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Five Reasons to Consider Adopting a Mobile-First Web Strategy

Alex Baker

As the time we spend on the web increasingly shifts away from desktops and laptops to mobile devices, the need has grown for business owners, publishers and marketers to consider adopting a mobile-first strategy.

We've been hearing the term mobile-first a lot over the last couple of years. But in case you're not sure what it means, adopting a mobile-first strategy basically means making your mobile website the primary focus of the web experience you create for users.

When executing a mobile-first strategy, designers and developers first create a mobile site that then becomes the baseline for the desktop and tablet versions of the site.

As the number of mobile devices in use continues to skyrocket at an astronomical rate the shift towards a mobile-first strategy is also becoming more widespread.

Even legacy media companies like the New York Times are jumping on the mobile bandwagon in an attempt to reach new subscribers "on their phones." And it's not just publishers. Top retailers meanwhile, are now generating almost 50 percent of their sales from mobile.

"A mobile-first strategy means always considering the unique capabilities of mobility and using those to create differentiated features," according to Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.

Here are five reasons you should consider adopting a mobile-first web strategy for your business.

1. Better User Experience

As anyone who's ever tried to view a responsive design website on their phone can tell you, websites designed for desktop platforms often carry a bit of baggage when they translate to mobile. Desktop sites are more expansive and often incorporate more elements.

However when these added elements are carried over to mobile, they can feel more like clutter. In mobile-first design, these elements are minimized as content and design are stripped down to create a more streamlined, response-oriented experience.

2. 24/7 Availability to Users

These days, most of us keep our smartphones by our sides 24 hours a day. The time we spend on our laptop or desktop devices on the other hand is often more limited and regulated.

If you want to make it as easy as possible for users to access your web content any time of the day or night, from wherever they may be, then you should consider going mobile-first.

3. Mobile is the Future

Already a pretty big part of the present, mobile definitely represents the future of where the web experience is heading for users. If you're not currently implementing, or at least developing a mobile plan, you run a serious risk of being left behind.

To put it another way, on an average day about 317,124 babies are born all over the world. The number of smartphones that enter usage in the same time period? About 1.45 million.

4. Mobile Has a Global Reach

In some markets, mobile has already effectively taken over. Take Korea, where 74 percent of users prefer to access the Internet using a mobile device.

Or India, where 65 percent of users access the web via mobile and over half of all internet searches originate from mobile devices.

5. Mobile Search Tops Desktop Search

In October of 2015, Google's search technology chief, Amit Singhal announced that the search giant had indexed over 100 billion links found in mobile apps and made them searchable. This effectively means that on a global basis, mobile searches now top desktop ones.

Mobile-First vs. Responsive Design

It's been estimated that 40 percent of users will move on from the website they're on to another site if they feel the one they're on isn't optimized for mobile. While responsive design has its advantages too, the arguments in favor of switching to a mobile-first web strategy are growing ever more compelling.

If you're curious about adopting a mobile-first strategy or looking for an agency to help optimize your existing web properties to better accommodate mobile users, feel free to drop us a line

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