Why you can’t ignore the rise of mobile friendly websites

You’ve probably seen headlines with statistics about the growing proportion of our lives now dedicated to technology, or you’ve noticed the average person on the street glued to their mobile phone. Whether you surf the web while you walk, talk or eat, it’s safe to say that mobile phones, and the way we interact with the internet, is now integrated into our daily lives.

UK adults now spend an average of 2 hours, 26 minutes a day on mobile devices according to research from eMarketer, up almost fivefold since 2011. They also forecast that the average time spent searching online using a mobile phone will surpass time spent at a desktop or laptop later this year.

What does ‘mobile optimised’ really mean?

A website that is optimised for mobile is designed specifically to be read and navigated on a mobile phone (rather than a shrunken version of a website designed for desktop). For example, a mobile friendly site will have easy to use ‘finger friendly’ buttons. If you aren’t sure where to start, Google has an easy to follow guide to help make your website look great on mobile.

What does this mean for small businesses?

Consumers are searching for businesses while on the go and want to find shops, restaurants and bars near to where they happen to be. This provides a great opportunity for small businesses as they can now pinpoint customers in their local area.

mobile friendly business“People searching in their local area are more likely convert

Curious to understand the search activity of potential business customers Google undertook an independent study. It concluded that people searching in their local area are more likely to be ready to act and so convert better than non-local searchers.

In February this year Google also announced a new algorithm for browsing on a mobile device. This update, which came into effect on 21 April, means people searching on mobile will only see the most popular and mobile friendly websites. For example, Funding Circle borrower Cable & Cotton’s mobile friendly website ranks highly if you search ‘fairy lights’ in Brighton.

On the flip side, businesses who have not yet optimised their website for mobile might have seen a decrease in traffic since April as their website’s Google ranking may have dropped. Most importantly, the change will make it harder for potential customers to find you.

Is your website mobile friendly?

Making sure you have a mobile friendly website is a great opportunity to put your business ahead of the competition. You can check if your website is classed as mobile friendly by entering a web address into the Google mobile-friendly analyzer.

There are also handy online tools to help you start thinking about your Google shopfront, including My Business Be found, customize your website software and guidelines for representing your business on Google.

It’s never too late to change!

The good news is that when you switch to a mobile-friendly website Google will pick it up immediately, so you should start seeing the difference straight away.

What would you like to find out in our next Google post? Please add your suggestion to the comments section below.

Want to find out more about how using Google can help your business?

Rob McCorquodale

 

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