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Capturing the Mobile Generation

Tags: designrwdweb

Are you reading this on your mobile phone? There’s at least a 50% chance that you are. Let’s discuss what it might mean for your business.

The Stats

  • As of 2012 88% of US adults own a cell phone[1]
  • As of 2013 Over 65% of cell phone users access web on their cell phone[2]
  • Almost 50% of mobile users will abandon a page that takes longer than 10 seconds to load, and half of those users will abandon a page that takes longer than 5s to load[3]

Mobile traffic has exploded in the past several years due to the convenience of a cell phone. We should ensure that these users receive the same benefits and information as users who view the site through desktop computers. Ignoring this huge group of users means turning away potential clients that don’t want to look at your site simply because it’s not easy to look at on a phone. No bueno.

Your Ranking

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Google announces a change in search ranking visibility.

In February 2015 Google announced that search ranking visibility on mobile and tablet devices would now be based on whether a site catered to these audiences or not[4]. Users who search with Google on their mobile devices would be shown results based on whether the relevant sites were mobile-friendly or not[5]. Want to find out if your site properly serves mobile users? Test it through Google’s mobile-friendly tool here. My guess is that we would all choose to have our site shown. But how do we do that?

Mobile site vs RWD

Sites can deliver content through RWD, otherwise known as Responsive Web Design. RWD delivers not only the same site design but the same content to any and all devices, be it a desktop or cell phone (it’s true). The site design “responds” to the size of the device, delivering an experience just as awesome and functional on mobile and tablet, as on desktop.

Westminster’s mobile microsite at http://westminster.io

In the days before RWD, some companies chose to create two sites, a mobile site (m.example-url.com) and a desktop site (example-url.com) that would load depending on what device accessed the site. This often delivered poor site usability, as the mobile sites oftentimes did not have the same content as the desktop sites, leading to a more restrictive content strategy on mobile than on desktop. Considering the size of the mobile audience today, users should have access to the same information whether they access the site through their phone or their computer. It can be frustrating for a user to not have access to the same content and functionalities on their mobile device as they do on their desktop computer, and sometimes it can even deter users from ever accessing a site through their phone at all.

What now?

It’s time to develop your mobile and content strategy to serve all audiences. Consider the more important messages you want your site to deliver and integrate that into your mobile strategy so that your message gets across both your desktop and mobile audience. As for transitioning your site to a RWD site? Contact your peeps here at Westminster.


Footnotes


Jessica Applegreen

"They understand our brand and they treat it like it was their own. Highly recommend working with them."

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