Ah, that moment when you sit back from the computer, your business website finally complete so the world can now find you. You relax and admire your beautiful handiwork on the computer screen—but you may be calling it good too early. Because if your website doesn't have a smartphone-friendly version, even the beautiful full-screen site will see fewer visitors, thanks to Google's recent search engine algorithm update. Still not convinced? Here are four reasons to put in the extra effort and get your site looking beautiful across all screens.
Having a Mobile Friendly Website now impacts SEO
Google has a long list of factors that come into play choosing the top search results—and that list just got longer. Beginning April 21, 2015, mobile usability (or having a mobile-friendly website) is now one of those factors. That means websites without a user-friendly mobile site will start to rank lower in the search results, which will mean fewer visitors even to that lovely desktop version. What does user-friendly mean? For starters, a site that is user-friendly on mobile devices will be adjusted for the smaller screen size so readers don't have to zoom. Mobile Usability can be tracked using Google Analytics, which will help pinpoint specific changes that could be made to enhance the website's performance from a smartphone.
Smartphone use is dominant and growing
A 2014 survey showed that while 91% of internet users still own a computer, 80% own smartphones. That's a big audience that your website could be leaving behind if it is not easy to use from a smaller screen. Smartphones aren't going anywhere anytime soon, and this number will likely even increase in the future.
Mobile users have different needs
There's more than just a difference in screen size—potential customers browsing with their smartphones are looking for different things than those coming from a traditional computer. Remember 91 percent still own a computer, so while visitors may take more time to browse on a computer at home, mobile users are often looking for something else. Mobile users are often searching for things like your address or phone number because they're already out and what to find out how to get to you or call to ask a question.
Customer experience matters
Just like you wouldn't want a customer to leave your brick and motor location dissatisfied, you don't want your website making a bad impression either. Don't tempt them to hit the back button (and use a competitor instead) because your mobile site is hard to use, or leave them with a sour taste when your navigation bar that works perfectly on a laptop isn't even usable from a touchscreen. Consider your mobile site part of customer experience as a whole. Without a doubt, going mobile matters. The good news is that most website builders offer a mobile version, and in light of Google's recent announcement, the ones that don't will likely be getting on board very quickly. Most adjust the website automatically, while some allow you to customize your mobile site and make it different than the desktop version besides just the different format. Weebly, Wix, and Shopify, just to name a few, include mobile-friendly versions.