The Importance of a Mobile Friendly Website

In today’s day and age, your customers are on the go and likely viewing your website on a smartphone. Many are no longer sitting in front of their desktop computers for personal internet use. If users cannot browse your website on a mobile device, they will navigate to another site where they can.

Are you using Adobe Flash which can’t render on mobile phones? Does your website render properly? Is it responsive? Are you being penalized by Google for not having a mobile friendly website?

One metric that will gauge whether your website users are happy or unhappy with the mobile rendering of the website is bounce rate. Do you think your website is mobile friendly?

Mobile Is the Way of the Future

The use of mobile phones and tablets is on the rise. According to eMarketer, 82.7% of users have a smartphone as of 2017. The percentage of tablet users in 2017 is 63.7%. Millennials are the top smartphone users. Over 98% of users 18-24 have a smartphone that can be used to browse the internet.

Mobile online shopping time now exceeds PC online shopping time, according to ComScore. However, mobile is not just important for e-commerce. Seventy-four percent of visitors to a website are likelier to return to a mobile friendly website, according to a Google survey. Sixty-one percent are likely to leave that website if it isn’t mobile friendly, and 67% of users are likelier to buy from a mobile friendly website. The statistics confirm that a website must be mobile friendly to survive its competition.

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform used for production of animation, rich internet applications, desktop applications, and embedded web browser video players. Unfortunately, iPhones don’t support Adobe Flash, and it has been phased out in favor of HTML5 specifications. Adobe has declared an end-of-life date for Flash as of 2020. If your website uses Adobe Flash, it is time to build a responsive web site.

Responsive Web Design

Mobile phones have smaller displays and will often distort visuals on regular websites, will render very small, and will make the user zoom in to see information and click on links. It is important to change your standard website into a mobile responsive website.

Responsive web design suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation. Responsive web design uses a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images, and the intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches between screen sizes, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size, and scripting abilities.

The average desktop webpage size is 960 pixels and a screen width of 1,024 pixels. An iPhone portrait width-to-height pixel screen size is 310 by 352. The iPad portrait width-to-height pixel screen size is 750 by 920. A responsive website is able to resize itself to render properly on hundreds of different screen sizes without the user doing anything (zoom in, scroll, etc.).

Google Penalties

Google rolled out changes to its algorithm on April 21, 2015, that makes the mobile friendless ranking factor more important. Google may penalize a website that is not mobile friendly. Google wants to show the best results on its search engine, and websites that don’t look good on mobile phones will not rank high on mobile search results.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a good indicator of how a website is performing. Bounce rate indicates how often a user lands on a web page, doesn’t continue viewing the website, and then decides to go somewhere else.

Another type of bounce is a click-back. This happens when a user would rather go back to your competitor in the search results instead of traversing your website, usually if it is not mobile friendly. A high bounce rate suggests that something is wrong with the rendering of the website and the user is not able to follow the path to conversion (visitor submitting a form or making a purchase). If your bounce rate is high, using a mobile friendly testing tool should be your next step.

Mobile Friendly Testing Tools

It can be hard to figure out if your website is mobile friendly. Here are two tools you can use to identify if the website is mobile friendly and the changes that can be made to make it mobile friendly.

Google Mobile Friendly Test – a tool to identify whether your website is mobile friendly. The tool shows you what your website looks like to your visitors and ranks your website for mobile friendliness. The tool will also list all the mobile usability characteristics that it finds.

Bing Mobile Friendliness Test Tool – analyzes your web page and lets you know whether it is mobile friendly or not. The tool gives you a rendering of the mobile version of the website and lets you know about important mobile friendly characteristics, like viewport configuration, content fit, text readability, and link touch friendliness.

Mobile friendly websites are important for retaining mobile users to make sure they traverse your website and ultimately convert (visitor submits a form or makes a purchase). Take the time to make sure your website is built with responsive design and that it is mobile friendly.

Do the topics of mobile friendly websites and responsive websites interest you? You may want to become a web application coder, designer, or developer. Hunter Business School’s Web Application Design and Development program transforms beginning computer coding students into entry-level, full-stack web developers. Learn how to code and design web and mobile responsive applications professionally in a full-time immersive course. Contact us today to learn more!

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