Why Mobile Matters

Stop moaning that you just “don’t have the time”. You may feel rushed off your feet, but smartphones mean we’ve actually got more minutes to play with than ever before.

The average person spends about an hour and a half every day on their mobile. Those five minutes you squeeze in checking Facebook before a meeting or reading articles on the bus all add up, meaning we could end up spending 4 years of our lives just scrolling through our phones.

Be honest, how many times have you checked your mobile today?

Almost 50% of smartphone owners have admitted that they couldn’t live without their device. We now rely on this technology, whether it’s to check the news in the morning, get social, send emails or submit job applications.

The mobile audience is growing and every user is a potential customer. If you have a website, it’s vital you ask yourself whether you’re giving your mobile visitors what they want.

The rise of mobile has changed your customers’ behaviour

Before smartphones, the exhausted tourist would probably have ended up in a chain restaurant disappointed by an overcooked burger. Now, she can soak in the bath and scroll through the most mouth-watering burger bars on her phone.

Too lazy to go upstairs and grab his laptop to find out how to assemble the cabinet properly, the DIY novice would carry on without instructions and hope for the best. Now, he can take his phone out of his back pocket and watch a short ‘how-to’ video that shows every step.

Tired from rush hour traffic, the prospect of sitting on the computer scrolling through and applying for potential jobs could be too much for the rundown jobseeker. Now, he can submit an application on his lunch break at the touch of a button. He’s not alone either, as almost 20% of smartphone owners have sent their CV through a mobile.

Mobile has also changed your customers’ expectations

The internet used to be limited to PC screens, but now people can browse anywhere and everywhere, even on the toilet. With a quarter of the time people spend on phones now being used to surf the internet, the chances of a customer finding your site is much higher – it’s up to you to use every touch to your advantage.

People dip in and out of using their mobiles, hurriedly sending messages while their date goes to the bar or quickly scrolling when the manager isn’t looking. They don’t always have the time or patience to read War and Peace, so don’t make them. Users can be fickle and impatient, but they’d be right to leave your site if your text requires excessive zooming, an image takes 12 scrolls to move past or they can’t get rid of a popup.

Google’s the same. Along with an unoriginal hashtag, ‘Mobilegeddon’ was the name given to the Google algorithm that hit in April this year. Designed to favour mobile-friendly pages in mobile-friendly search results, you now have to meet the search engine’s requirements on this platform as well as your users’.

Whatever sector your business is in, the domination of mobile means there’s no excuse to have a dated site that’s not fit for the smart screen.

Is your mobile site really giving customers what they want?

It’s time to be brutally honest – if your mobile site doesn’t give users what they want in a few swipes then something has to change. You’re wasting their time, as well as your own.

Relying on questionable 4G and weak phone signal means you’re going to have to scale down the size of your images to make sure load times stay low. On mobile, people usually just want information and large, blurry pictures will send them back to the search results and straight into the arms of your competitors.

Think about the ultimate purpose of your page – are your mobile visitors here for a video, to find your phone number or just browse through the latest fashion? Avoid any unnecessary text and make sure visitors don’t have to read or dodge an essay just to reach the end goal.

On a desktop your ‘about us’ section looks great but on mobile, don’t make users constantly scroll to the end of the page because it’s not built for them. A single sentence on desktop can take up several lines on mobile, so have another look at your copy and make sure users can read important words at a glance.

The rollout of Accelerated Mobile Pages sees Google producing mobile-specific results in the blink of an eye, so the need for websites to perform on these devices is only going to increase.

If you’ve overlooked making your site mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on one of the largest, and still growing, audiences.

People are spending more time than ever on their mobiles, so make sure your site isn’t wasting it.

Flickr Creative Commons Image: Susanne Nilsson

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