smartphone catJust a couple of years ago, having a mobile-friendly website wasn’t a big deal.  Most people were still using their desktops and laptops.  However, the introduction of the iPad in 2010 and the increasing popularity of “smart” phones changed the way people accessed the Internet. Suddenly, access to the “web” could be carried around in a pocket or purse.

Responsive Websites

At around this time, website developers began to understand the importance of having a website that displayed well on the new mobile devices. At first, they designed separate websites that would display when someone accessed the Internet from a mobile device. While the sites worked well, making additions and changes to two separate websites was unwieldy and expensive.  Today, responsive websites have become the industry standard.  The “fluid” design of these websites makes them scalable, easily viewed on any size screen. Since there is only one website, updates only need to be made once and flow across all platforms.

“But I have a Perfectly Good Website”

Many business owners who, just a few years ago, spent thousands on a website are resistant to spending even more on a re-design.  They look at the website on their computers and it looks great!  Why bother with a costly new website?

Why Businesses Must Adopt a Mobile-Friendly Website Design

According to a Google Survey:

  • 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

Today, mobile devices outnumber desktops and laptops, and more people access the web on these devices than on traditional computers.  Mobile users expect the websites they view to be attractive and functional.  Even more important is that Google understands this and is warning businesses that if they do not have a mobile-friendly website, they are likely to be ignored when searches are done on mobile devices. According to Yoshikiyo Kato, a Software Engineer from the Google Mobile Search team: “To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.“

Business owners must balance the cost of a new website against the potential loss of customers.