Why your website must be optimised for mobile

When browsing the web on mobile and tablet we still see so many fixed width desktop sites that are ultimately losing conversions due to their websites not being responsive and ready for mobile use. These websites are often clunky, slow and in urgent need of a redesign. Research shows that 53% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30% will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimised for mobile devices (according to DoubleClick by Google)

Considering how important a website can be for any small business it seems only natural to take the extra care to ensure the website is mobile friendly.

Here we take a look at why mobile optimisation is so important …

 

 

1. Mobile users act differently

 

Mobile users have different objectives to desktop users. They typically want information at lightning speed in much smaller bites. Purchases on mobile are often impulsive and statistics show that mobile users spend more money per purchase than customers do on desktop websites, namely because they stick to viewing less information that is more efficient to their needs.

 

Your website must suit your visitors needs by understanding their behaviours and how they are browsing your website. For example, if you had a brochure website advertising cleaning services to your local area you would want to make your services and price list clear and concise to read, leading them on to an easy to use contact form so that potential customers can make enquiries. Meanwhile, if you owned a takeaway food restaurant you would need to place your menu at the forefront of users screens and find out the best way in which hungry customers can contact you to make an order, whether it be by telephone or by placing their order online or at a third party website. In either of these examples it is most likely that your website is being viewed on the fly by mobile users and therefore you need to align the path to purchase precisely so your visitors can make their decisions more rapidly.

 

zero-degrees

Zero Degrees Brewery and Restaurant’s website (zerodegrees.co.uk) has a user friendly responsive layout that when viewed on a smartphone, gives the user the perception that it was designed for mobile. It puts the options of viewing the menu, finding a venue and booking a table at the forefront of the home page on all devices in order to make it simple for the user, whilst driving revenue for through the website.

 

2. Mobile Gets Traffic

 

With one-quarter of global web searches conducted on a mobile device by over a billion users worldwide, mobile websites are just as important, if not more so, than desktop versions. Smartphone users are engaging with mobile websites and app during every scenario in their day to day lives, while watching TV, commuting to work, and simultaneously while using a computer. Just look at how many people you see glued their handhelds whilst walking along the street is enough proof that it’s most likely your website is going to be viewed on mobile over any other type of device, so it must be suitable for mobile use.

 

3. Mobile boosts your search ranking

 

Google have made it clear that the future of search is mobile and websites that aren’t usable on handheld devices will see their search rank suffer for it. If you don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly, take the Mobile Friendly Test to view a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device, as well as a list of any mobile usability problems that it finds. This includes issues that can affect a user that visits the page on a mobile (small screen) device, as well as use of small font sizes (which are hard to read on a small screen) and browser plugins like Flash (which isn’t supported by most mobile devices).

 

mobile-friendly-test

Google’s mobile friendly test gives visitors a brief overview of whether a website is mobile friendly with the ability to view further in depth usability reports so that you can see where improvements need to be made.

 

Search engines care that the web is being accessed more and more on mobile devices and have used their high usage to encourage well designed mobile friendly websites with content that performs well on all devices.

 

 

4. Increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate

 

Desktop websites in mobile browsers are ineffective at converting visitors into buyers. Calls to actions (CTAs) are often obscured, links are difficult to click and contact pages are buried in poor navigational menus. Mobile shoppers have little patience for an unwieldy website and one-third of them will leave a transaction if the site isn’t optimised for mobile.

 

To make the most of mobile, call to actions such as “Buy Now” and “Contact Us” buttons should be clear and easy to click and contact information should be one of the first things visitors see when they load your page. 80% of shoppers admit that mobile purchases are impulse-driven and that they’re more likely to purchase from and interact with a brand that offers an engaging mobile experience.

 

Content that looks great on a desktop might be unreadable on a mobile device. Visitors won’t stay on your site if they have to pinch and zoom or squint at illegible type, or worse yet if it runs flash or anything that requires plugins to display in a browser. If your website isn’t optimised professionally for mobile your bounce rate on mobile devices is going to be extremely high. By providing mobile visitors with an appropriate and intuitive user experience you can engage visitors longer and drive more of them to purchase or make enquiries.

 

5. Mobile use make for better brand engagement

People like your brand more when you offer a satisfying mobile experience and they’re more likely to return to your website later on a desktop, usually if they need to make longer more thought out purchase decisions or enquires that involve more information. 90% of people report moving between devices, or “multi-screening”, to accomplish a task. When your mobile experience is optimised for functionality and consistency it builds trust and makes users come back for more.

 

ceraudo-1

Vintage/antique retailer Ceraudo incorporate desirable rotating banners along with their most popular product categories to create a customer journey. It allows visitors to really feel what the brand is trying to achieve as an alternative to “ordinary” interior furnishing businesses.

 

If your mobile website is difficult to navigate or looks dated, customers are more likely to shop around and look at competitors website and more appealing brands. A modern, functional website that works well on mobile will provide many more opportunities for your brand to be successful and discounts the risk of your company losing it’s competitive appeal or the opportunity to increase sales and conversions.

 

Conclusion

You don’t need much technical know how to understand that a mobile optimised website encourages users to stick around. If they can easily navigate and read your site from their phone, they learn more about your company. The more they learn about your company, the more likely they are to buy from you.

You must give your customers what they want with fast loading pages, easy navigation, and a streamlined responsive website with great content and great products that works flawlessly on mobile devices.

If you are happy with the information currently presented on your website but it doesn’t work on mobile, use our professional design expertise at Launch to migrate the existing content over so that your website is ready for smartphone users.  Grab hold of the growing number of customers who use mobile devices to shop by providing them with a user friendly path from viewing your website and making a purchase. Make mobile work, as the number website views by users on mobile is growing at a rapid pace.

 

Andrew K

A multidisciplinary designer specialising in E-commerce and UX who loves every stage of the online design process.

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