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5 Reasons to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Apple just announced pre-orders of its iPhone 4S have topped one million in a single day, the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched. And they’re expecting to sell more than 100 million iPhones in 2012 alone, not to mention 69 million iPads. That’s a whole lotta mobile, and it doesn’t even include the heaps of non-Apple smartphones and tablets floating around the world.

Those are very nice numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means your website needs a mobile makeover. As mobile usage continues to rise, you’ll need to meet the demand with a simple, accessible version of your website—one that doesn’t seem like an afterthought. Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why you need to make friends with mobile. Right now.

Mobile Devices are Out of Control (in a Good Way)

In fact, there are 5.2 billion mobile subscribers globally (77% of the world’s population), according to Nielsen. Here’s a handy graph (generated with free data from Google’s Our Mobile Planet) that shows how many mobile subscribers use smartphones:

mobilepenetrationsized 0 - Stikky Media

Unfriendly Sites Drive Mobile Users Away

According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone. That’s not surprising, given how unpleasant it is to deal with scrolling, zooming and singling out a link from a teeny-tiny cluster. And instead of waiting for all of your fancy images to load, I’ve already gone to your competitor’s website and bought 3 pairs of footy pajamas. So there. My poor mobile experience has also given me a negative view of your business and all it has too offer, so good luck getting a sale from me in the future.

Flash is an Ads Killer

Investing hard-earned dollars in an Ads campaign? If it’s opted into “iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers,” “Mobile devices with full browsers” or “Tablet devices with full browsers,” make sure your landing page properly renders on these types of devices.

What this means is, don’t use Flash. It’s not supported on iPhones or iPads, and it’s very limited on Androids and other high-end devices. If Google detects a significant amount of Flash, it will limit your ads from running on unsupported devices.

If that seems harsh, think about it. Users won’t be able to interact on your site anyway, so what’s the point of running ads? If you optimize your site, you’ll not only get your ads back, but you’ll also give your user an experience they’ll want to return to. Plus, mobile-optimization of a website is a new factor of ads quality for Ads campaigns with mobile search traffic. Your landing page will perform better, driving more mobile traffic at a lower cost.

The Holiday Season is Coming

Google wrote an entire blog about holiday shopping. Disturbing, yes, shocking, no. They gave some excellent stats about how consumers use mobile to fend off the Last Minute Gift Sweats:

  • 15% of “Black Friday” searches will be from mobile devices
  • 44% of total searches for last minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices
  • Tablet users spend 50% more than PC users, according to eBay, and have higher AOV, and have higher or equivalent conversion rates
  • 70% of shoppers user their phones for shopping purposes, while shopping

And along the same lines…

Mobile Means Local

Another fact from Google: 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information, with 88% of these users taking action within a day. That means they’re in your neighbourhood (right now) and are looking to purchase something (right now). They want quick access to last-minute specials, deals and information. If your website is so mobile-offensive that users turn away and say “gross,” you’ll lose their business. It’s simple. They’re there, they’re looking for you. Be found.

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