Is Your Website Leading the Pack or Falling Behind?

To grow your business, you need new customers to find you. That used to mean advertising in the Yellow Pages or in the back of a local business journal, but over time, increasing your visibility came to rely heavily on your website and digital marketing. Today, successful businesses need to go a step further and make sure their websites are optimized for mobile devices. A recent study by comScore indicated that about 1 in 3 website visits come from a mobile device. That means roughly a third of your customers may be visiting your site on the go, from screens as small as their palms. Most traditional websites don’t translate well to screens of this size, as you’ve found out if you ever tried to browse pages of tiny text from your smartphone. And when visitors to your website have a frustrating experience, you can bet they will quickly give up on learning more about your company and product offerings.

The growing popularity of portable screens has led many companies to adopt a “mobile first” strategy. That means creating an online experience tailored specifically to mobile users. Aspects of a “mobile first” strategy include:

-Creating an adaptive website. Today, it’s not enough to take a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile web design by creating one version of your website for PCs and a second version for mobile. After all, mobile devices come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. What looks good on a tablet may overwhelm a smartphone…and don’t forget that some users prefer portrait view, while others choose landscape. Adaptive websites adjust automatically to fit most screen sizes, from smartphone to tablet. That means they look their best and retain full functionality no matter what device your customers choose.

-Speeding up your site for mobile. Pretty much everyone has experienced giving up on a slow-to-load site, and mobile users may be even more impatient. Flash videos, large photos, and other unnecessary objects can drag your site down. But lightning-fast load-time is just part of a speedy user experience. Simplifying site navigation, reducing clutter, and giving visitors a clear call to action can help them have a quick and frustration-free experience when they visit your site. And a “mobile first” approach to website speed and simplicity appeals to PC users, too.

-Mobilizing e-commerce. According to data from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, mobile devices accounted for 46.5% of e-commerce traffic during the Valentine’s Day 2015 shopping season. That’s a growth of 26.5% since 2014, indicating that users are increasingly turning to their mobile devices for browsing and purchasing products. Mobile devices stand to overtake PCs in coming years as tools for online shopping. That means it’s more important than ever to optimize e-commerce tools – like deals, coupons, navigation, and the checkout experience – for your mobile audience.

According to Adobe, traffic to non-mobile websites has fallen by 12% vs. mobile-friendly sites since Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update. Time (not to mention your website traffic) is ticking away quickly if you haven’t already adopted a mobile-first approach.