies turn to mobile-themed websites. Based on what the Google blog post shows, however, this is hardly a worthwhile solution. Mobile themes are woefully generic. Upon arriving on a mobile-themed site, visitors have a hard time determining what it’s all about. If they can’t figure it out right away, they’re unlikely to stick around. Such sites rarely convey a company’s brand in a meaningful way, so they fall flat in terms of providing information about a business.

The Limitations of Mobile Sites and Subdomains

For a while, the only way to keep computer users and mobile users happy was to create separate versions of the same site. In other words, you had to create one version for computers and another version for mobile devices. Separate subdomains were needed as well. This isn’t an optimal solution either, and it’s largely why responsive web design was developed in the first place.

One of the main drawbacks of having a mobile version of a website is that it requires twice the administrative overhead. There are essentially two sites to keep up and running, so the workload is doubled. Mobile versions of websites are usually lost in the shuffle, so they are typically out of date and rarely contain a whole lot of useful information.

Responsive Web Design: An Optimal Solution

Don’t waste your time by creating a mobile version of your website. Try responsive web design instead. With responsive web design, the same HTML and URLs are used across all platforms and devices. CSS is used to change the way in which a site is rendered from one device to the next. Flexible layouts, grids and images allow a single site to look great on any device. With the intelligent use of CSS, responsive web design automatically responds to users’ preferences and accommodates all devices with ease.

The Top Benefits of Responsive Web Design

If you’re not sold on the benefits of responsive web design, consider these benefits:

  • Easier Sharing – Have you ever tried sharing a link from a mobile site on a regular computer? It usually doesn’t translate very well. With responsive design, the same URL renders perfectly on any device, which makes it easier to share links.
  • More Appealing Designs – Trying to open the mobile version of a site on a computer, or vice-versa, is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; it just doesn’t look right. With responsive web design, one set of code produces a gorgeous site on any device.
  • Fewer Pages Mean Stronger Rankings – If a mobile version of a website is used, traffic is divvied up between several more subdomains and URLs. As a result, it’s more difficult for a page to develop a strong ranking on the major search engines. Responsive web design eliminates this issue and makes it easier to climb up the search engine rankings.
  • Apps aren’t Indexed – It’s fine to use an app to promote your business, but you should use responsive web design to create a mobile-friendly site too. After all, apps aren’t indexed by the major search engines.

Exceptional Examples of Responsive Web Design in Action

As responsive web design becomes more popular, it’s easier to find than ever. Some sites do it better than others. Three top examples include:

  1. The Boston Globe – Try opening this site on your smartphone, and then open it on your computer. It looks just as incredible across all devices, so it epitomizes what responsive web design is all about.
  2. Grey Goose Vodka – This site exemplifies the way in which typography, photography and navigation can translate well across several devices through responsive web design.
  3. HeathLife – This site for a popular park in London renders just as beautifully on a large computer monitor as it does on a smartphone or tablet.

Conclusion

If we are to learn anything from the preceding information, it’s this: The only way to appeal to as many visitors as possible is by having a mobile-friendly site, and the easiest and most effective way to do that is by using responsive web design.

17 thoughts on “Google Warning: Give Mobile Users What They Want!”

  1. Quite true. The number of smartphones and iPads and iPhones are increasing at a great rate, that there are plenty of people who surf the web mostly through their smartphones. Hence its foolish if we do not start making mobile versions of our websites.

    Like pointed out, we should try to appease the maximum number of visitors, and mobile users shall form a bit of it. Hence, I too recommend starting a mobile version of your website.

    1. I’m thinking about making a mobile version of a website, but I haven’t the faintest idea where to begin. This article does point out a few tips that I should use to start.

  2. This is definitely true. Internet marketing is no longer the trend. If you are not yet in mobile marketing, you are surely lagging behind. You have to be there or else, your competitors will be eating up the market.

  3. The importance of having a mobile phone and tablet friendly site is undeniable. But what this article neglects to mention is the time and costs associated with making this transition. Both of these factors would play a major role in my decision making process. Is there any time and/or cost savings associated with one of these options over the others?

  4. I agree that it’s important to think about mobile users and that investing in responsive website design is good, but I find it strange that potential clients would turn away so fast because a site is not totally mobile friendly. Usually I use my laptop and PC for my main activities, and not some small smartphone. And I don’t base my decisions on facts like that.

  5. The user-friendliness of the mobile version of certain websites may not be the most important factor for us now but it still matters to a great extent. When you couldn’t find your way through the site, you will most likely exit the browser and look for another site.

  6. These stats are telling. In fact,some of these numbers express the fact that not having a mobile optimized website can be detrimental. However, the fact that 61% of the people surveyed said that they would click away if they don’t see what they want, also means that a mobile website needs to be well organized.

    Thus, any mobile website is not necessarily going to work. It seems to be important to have a site that is well designed. Moreover, the site should be structured in a way that provides the information needed fast.

  7. Makes sense to have more mobile sites. Many of these mobile internet users are connected online 24/7. To come to a site that isn’t finger friendly or not easily navigable on a cell phone isn’t worth it.

  8. This article could not be more of a great reminder that you can actually increase your market share, if you make your website or Drupal CMS mobile compatible. This will definitely allow you to increase your conversions, because most people never leave home without their phone!

  9. I actually am very familiar with this topic as I create images for mobile apps in my business. It’s so key that you think about about the mobile user when you are programming. Everything from screen size to how to view specific graphics without straining.

    1. This is a good tip. We should always place ourselves in the shoe of the user so we can take into consideration their needs, expectations and concerns.

      1. Great point vida_llevares! Most of the time as businesses we may get caught up in our own features that we want to showcase to
        customer instead of what they actually need.

  10. Kirsten Ostrenga

    It’s a must to build a mobile-friendly version of our websites to keep the visitors and traffic. It’s clear that most of people surf the web looking for their interest trough smartphones, the amount of people surfing sites with their iPhones or BlackBerry phones grows fast everyday, so at this point if your website doesn’t support this portable browsers your visitors won’t be happy at all, people is getting the habit of being online with a mobile phone rather than sitting on a computer.

  11. Yeah. Talk about keeping up with the signs of the times. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you may end up left behind by the industry.

  12. With all of the option available now with so many responsive themes for WordPress, there is absolutely no reason not to be mobile friendly. It is much easier than it used to be. There are so many compelling reasons, as the article points out.

    We need to do everything we can to rank well in Google and Google is telling us that’s what we need to do. Additionally, having a mobile friendly Web site will cut down on the bounce rate — which is also a ranking factor for Google.

    And not least, the customers are not always at home or at work in front of a computer to do their online shopping. More and more people are becoming accustomed to shopping while on the go whether it’s a last-minute purchase or just a way to pass the time while commuting home from work, hopefully on a train or bus and not while driving!

  13. “96 percent of respondents said they have encountered sites that clearly aren’t designed for mobile devices.” I am curious to know how this percentage evolved. I think it’s now lower than 50% because most sites I visit are optimized for mobile devices.

    I make sure all my sites are optimized for everything: tablets and mobile devices alike. I get a lot of traffic from these sources and would like that number to grow.

    “50 percent said they were less likely to give their business to companies that don’t have mobile-friendly sites, even if they already like those businesses.” This was WOW for me! I mean they love the company but wouldn’t give their business just because their websites are not optimized properly! I can’t believe it! Very enlightening!

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