But seriously, you need a mobile-friendly website

You’ve heard this before: you need to have a mobile-friendly site (also known as responsive site.) You’ve seen it in blog posts, LinkedIn articles, and mentions of it on social media. Maybe it’s just a trend. Maybe it’s those greedy design agencies looking to drum up some business! Those snakes!

It’s actually not any of these things. It’s the way websites are built today because from small mobile phones to HD wide-screen desktop monitors, there is a seemingly endless array of screen sizes available to users. These sites are known as “responsive” because rather than being designed to display at a certain width, they “respond” and seamlessly adapt to the screen width of the user.

Mobile Traffic is Increasing with No Signs of Slowing.

Globally, 2014 was the last year that desktop traffic surpassed that of mobile. Looking just at the US we see the majority of users’ time being spent on mobile devices, the majority of Google searches originating from mobile platforms, and more users accessing the web using only mobile than only using a desktop or laptop. And currently, about a third of users mostly use ONLY their mobile device to browse the web. These numbers have been increasing since about 2008 and don’t show any signs of slowing.

While many B2B companies may see a much small percentage on mobile, many consumer brands and B2C companies are seeing huge chunks (if not the majority) of their traffic and sales growth coming from mobile users. Having a user land on a site that’s not optimized for mobile (or worse built on something like Flash making it impossible for them to view it) means they’re not getting the information they came to your site for or worse, they’re given a poor impression of your brand.

Are you using email marketing? You need to be mobile-compatible

Currently, two-thirds of email is opened on a mobile device. This is troubling if the links in the email are leading users to a site that’s not mobile-compatible. Actually, the data shows that while only a third of email is opened on a desktop, 80% of conversions occur here.

This points to a couple of things. First, it could simply be users on mobile are on the go and just move through email faster. This is supported by the fact that Kindle users actually linger over email the longest, presumably because a tablet user might be in more of a relaxed mental state. However, it’s more likely due to either the email itself not being responsive and not displaying properly for users, or when the user lands on the site they hit a desktop version of the site and simply bounce.

It could be hurting your SEO

In early 2015 Google started taking into account how mobile-friendly a site was when displaying search results. Now, when a user is searching on mobile, sites that are determined to be “mobile-friendly” will bubble up in the rankings. See where your site stacks up.

It’s crucial for many businesses

For businesses like restaurants or salons where users are making decisions or booking reservations and appointments on the go, having a site that’s mobile optimized should actually be a priority to a desktop experience. 80% of users visit a restaurant’s mobile site before visiting. The same percentage want to be able to see a menu before visiting and will visit more than one restaurant while searching. On top of this, over 60% of users will likely choose a different restaurant if they can’t see the menu on their phone.

Retailers are also seeing an increasing number of users making purchases via mobile. In 2016, 25% of online sales came via mobile, up six points in just two years and expected to increase in the coming years.

60% of users will likely choose a different restaurant if they can’t see the menu on their phone

Be where everyone is

Mobile devices are personal in a way that no other piece of technology is. In a user’s pocket is their camera, contact book, photo album, communication platform, and personal assistant. The diversity and immense utility of myriad apps give users a reason to spend more and more time-consuming content through the device. For all of these reasons, it only makes sense to provide your users with the best experience for however they want to access your content.

These are just a few of the highlights of the huge body of data singing the virtues of mobile-friendly sites. We’ve been exclusively building responsive sites since 2012 for all of the above reasons. They’re the industry standard because of the benefits they provide to your users and your business.