In Google’s own words “If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should.” Whilst Google isn’t the only search engine available all of the other search engines recommend the same. If they all recommend it then it makes sense that you really should do it but what are the main benefits?
Since early 2015 Google started to include mobile-friendly as a factor in the ranking of its searches. In 2016, Google increased the importance of whether or not a website was mobile-friendly because “getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using” and in 2017 the mobile first trend appears to be continuing.
If your website is responsive it is more likely to appear higher in the rankings which in turn leads to it being more likely to be chosen by a search engine user. Google do point out that the search query itself is still extremely important (so a website that isn’t mobile friendly but has the right content could still rank well), but being mobile friendly will increase your chances of a higher ranking, particularly if your competitors doesn’t have a mobile friendly site.
More search queries are now completed on mobile and tablet than on desktop for both local and national searches. If your customers are searching for you on a mobile device why wouldn’t you want to offer them an easy way to find your content? The number of mobile searches also continues to rise and even where desktops are potentially available, i.e. in homes and offices, customers are not only choosing to search on a tablet or mobile but are also spending more and more time online on a mobile device.
An unresponsive site that doesn’t adapt your site to the size of a device can be difficult for a customer to use. Having to pinch in and out to see content or scrolling horizontally to be able to access information on your phone or device is frustrating. More importantly, search engine users are much more likely to abandon your site before they have found what they’re looking for. Mobile searches, in particular, need to be quick and easy or you could lose new business or existing customers to your competition. According to Google, 61% of customers will go to a competitor’s site if your site isn’t responsive and 45% are less likely to visit a website again if it was unresponsive on their first visit. Is it worth the risk of possibly losing customers?
Search engine users are impatient and want to receive the information they are looking for quickly. This is particularly the case for searches on a mobile where the search is often on the go, waiting in a queue or quick query searches like “find my local….”. If a web page hasn’t loaded in just 3 seconds approximately 50% of users will leave your site. A responsive site adapts the page elements and reduces the overall page size so it will load quicker. This will significantly enhance your customers’ experience which is great for your customers and for search engines.
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