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If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website for your small business, you’re missing out on countless opportunities to convert visitors into customers. More than 80% of internet users accessed the web through their smartphones this year, but only 56% of small businesses in the U.S. have a website that’s easier to use on a mobile device.
If your business falls into that 56%, you’ve got some catching up to do. Here’s why you need to make mobile-friendly web design a priority.
1. Mobile sites help you reach a larger audience
One of the biggest advantages to mobile-friendly or responsive web design is that it helps you reach a larger audience. Mobile website visits surpassed traditional desktop site visits for the first time late last year when 51.3% of website visits stemmed from mobile devices. This year 40.7 million people in the U.S. will use only a smartphone to access the internet — roughly 4 million more than in 2016. And as more people begin using smartphones, we can expect to see that number rise even higher, reaching 52.3 million by 2021.
The key takeaway here is that to reach the most people, your website needs to cater to what most people want: ease of use across mobile devices. We’ll get into this more in the next section.
2. Mobile sites improve user experience
Let’s take a second to break down what a mobile-friendly website is and what it isn’t. Mobile sites are responsive, which means that they display differently across varying screen sizes. Elements like images, buttons, and forms rearrange to display vertically on smaller screens instead of side by side as they might on your desktop. Buttons are conveniently thumb-sized, and text is easily legible without needing to zoom in.
All of this is important if you want to give your visitors good user experience. Nobody wants to constantly pinch their screen larger and smaller just to click a purchase button, or scroll side to side on a narrow screen to read your FAQ page. Mobile-friendly web design takes care of that by making all elements of your website easy to read and use on small screens.
3. Mobile sites bring SEO Benefits
Another major benefit of responsive web design is a boost in your SEO rankings. Google uses both load time and the amount of time spent on a page to determine your site’s relevance to a search query.
And you guessed it: mobile-friendly design helps both of those factors.
Google automatically gives preference to sites that load quickly. The faster your page loads, the higher you’ll show up in search results. You can use Google’s Test My Site tool to assess your own website and see where you stand.
On top of that, 53% of mobile pages are abandoned if they take longer than 3 seconds to load. For reference, the average load time is 19 seconds — about as long as it takes to sing your ABCs.
The more times someone abandons your page, the higher your bounce rate (the number of people who leave your site without visiting another page) becomes. And to Google, high bounce rates translate to a site that doesn’t match what people are searching for, making it less relevant than other sites. So the faster your page loads, the higher you’ll show in search results.
4. Mobile sites lead to better sales and conversions
Responsive web design does more than make visitors happy or boost your search rankings. It also helps you close more sales. 88% of users who search for a local service or business on a mobile device either call or visit that business within 24 hours. These potential customers or clients are more of a sure thing than someone who finds you through a desktop search.
However, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they initially have trouble accessing — whether through slow load times, tiny text, or buttons that just aren’t big enough for human thumbs. 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.
That means your bounce rate just got higher AND you lost a potential sale to your competitor.
The fact is that users are more likely to fill out contact forms and click purchase buttons if they’re easy to use right there from their phone screen. Remember that your website is often someone’s first impression of your company, and if it’s difficult to use, they’ll probably think you’re difficult to work with, too.
Need help getting your website mobile-ready?
If you haven’t made a responsive website your priority, now is the time to do so. Your site’s visitors are only going to use their mobile devices more in 2018, and when they do, you need to be ready for them. Need help getting your site mobile-ready? We can help you!