Google launched its mobile-friendly update on 21st April, meaning that any website not optimised for mobile is likely to experience a loss of mobile search visibility. Given that people are carrying out over 50% of searches on mobile devices, this is a worry for businesses without responsive sites.

If that’s not reason enough though to get mobile-friendly, you could also be losing valuable business from prospects that do actually make it to your website.

Imagine the scenario, you’re sat in a café, you flick on your mobile to your Facebook feed. Cat video, cat meme, cat video, cat meme. Bang – an article jumps out at you: “A career in estate agency – is it for you?” Hmm, maybe it could be.

You open the link – this website monstrosity appears before your eyes.

The mobile usability experience on Property Personnel's old website design.

You try to navigate through the article and soon feel subconscious about your thumb size. In a bid to scroll down you bash endlessly at headlines you didn’t want to click on.

Perhaps frustration gets the better of you – if the career opportunity is anything like the website’s usability, you won’t bother with it. The website doesn’t fit your mobile screen and you can’t be bothered to scroll from left to right AND up and down in order to read it.

Measuring the missed moments on mobile

This bad user experience means two groups are missing out. First, the mobile user is not finding the information you were promising from the title; second, the business is missing potential sales.

You want people to land on the website, read the content and then act on it, though the reality is that many users on a mobile are likely to bounce if the website experience is poor.

The devil is in the data

Data insights deliver visibility of these missed moments for the business. Traffic data shows you how many users are arriving at the website and leaving empty handed. The facts speak for themselves.

Traffic bounce rate data by device

This table shows the breakdown of traffic for the aforementioned article. The 23% proportion of traffic on a mobile is slightly higher than the industry average, at the time of writing.

In a three-month period, represented in the above table, 89% of people arriving on the article left the site from the same page, compared with 71% of desktop users.

A bad mobile experience means fewer customers

After banging your head against a wall for enough time you give up. This is what happens with mobile users who can’t use your website how they want to. Your customer gives up with you and goes to a competitor who gives them what they want and how they want it. The results can look like this.

Graph showing drop in mobile traffic on a website that is not responsively designed

While the traffic overall was healthy, a breakdown of the data by traffic source showed a 94% drop in traffic from mobile users. Without sifting through this information, that loss of traffic could have been missed. Many businesses are missing revenue without realising it. Could this be you?

Optimising the website design for multiple sizes

Customers are accessing your website on different screen resolutions, from the tiniest mobile screens to the biggest boardroom projectors. To meet the demands of your customers, your website should look good at different sizes and on different devices.

Responsive website design is not something you can tag on to your existing websites; it is the building blocks of how your website works. The old fashioned way was to create a desktop and a mobile website. When the idea meets reality it quickly falls apart. There is no standard desktop or mobile size and there is growing popularity of tablets for both work and leisure. Responsive design makes sure the website is organised and represents you persuasively across all devices.

Let’s compare the before and after websites of one of our customers, Property Personnel:

Property Personnel's non-responsive mobile design

How 30% of users were actually seeing the website.

The website built for desktop only

  • 98% fewer visitors from mobile devices.
  • 130% less time spent on the website.
  • 0 conversions from mobile visitors.

The website built for all devices

Property Personnel website with a mobile responsive design

  • 47% growth in website sessions via social referrals comparing the second half of 2014 with the first half of 2014.
  • Bounce rate moves to a healthier 58%.
  • 375% increase in conversions from all devices comparing figures from January 2014 and January 2015.

You can find out more about this website in our Property Personnel case study.

Responsive website design is the future, says Google

Google Webmaster Tools has been sending website owners notifications about mobile optimisation. The search engine wants to improve the mobile experience; so much that it has rolled-out the mobile-friendly algorithm addition suppressing websites that are not responsive or do not have specific mobile versions of the website.

Apollo Insights pages

The pages screen in Apollo Insights shows us the page speed score for both desktop and mobile versions.

It knows a website optimised for mobile performs better for the growing proportion of web users who are using smaller handheld devices.

The page speed tool in our deep data platform Apollo Insights runs checks for mobile-related issues, and information is reported in Google Webmaster Tools relating to mobile usability.

Seeing the future: viewing websites across devices

Having a website that doesn’t work on mobiles and tablets is like jamming your shop door so only a few people can enter. You’re blocking out an increasing source of potential customers and the revenue they could produce. Getting your website responsively designed is flinging the shop door open and letting the crowds in.

Give customers information how they want it and they will help you reach your business goals.

Need help getting mobile-friendly?

If you’re worried that your website will be affected by the Google update, get in touch with us today. We have specialist teams of SEO and design experts that can review your website, identify any issues and provide actionable insights to get you back on track. Simply call 0845 123 2753 or email hello@vertical-leap.uk.