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Why Optimizing Your Website Needs to Be an Urgent Priority

Aubrey Beck

If the goal of your website is to attract as many customers as possible to your business, then it's important to make sure that any person who visits your site - regardless of the device they choose to view it on - is able to get the information they need and has a smooth user experience. If your business doesn't have a mobile content strategy in place, you run the risk of losing a large chunk of potential customers on a daily basis. The numbers don't lie.

Roughly one third of smart phone owners use their phones for shopping.
44% of online shoppers said they wouldn't return to a site that wasn't mobile optimized.

Based on those numbers, a business without a mobile optimized site could be missing out on 33% of potential customers, and nearly half of those potential customers will not return again if the site isn't mobile friendly. That means a guaranteed permanent loss of 14.5 percent of all potential customers.

The opportunity cost for not having a mobile optimized site is staggering, which is why it needs to be a top priority for your company's digital strategy. So what does mobile optimization entail?


Here are a few pointers to get the wheels turning in the right direction:

1. Responsive Design

Responsive design ensures that a site can be viewed on any platform (Windows, MAC, etc.) and it will provide visitors with the optimal viewing experience based on the device they're using to access the site. Compared to a desktop site, mobile sites are streamlined to include only the most necessary and appropriate information (quick-buy buttons, contact phone numbers and addresses - in the case that someone is lost and looking for your location, for example.) In many cases, functionality and content are more limited than the full desktop site, but that's okay. Customers on mobile devices don't need to access everything; they just need to be able to do the basics.

2. A Single URL

Websites that are mobile optimized earn a higher position within Google rankings, while non-optimized sites drop in the rankings which means that the loss of potential customers listed above increases even further.) The key is to have a single URL that is accessible by both mobile and desktop users. A site that automatically directs traffic to the correct version of the site based on device identification - as opposed to using two (or more) unique URLs for mobile, desktop, and tablet - fare much better in the Google algorithms.

3. Mobile SEO

A common search pattern for mobile users is to seek out local businesses, like a nearby coffee shop or shopping mall. To make the most of this, companies need to make the most of local SEO optimization techniques to ensure they'll appear when potential customers perform local searches. Similarly, it's important to know the proper keywords for optimizing a mobile site - as they often vary from the standard keywords you may be using on full desktop sites.

4. Attention to Page Design

Mobile sites don't use the same design as their desktop counterparts. For example:

  • A font that looks good on a desktop could be unreadable on a smaller screen.
  • Large, high resolution pictures look great on a desktop, but they could be difficult to view on a mobile site, take up too much "above-the-fold" real estate, or take too long to download.
  • Too many links, or buttons that are too small to effectively tap on a smaller screen, can be a conversion killer on a mobile site.

The best policy with a mobile site is to start as simply as possible and add options only as it becomes apparent that they're necessary. Uncluttered is the word in mobile design. At every step along the way, pay attention to not only how the mobile site looks, but also how easy it is to navigate.

Do pages load quickly? Is contact information, like phone numbers and addresses, immediately obvious? Is there an option to "click to call"? Are buttons and links big enough to tap with ease?

As mobile devices play an increasingly more important role in how consumers discover businesses, all businesses need to make sure they adapt to accommodate mobile use. It may seem too costly or time-consuming to invest in mobile optimization, but based on the overall opportunity costs going in the opposite direction, it is much costlier to not invest in mobile optimization for your site.

If you have questions about optimizing your website for mobile devices, feel free to reach out.

Is a Growth Driven Design strategy the right approach for your next web redesign? Learn more in the ebook: A Web-Dev's Guide to Growth Driven Design.
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