10 April 2017 by Evie Gates
By 2018, nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be mobile. Meaning a mobile friendly website is more important than ever.
More and more of your customers are choosing to access your site via mobile over desktop. Just being ‘responsive’ is no longer enough to satisfy the needs of your users and keep up your rankings. It is vital that your site is correctly optimised and 100% mobile friendly!
The increase in mobile traffic has resulted in a massive shift in consumer behaviour and how users search. Towards the end of 2016, Google began rolling out their ‘Mobile-First Index’ and is changing the way that your site gets ranked in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
What is it the Mobile-First Index?
Basically, Google crawls your site to add your pages to its index. It uses a bot to surf around your site like a real visitor and follows links on your pages. Google used to crawl your site as a desktop user but now, with the roll-out of the Mobile-First index, it will crawl your site as a mobile user instead.
Google have previously stated that content not deemed mobile friendly will not rank as well. This will still be the case after the roll-out.
There are a number of things that affect your overall mobile friendliness according to Google, including page speed and user experience. Google will also look at your titles, H1s, structured data and other tags, as well as content generated from your mobile site, then use these to rank your site over your desktop version.
The answer to this is simple. Mobile is everything!
The number of mobile users exceeded the number of desktop users a few years ago and there are now more mobile searches than desktop searches worldwide. So really, it makes perfect sense that Google’s bot should crawl sites as a mobile user!
The first mobile-crawler has already been rolled out. However, full implementation of the Mobile-First Index will take months - unfortunately Google won’t give a specific date.
But, during the roll-out period, there will be two indexes, both desktop and mobile. As Google becomes more confident with the results of the mobile index it will slowly begin to phase out the desktop index altogether, leaving just the mobile index.
Three reasons you need mobile friendly site:
Just in case we still haven’t already convinced you how important it is to have an optimised, mobile-friendly site, here’s some more reasons:
Mobile users have very different objectives to desktop users. Those searching on desktops, tend to browse, while mobile users are looking for quick, easily digested, relevant information. Mobile purchases are often impulse buys and Google also say, “local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores within just one day”. With mobile users, it’s all about intent - target your customers at the correct time of intent when they are most likely to purchase!
At 8.58%, tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on eCommerce websites, while multiple reports claim that mobile users tend to spend more per purchase than customers on desktop do. On mobile friendly sites, CTAs should be clear and easy to click, increasing overall conversion rate, while 80% of shoppers admit to interacting more with a brand that offers an engaging mobile experience.
Content that looks good on a desktop, may be messy or unreadable on a mobile device. Users today don’t have time for pinching and zooming, they want their information as fast as possible. This will cause visitors to click straight off your site, making your bounce rate extremely high. Providing visitors with a better experience will engage them for longer and push them to enquire or purchase!
So basically, there’s no getting away from it! Ultimately, if you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you are losing sales! Not only this, but your search rankings in Google could be affected following the roll-out of the Mobile-First Index. By making the path to purchase or enquiry simple and intuitive you’ll align more precisely with your users, who need information rapidly to make decisions on the fly.
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