Is Your Website Turning Away Visitors on Mobile Devices? - Envision Technology Advisors' blog

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Is Your Website Turning Away Visitors on Mobile Devices?

According to Google, the "mobile web" is growing at 8 times the speed of the Internet.

This means that, more and more, our website's visitors are accessing our site on a mobile device instead of from a traditional desktop computer.

At Envision, we see some sites where mobile users account for over 50% of their visitor traffic! This is where industry analysts predict website traffic will come from over the next few years - predominantly from mobile devices of one kind or another.

If our websites are to compete on today's (and tomorrow's) web, we need to ensure those sites can be effectively used on a wide variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, desktops, gaming devices, televisions, and more. 

What is the "do nothing approach"?

Just because your site has not been optimized for mobile devices does not mean it does not show up on mobile devices. If you access your website on a smartphone and that site (which was likely designed with desktop computers in mind) appears but is scaled down to fit on the much smaller screen of your phone, then you are looking at the "do nothing" approach to mobile device support.

Responsive website vs the Do Nothing approach

As the name states, with this approach you do nothing extra to optimize your site's experience for mobile devices and instead allow the desktop version to be delivered to all devices, regardless of the screen size. The problem is that just appearing on mobile devices is not enough any more. The bar has been raised for what your website visitors expect when they visit your site on a mobile device.  

A recent survey found that 40% of users state that when on a mobile device, they will abandon a website not optimized for mobile after 3 seconds. Furthermore, the report continues to state that those visitors are not only unlikely to return to that site, but they will instead visit another site (likely a competitor). This means that traffic that you drove to your website in one way or another (marketing, word of mouth, search engine, social media links, etc.) will take their business elsewhere because you did not offer them a suitable experience on the device they were using at the time they were looking for the products or services you offer. 

Mobile website versus mobile apps

When it comes to optimizing for mobile devices, one question many business often ask is whether they need a mobile website or a mobile app? if you're looking to reach the widest audience possible and if you do not need access to native phone features (camera, address book, etc.), then a mobile website is probably your best bet. Mobile websites are also often much more cost effective to produce since you do not need to develop for multiple platforms (Android, iOS, Windows phone, etc.).

Even if you do need a mobile app, you will often find that a mobile website is still a necessity since much of the content those apps will drive users to are on your company's website. More details on the differences between mobile websites and mobile apps and when you should choose one over the other can be found in our article, "Does My Business Need a Mobile Website or a Mobile App?".

Mobile means more than phones

Smartphones get the most attention when discussing mobile device support, but in truth, device support is about much more than just phones. Tablet devices have become extremely popular since the first iPad was released a few years ago. Today, you can find tablets with a variety of different screen sizes - from the 10-inch screens found on the original iPads to much smaller devices with displays only slighter larger than some phones. 

While many users are accessing our website content on screens smaller than what we saw in the past, the opposite is also true, Desktop monitors continue to grow in size and television displays that allow users to access web content are also becoming more popular, meaning that website traffic is coming from a wider range of devices and screen sizes than we have ever seen before - both small screens and big screens! This is why "mobile device support" is quickly being replaced by "multi-device support." Instead of having a pair of websites - one for desktop monitors and a separate one for small, mobile devices, today's web demands more flexibility from our site's layouts. This is where an approach known as "responsive web design" comes into play.

With a responsive web design approach, you have one website to manage and maintain and that site will dynamically reflow its layout based on the screen size being used to access it. You can have a wide screen layout with multiple columns of content and that same site will reflow its content as the screen size gets smaller - all the way down to that mobile phone and a single column layout with large, touch-friendly buttons perfect for visitors using a touch screen phone to access the site.

How do I get started?

The first step to effectively supporting all of your website's visitors, including those on the every-growing range of mobile devices available today, is to assess your current site's mobile experience. Envision is offering no cost website assessments with a focus on mobile device support. The process is quick and easy and you will gain valuable insight into how your site works on mobile devices today and what options you have available to you to improve that site's multi-device performance and the results it delivers to your business.

Request your website assessment today by contacting us and we will take it from there!

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