Man using multiple devices | Featured image for importance of mobile friendly websites.

Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites

In a rapidly evolving digital age, it’s important to keep up to date with consumer behaviour – both present and predicted. According to Statistica, mobile internet use officially surpassed desktop use in 2016, and that trend is expected to keep growing. If you factor in the convenience of phone and the level of access (91% of Australians own a smart phone) you can start to see why configuring your website to be mobile friendly is important. This is also known as ‘responsive design’ and is something we frequently mention to clients who want a new website built.

If a person is looking for a product or service on their phone, and can’t navigate a website properly, they’ll quickly switch to one that’s easier to use.  Aside from switching up the design, there’s a number of ways you can make your website more mobile friendly without having to start over again. We’ve compiled a quick guide on the importance of mobile friendly websites and some ways you can improve the accessibility of your web design.

Read on for more information about tips on the importance of mobile friendly websites, responsive design, and why Google is now prioritising mobiles over desktop.

The importance of mobile friendly websites

What is a mobile friendly website?

A website that is mobile friendly is one that adapts to being read on a mobile. Though it seems simple enough, there any things to factor into responsive design. When you see a website on a computer, you have more room to deal with. Websites with clever animations may look cool on the computer but may not necessarily translate well when minimised to fit a mobile screen. Mobile friendly websites or ‘responsive design’ automatically adapts to any size screen it’s presented on. This includes smartphone devices, tablets, laptops and desktops.

Mobile friendly website importance

More people are using mobile than desktop

The combined global traffic of mobile traffic has skyrocketed 222% over the past seven years and makes for an estimated 53.3% of traffic. Couple this with the fact that Australians spend on average 2.5 hours a day using the internet on their smart phones, and you can start to see importance of mobile friendly websites for attracting and retaining customers.

Google prioritises mobile friendly websites

Back in 2017, Google started prioritising mobile friendly websites to show up higher in search results. This includes websites that load quickly when accessed by mobiles, content that doesn’t involve a lot of scrolling, and action buttons that can be easily pressed on screen. If a website has separate mobile and desktop URLs, Google will prioritise indexing (browsing through for details) the mobile version.

Google mobile friendly test

To help you work out if your website is mobile friendly, Google has devised a simple mobile friendly test. All you need to do is pop in your web address, and Google will tell you within seconds whether your website passes. It will also provide a screenshot of your what your website looks like on a mobile, so you can see what it looks like for most mobile users.

Ways to make your website more mobile friendly

Use a large, readable font

Small font can be difficult to read on a large screen, but even more so on a phone. It’s recommended your font size should be at least 16px, and in a legible font type (Sans Serif fonts like Helvetica are always a popular choice).

Keep your web design simple

If your website is complicated and filled with many videos, photos, or annoying popups, it makes it increasingly hard to read on mobile. This is especially important when it comes to a menu bar, as large menus can end up taking the entire page on a mobile or be hard to click on with fingers. Many websites incorporate the use of a hamburger button into their mobile responsive design, which you’ve no doubt seen before. Users can then click on the menu when they want to, instead of having all the options scattered all over the screen.

Space out your links

On a computer screen, it’s easy to click on links as you’re dealing with a cursor. But for mobile, it’s a bit trickier. If you have links placed closely together, it’s easy for users to click on the incorrect link, which can lead to a frustrating customer experience. Aside from placing them too closely next to each other, you might find links wandering above or below one another after compacting the screen for a mobile. If so, it might be worth changing the copy slightly to push the links away.

Host videos with video sharing software

If you host your own videos instead of embedding a link that’s connected to a third-party software (i.e YouTube or Vimeo), you risk clogging up your servers bandwidth. This also causes problems for mobile, as the videos you upload to your desktop will likely have to be high quality 1080p or 720p file. To combat this, you’d have to upload both high quality videos for desktop and small size videos for mobile – which will then slow down your server speed. A third-party host eliminates this problem, and also transfers the ‘weight’ of the video to the host site instead of yours.

Web design Brisbane

We hope you’ve enjoyed our article on ‘The Importance of Mobile Friendly Websites.’ If you’d like to speak to a web designer about how you can get started on your mobile friendly website build or want to learn more about mobile friendly website importance, contact Resurge Digital Brisbane digital marketing agency online or call us on 1300 659 035.