If you’ve ever talked to a web developer, they will no doubt have harped on the importance of building a mobile-friendly website. You may have no idea why it matters, but they certainly believe it’s important. But why? What makes a mobile-friendly website so vital for the success of your business, product, or service?
Here’s the truth: more and more people are using their phones to shop. You can still go to your local store and buy goods, but your phone is useful for calling a cab (Uber), staying in touch with friends (social media), ordering dinners to go (Grubhub), finding good places to go and activities to do (TripAdvisor), even booking flights and hotels (AirBNB, Expedia, etc.). 55% of consumer shopping time in 2014 was spent on phones, while only 45% was spent on computer. That means more people are buying using their phones. If you have a product to sell, your customer are probably most likely searching for it on their phone.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t directly sell products; the average person spends more time surfing the internet on their phone than they do on their laptop. If you succeed at driving them to your website (where they can find out more about your product or service), you want them to stick around to find out more. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re all but guaranteed to click away and go to another website that IS mobile-friendly. Your customers—both current and potential future customers—expect you to make their life easier. A mobile-friendly website is one that is “easier” for them to use.
As mentioned above, most web-surfers are likely to leave your website if it’s not mobile-friendly. But here’s something you might not know: Google may also penalize your website for not having a mobile-friendly design. Google may display it when someone is searching from their PC, but not when searching from a phone. Given that 55% of web surfers are using their phone, you could end up losing a huge chunk of business because you don’t have a mobile-friendly site. You want Google to drive as many clients to your website as possible, which means building a site that is compatible with mobile devices.
Yes, it will likely cost more to create a customized theme that is responsive to mobile and desktop users. In the end, however, it will benefit you—both in terms of customer ease of use and search engine compatibility.