As technology evolves, so does the way that we do business. Unfortunately, it is harder for small businesses to keep up with the rapid changes. Rather than embracing every new development the way larger business do, small businesses have to be picky about the changes they choose to adapt. However, there is one that is absolutely critical for all small business to succeed: mobile website design.

Many small businesses have yet to optimize their websites for mobile.

In fact, only 68% have made the jump to responsive web design for mobile devices (source: Clutch). If you are in that 32% that have yet to make the change, let’s take a look at what mobile-friendly web design is and how it can benefit you.

What is Mobile-Friendly Website Design?

In simple terms, it means designing a website so that it is optimized for viewing and interacting with on mobile devices, such as tablets and smart phones. This can be done in two ways.

The first is to create two websites—one for desktop viewers and one for mobile viewers—and have your website automatically redirect mobile viewers to the mobile site.

The second is to design a single website, to be viewed on both desktops and mobile devices, that is created with mobile users in mind. This approach is called Responsive Website Design.

As of 2016, Google recommends to create mobile websites using Responsive Website Design approach.  This approach is more cost effective and more flexible.

What Makes a Website Mobile Friendly?

The simple fact of the matter is that the way we use mobile devices is different than the way we use desktops.

When you do not use mobile website design, mobile users get frustrated. They often cannot see all of your content at once, and sometimes content will not display at all. No one wants to spend their time zooming and squinting; mobile users would rather head to a competitor that uses responsive web design.

While there are plenty of variables at play, your mobile-friendly website should meet the following criteria:\

  • Showcases clear, focused content (keep it short and simple)
  • Targeted towards mobile features, such as swiping and tapping
  • Easy to use navigation tools
  • Has a minimalist design
  • Makes purchasing easy
  • Fast loading

Do You Really Need a Mobile-Friendly Website?

The short answer is yes. If you want to be competitive in today’s world, this is a must have. But, if you need a little convincing, grab a mobile device and head to your company website. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your website load in three seconds or less?
  2. Is it easy to see your branding and selling points?
  3. Can you read the content without zooming or squinting?
  4. Is it easy to see and follow the call to action?
  5. Would you be interested in the website even if it weren’t your own?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it is time to look into mobile website design.

Where Are the Numbers?

Mobile web design is an investment, and we would not expect any small business owner to make an investment without seeing some data to back it up. So, let’s take a look at some statistics.

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less (source: Kissmetrics). The longer your load time, the more likely they are to abandon your site for a competitor.
  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions (Source: Kissmetrics). Just one second.
  • 29% of mobile users will leave your site immediately if it doesn’t meet their needs (source: ThinkwithGoogle). The more frustrating your page is for them to view, the less likely they are to stay.

If your goal is to connect with customers and make money—which we know it is—mobile website design is a must.