Did you know in May 2015 Google declared “mobile-search” (smartphones + tablets) had surpassed traditional desktop search for the first time in history? Google stated, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”
There was once a time, when we first started SEO Graphic Design in 2009, where the option of having a mobile-friendly website was a nice perk, a feature we added into to the sites we built for clients. Something that made the sites we built better than most and was a really cool feature businesses could show off to their customers. We always knew mobile-friendly websites were the way to build and so it was something we always did because that’s how we learned to build sites from the very beginning…so our recommendation to our clients was “why not make it mobile?” Building mobile-friendly websites didn’t cost us anymore time than a traditional static site took to build, so all of our site builds were always mobile-friendly.
Fast forward to 2017, the momentum of mobile search has reached a tipping point and that momentum will not be denied. Smart businesses and website owners now have-to become mobile-friendly, as the vast majority of searches online are coming from mobile devices. Google (who touts 74% of all global search queries) is leading the charge for a “better mobile search experience” forcing businesses and website owners to take notice.
Here are the Top 5 Reasons You Need A Mobile-Friendly Website in 2017:
1. Google Has 2 Different Search Indexes: One for Mobile Search and One for Desktop Search
When it comes to making decisions for your business it’s always nice to know the facts before you make changes or investments. March 2015 Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, dropped a bombshell in the SEO community when he stated, “Google is working on a mobile only version of the search index, which would see desktop and mobile have completely separate search indexes.” Well what does that mean? It means that Google is actively live-testing the two different search indexes across many different keywords in different cities, states and nations. Google always does this before they roll out a new massive algorithm update. Google because they have the benefit of the largest search volume and metrics in world, get to actively test their new technologies on the fly with live search volume. What does that mean for your business niche? It means your business website had better be mobile-friendly if you want to appear in search results today and in the future.
While Google has not officially announced the new mobile search index is in full effect, you can actively see the testing going on yourself. I encourage you to do a search for a specific keyword in your locale on your desktop or laptop computer and then do the exact same keyword search on your smartphone. What you will find is the search results are going to be very different for the two devices. Google is actively steering mobile users search results to Google Adword ads, Google My Business Map Results and organically to websites that are mobile-friendly and ranking in the top 10 for the keyword term you are searching for.
2. More Searches Are Done On Mobile Devices Than On Desktop Computers
In May 2015, Google stated, “In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” That means business websites should be catering their site design and message to mobile device users. Mobile should no longer be a small part of a business’ consumer digital strategy; it should arguably be the top consideration. Accordingly, a study conducted by Google and Neilsen in 2013 entitled, “Mobile Path to Purchase” showed that consumers spend on average, 15 hours per week on their smartphones doing research and during that time they visit the website they want to purchase from 6 times before purchase. Keep in mind that study was conducted in 2013, in 2017 it’s safe to say that number and those statistics have risen. Not catering your business website to the experience of mobile users essentially removes your business from the competition that is taking place online within your business niche.
3. On-The-Go Consumers Search For Local Businesses Using Smartphones
We live in a fast paced world. Everyone in the family from the children to the parents now have mobile devices such as smartphones. People expect to be connected via these devices. When questions and needs arise the first place they turn to are their smartphones. Most often, these consumers are looking to buy products and services, within their local area. It is important for businesses to be listed correctly online and to have a web presence that caters to users of smartphones. If your business does not show up on the first page for important keywords related to your business, you are again missing out on potential new business. The way smartphones work, the search results display based on the keyword being searched along with the locale of the smartphone user doing the search. 69% of mobile consumers expect a business to be within 5 miles of their location when making a purchasing decision. So if a person is in your general neighborhood is searching for the products and services you offer, the goal is to have your website and contact information come up in the search since you are a close vendor able to answer the need. Google, Yahoo and Bing will seek to display results based on keyword and locale of the mobile user. Again if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you are not going to show in the results for these on-the-go consumers.
4. Local Smartphone Users Are Action-Oriented
Geo-targeting is the art of optimizing your website’s content toward local consumers in a specific city or state. Since smartphones can be used on-the-go, there is value in spending marketing dollars on this type of service. But in addition to that, it is very important to have a mobile-friendly website that accomplishes the basic goals most smartphone users are seeking when searching online such as: the ability to place a phone call with one click, making a reservation, seeking directions, or requests for more information easily. People searching online using a smartphone want to be able to get all of the secondary information about your business before they ever have to interact with a live person. Mobile-friendly websites aren’t just about displaying correctly on these small devices, it’s also about understanding the psychology of the person/consumer throughout the sales process. Mobile-friendly sites should make tasks easy for the user as 55% of mobile users purchase within an hour and 84% purchase within a day of finding what they want using mobile search (Google/Neilsen 2013)! Having the ability to quickly find directions to your business, click to call, click to buy, menu displays, sales PDFs, etc. all eventually lead to the interaction your business needs to make the sale.
5. You Can’t Afford To Not Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
With all of the data and insight on this freight-train called mobile search, as a business owner you can’t afford not to cater business to smartphone users! Over 60% of the websites online are still not optimized for mobile search. These old websites are missing the boat on new business but, their is no reason you have to be a part of that disaster. Smart business understand the power of the Internet and it’s ability to bring in new customers via search. Business websites who are mobile-friendly are ahead of the curve and have the ability to carve out a niche online that late-comers will not be able to compete with! Imagine if you would have known about Microsoft’s stock in the late 70’s, early 80’s or known just how big the personal computer (PC) would become in the future, would you not have invested? Well the same can be said today with regards to the Internet. The Internet is still very new and now is the time for businesses who seek long-term success to act! Mobile-friendly websites are just a starting point but, a very important one indeed. From mobile-friendly websites the Internet will then move into more voice-command type search and who knows, eventually into hologram/virtual reality type search! We encourage you to get your mobile-friendly site setup today! Start by contacting us for a free consultation and website audit. From there we will assess your needs and work with you to build a great mobile-friendly website that is optimized for local search. We look forward to speaking with you soon!