According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans now own a smartphone. But despite our reliance on mobile technology, many businesses are still ignoring the need for responsive design.
Without a mobile-friendly website, your business could lose the ability to reach your target customers. Here’s why you should be concerned about responsive design, how to tell whether your current site is mobile-friendly, and what to do if your site doesn’t measure up.
Why Does Mobile-Friendly Design Matter?
In the past, most businesses didn’t think twice about designing their site for mobile use. If they did, they’d actually have an entirely separate site for mobile visitors.
But now that smartphones are virtually ubiquitous, you absolutely need a responsive website. A responsive site is one that’s accessible via any device and provides a consistent experience no matter how it’s viewed.
Having a responsive site matter for a few different reasons. For one thing, around half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. As we rely on portable technology more and more, the need for a responsive site becomes clear. If a customer is unable to find out the information they need or make a purchase on your site from their smartphone, they’re going to abandon it entirely.
That’s bad news because your sales will likely go down. Alienating customers won’t do you any favors. In addition, Google will take notice and may determine that your site doesn’t provide as much value as your competitors’ sites do. As a result, your rankings might tank — and that could mean major traffic losses and harmed brand perception.
As any SEO company will tell you, having a mobile-friendly site is an important step for both marketing and sales purposes. Without responsive design, you’re doing your business a huge disservice and will find it hard to recover.
Indicators of a Non-Responsive Website
Now that you know why mobile-friendly design matters, you’ll want to learn how to recognize when your site isn’t up to par. While this isn’t a definitive list, here are a few signs that your site might be failing to provide a good experience for mobile users.
It’s been years since your last redesign
You don’t need to redesign your entire website every year, but you do need to make sure your site design adheres to current best practices. If it’s been several years since your website was redesigned, it’s very likely that it’s failing to address what your customers are really looking for. Investing in a fresh new look for your website can improve your branding while allowing you to bridge the gaps that currently exist. An out-of-date website most likely won’t provide the features that mobile users need, so don’t put off your redesign any longer.
Your cart abandonment and bounce rates are high:
There are many reasons why customers might abandon a purchase or hit the “back” button on their browser. This doesn’t always mean that your site lacks responsive design, of course. It could hint that there’s another issue or that visitors simply aren’t ready to buy. But since slow loading speed, confusing navigation, and intrusive interstitials can all disrupt the mobile experience, it’s worth taking a look at whether these common problems are contributing to these customer behaviors. If you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, it’s a good idea to explore whether your site design can be improved.
You’ve never performed a mobile-friendly test:
When it comes to your website, ignorance isn’t really bliss. You can’t afford to ignore these kinds of issues. If you’ve never looked at your own website using your phone before, that should be your first step. If it displays strangely or won’t load properly, you’ll know there’s a problem. But you can also run a mobile-friendly website test through Google to assess whether there are underlying issues you haven’t thought of. Performing this test is a good starting point and will make sure you’re not trying to sweep the problem under the rug.
You’ve received customer complaints:
When a customer complains about your website, you should really listen. We all encounter numerous websites every day — so if someone is taking the time to let you know how poor their experience was, you have to take that feedback to heart. Even if they don’t explicitly tell you that your responsive design is lacking, you should prioritize this feedback and troubleshoot your site right away. Chances are that if one person had a problem, there are dozens more who have simply found a different provider and never let you know about it.
You’re not sure why your conversions are down:
If your sales or other conversion metrics have been steadily dropping, that doesn’t always mean your site has poor design. But it usually means there’s an issue that exists somewhere. Once you’ve overhauled your other processes and can’t seem to get to the bottom of the problem, you’ll want to consider whether you’re creating barriers for your mobile customers.
How Can You Make Your Site More Mobile-Friendly?
Of course, you’ll want to work with a professional designer to ensure your site provides a consistent and interactive experience across all devices. But you can also optimize your site for voice and local search (including the addition of an FAQ page), get rid of annoying pop-ups, prioritize website security, compress any large images and video media, upgrade your hosting plan, use larger font and button sizes, and correct any navigation issues that exist.
Ultimately, this can ensure your website appeals to the masses (including mobile users!) and make it more likely to appear in search engine results pages.