Well, now it’s been a while since Google has updated its algorithm and promised to bring down the SEO ranking of any poor soul who hasn’t yet updated his website to be 100% mobile-friendly. If you are already clear on this, don’t read any further. But if you’re still on Google’s blacklist, no matter whether you’ve noticed the algorithm’s changes on your SEO ranking or not, Google’s not the only reason you should turn to mobile: you need to change for your customers. They’re mobile, why aren’t you?
We won’t be insisting any more on the importance of mobile and the impact it is having on consumers’ search and purchase behaviour, and we won’t showcase a list of numbers and percentages to prove our point. However, we would like to address the issues you or your boss might have that are preventing you from adapting your website to mobile requirements. We listed below three key points that might be blocking you.
- My website is already (more or less) responsive
Yes… and no. Ask members of your entourage to test your website on a mobile device and give you feedback on it. Did they find your website easy to navigate? Could they read all the texts, identify the important buttons they should click on? Did they find what they were looking for? Finally, did they want to purchase your product?
For many businesses, the answer will be no. Even if your website virtually adapts to the size of a smartphone’s screen, it doesn’t mean it is mobile-friendly. And if it’s not mobile-friendly, your on-the-go visitors will leave your website on a whim.
Keep in mind that smartphones are used differently than desktop in every aspect: search behaviour and terms are different, purchase behaviour and subscriptions are different, information consumption is more about having immediate and clear information than long and detailed articles. Mobile is used on the go, in random places and at any time, when people need to find businesses and information relevant to them at that precise moment.
And don’t forget that a smartphone’s screen, even if it’s a phablet, will always be much smaller than a desktop’s one. So if you have a lot of text on your website, complicated menus and slow-loading content, your “responsive” mobile website will be the same, and make the user experience a “non-friendly” time.
It’s not about having the fanciest mobile website ever. It’s about having a website that’s easy to use, quick to load and user-friendly. Mobile users are even more impatient than the desktop ones: they don’t have time to wait for your page to load or to zoom on the text. They need relevant information now, and if they don’t find it on your website, they’ll find it elsewhere.
- My boss doesn’t want to!
If you’re not the decider but are fully aware that you need to get your website to be mobile-friendly, and you already failed a few times to convince your boss, you’re probably looking for valid arguments to convince him, or her.
First, you should identify what’s blocking your boss from changing your website. Usually, what we hear the most is that:
- It’s useless, since the website automatically adapts itself to the screen’s size. For this matter, please refer to the point above
- It takes time.
- It costs money.
Now for the two remaining points.
a) It takes time
Yes it does, everything takes time, especially if it has to be done well. However, you don’t have to do the work alone. There are tons of experts specialised in webdesign and website optimisation towards mobile users. All you have to do is allocate some of your time to create a clear briefing, communicate you to your new partner and give him your feedback at every important stage, where your opinion is required. It doesn’t have to turn into a tedious and time-consuming task, if you clearly state your needs and what goals you want to reach through your mobile website (sales, information, new leads, etc.). Once you’ve launched the project, just give objective feedback and you’ll end up with a great, functional mobile-friendly website. And keep in mind: the time that you will “lose” in the conception and development of your new mobile website is nothing compared to the time that your customers will gain, just by navigating through a clear, quick-to-load and engaging mobile website. Customers’ happiness alone should be your number one priority, as it is your key to sales and returning clients.
b) It costs money
Instead of thinking of your potential expenses, think about your potential revenue. A mobile-friendly website means a happier visitor, thus more sales. In the medium to long term, the benefits of adapting your website will outshine the costs. What’s really costing you now is all of this endless hesitation and doubts. Of course it’s essential for a healthy business to keep a (very) close eye on its expenses, but money is also meant to be invested in your business’ future. You’re losing money right now, so take action!
- I don’t know how to improve
Then consider asking an expert for advice. If you don’t know how to proceed, it’s always better to entrust your problem to a field expert, as it will guarantee you a clean and qualitative work, with as less hassles as can be.
If you’d rather work on it on your own, then just look up your favourite brands’ websites on your mobile. What elements are attractive to you? How did they place their information? How is their purchase funnel? Is the information presented in a clear and concise way? Most likely, their website isn’t a simple copy and paste of their desktop website’s content, but it presents everything the mobile visitor could need, in a simple and direct way.
Think of using tools to test your mobile website and find what could be improved. There are a lot of free tools out there. You can already get useful information through your Analytics, and Google’s free tool, PageSpeed Insights.
And, what’s most important: test your website. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to tell you what they think of it. And ask them to be honest. Keep yourself informed on the new ways to present information and content to mobile users, and keep on optimising your website to make sure your customers have the best experience possible.
Mobile Website and App Analytics, by Avinash Kaushik.