In 2013, 91% of people had a mobile phone and 50% used their mobile device as their primary way to access the Internet.
That’s 45% of people on this planet using their mobile phone, tablet or phablet as their main means of access to the Internet, and therefore your site. So if you are wondering if 2014 is the year you should make your site mobile friendly, those are some pretty powerful statistics backing mobile’s adoption and usage.
If you have an e-commerce site, here is another stat that will interest you: 72% of people that own tablets make a purchase from that device each week. Plus, with more custom devices out on the market, like the wide selection of tablets by Lenovo, consumers are finding that getting the right mobile device to use is becoming even easier.
Not All Sites are Created Equal
Just because around half the world is using their mobile devices to surf the net, it does not necessarily mean that they are looking up your site from their phones or tablets. Business2Community.com discusses the merits of using Google analytics to discover whether making your site mobile friendly really is important. If you have Google’s free analytics tracker installed on your website, you can go into the audience section of your analytics and narrow it down to mobile traffic in order to see what percentage of your total visitors are coming from a mobile site. The other statistic they suggest looking at to decide if you want to make your site mobile friendly is your bounce rate. If you have a low overall bounce rate, but your mobile bounce rate is high, you are losing a large number of potential conversions based on the difficulty in navigating your site from a mobile device.
Mobile Optimization Tips
Once you have decided that going mobile is the next step for your business, there are numerous ways to make the move. If you are not ready, or do not want to commit to the cost of completely redesigning your site, there are things you can do to make your site better for mobile visitors. Mobify.com discusses simple steps you can take, like turning off auto-correct on your form fields, and increasing the size of fonts and buttons. Another great tip is to customize the input on the keyboards so they work better with the fields. One of the major goals of websites is to convert leads, but if it is difficult for your potential customers to enter their information, they will just move on, and you will lose the sale.
Taking The Plunge
But there is more than just making a few tweaks to your desktop site to make it easier to use on a tablet and smartphone. If you have realized the need to cater to your mobile customers, then converting your design to a mobile optimized one might be the answer. Back in the early days of the mobile platform, you would need to come up with 2 separate sites, one for desktop and one for mobile. Now, with the WordPress platform, you can come up with one great site that can automatically adjust its layout based on the device that is visiting. Socialmediatoday.com gives some excellent examples of the power of WordPress to make your site ready for mobile. Their options include creating your site using a responsive design, which is created with both desktop and mobile versions in mind. You can also use a plugin like WP Touch and WP Mobile Detector that will take your existing desktop WordPress site and adjust it for mobile visitors.
The article by Steve Jordan
Steve is a recent graduate from an international business school. He’s also an intern for a tech start up, where he helps the marketing department.