For years you’ve been hearing all the mobile-hype. You probably stopped a few times to ask yourself do I need to make my website mobile friendly?
As of April 21, 2015 (wow!), that answer is most likely, "YES."
On this day, referred to by some as "Mobilegeddon," the internet hit the tipping point and this 'nice to have' became a 'must have'.
On April 21, 2015, Google updated its algorithm to include 'mobile-friendliness' as a ranking factor in mobile searches.
So maybe you're still asking yourself, "But why is it so important?"
Well, first and foremost 'because Google says so'. Just kidding, well, kind of just kidding (keep reading).
It's not that Google is going to punish you (per se) for not having a mobile-friendly site, but they are going to reward you for having one, especially for SEM traffic.
Google's main interest is providing a great user experience. The way they do that is providing the best search results. If Google feels that a user is going to have a better experience on a mobile-friendly website (when using a mobile device) than a non-mobile site, they are simply going to reward the mobile-friendly site with better position and a potentially lower cost-per-click.
Even before this update to the algorithm, there were aspects of the algorithm that were affected by mobile friendliness. These factors include Bounce Rate and Click Back. Bounce Rate is when a user lands on your webpage and immediately decides to leave; either by clicking a link to another site or typing in a new URL. Click Back is when a user lands on your site and then clicks 'Back' instead of viewing your site. These two factors tell Google that your website has irrelevant or bad content and hurts your rankings. You can see how these two factors could hurt your search rankings if your site is not mobile friendly.
Besides search results, why else does it matter?
The larger objective.
The larger objective is not to just comply with Google’s algorithm, but to better serve your users.
The reality today is that mobile Internet usage exceeds desktop Internet usage; meaning mobile friendliness and user friendliness are one in the same. Having a user-friendly site gives visitors a positive experience with your brand and increases your chances of converting them into a customer.
More important than providing a good experience is not providing a bad experience. If a user comes to your website and has to spend time pinching, scrolling, and zooming, they’re likely to just jump to a competitor’s site.
Mobile friendliness also allows users to easily contact you through clickable phone numbers. In many cases, someone who is searching on a mobile device is looking to contact the business. Trying to call a phone number that is not "click-to-call" on your cell phone results in the loss of a lead/customer.
If that’s not reason enough.
Faster Website Load Speeds: Sites that are mobile optimized will render faster than a website that is not. With shortened attention spans, speed is vital to a website’s success.
Mobile Users are Different than Desktop Users: People on mobile devices often have different objectives than people searching on their desktop. Mobile optimization allows you to show different content depending on the device type.
Competitive Advantage: Chances are all of your competitors have also made the switch. Not doing so can only make you fall behind your competitors.
You’re Losing the Sale: Our own research shows that 30% of users will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
The time has come to make your website mobile friendly. By making your website mobile friendly, you will improve your search rankings, provide a better user experience for your customers, and increase your sales.