Being mobile-friendly is really not an option anymore. In many markets, it decides whether or not your visitors stick around, since so many people, especially in America, surf almost exclusively from their handheld devices instead of their desktops. So many, in fact, that you sometimes see a whole crowd of people staring at their phones, ipads and nooks while they are sitting at red lights, waiting in line at the store, or even surreptitiously while on shift, working. My diner waitress this morning me wait for my refill while she looked at facebook briefly on her phone. The nurse at the front desk of the hospital I visited a friend at a few days ago was on her phone, chuckling over instagrams.
Mobile is now the primary means of finding immediate goods as well. If you sell locally, or you sell products or services that fill an immediate need, nearly everyone is using phones to find that need.
Your business really can’t afford to be excluding the vast majority of web visitors. No matter your field, the number of mobile visitors is growing.
However… even if you’ve already adjusted, and made what you think is a mobile friendly site, you might not be there yet. Unfortunately, the term “Mobile Friendly” has been redefined again. Apparently, very few CMS based websites are currently mobile friendly, even the ones built on platforms that specifically sold themselves as mobile friendly a few years ago. Don’t blame them. Don’t request a refund. There was no way they could know that the standards would shift. Simplified, it comes down to two factors:
1. Numerous changes in how mobile devices render websites – customers were kept in mind over standards,
2. Finally having a true mobile-friendly standard laid down and enforced by the great Goog – again, users were kept in mind over standards.
Unfortunately, it’s not the standard most programmers wanted – sometimes a perfectly coded website will still get the “not mobile friendly” label. You can have a perfectly validly coded site that will not pass the mobile friendly test. While we could argue endlessly about the merits and problems of the standard that has been adopted, there is little point. What needs to be done is what gets the result.
Passing or not passing this test may affect your search rankings. It certainly affects the little green mobile-friendly label that Google will add (or not) to your listing, encouraging clicks. So, being mobile friendly is no longer just a nice idea, it’s necessary for business.