Google love’s mobile optimized websites for business and they say you are either in, or you are out. The question is, which is your business

Back when I began developing my digital marketing skills, long before I was an expert, you and I both could get away with making a website look any way we wanted it to.

I first truly started in 2002.  From 2002 to 2006, you and I could literally put up anything readable.  Both people and search engines didn’t care.  But things have changed, and an alarming number of small business owners don’t really get it.

Both Google and Bing do love mobile business websites.  If you don’t have a mobile web design, you shouldn’t even try to market on the web because it is a waste of time and money.  In fact, I would go so far as to say you shouldn’t even be allowed to have a website if you won’t mobile optimize it for your customer’s sake.

The Birth of Mobile Web Design Dominance

In April of 2015, Google introduced it’s mobile algorithm they called the “mobile friendly search update.”  This wasn’t really a surprise.  Google CEO, Eric Schmidt told everyone in 2010 he expected mobile to become the dominant player in online search and activity.  He aligned himself then with software for mobile devices in to desktop applications.  He did this publicly at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Then in May of 2015, we saw his predictions coming to life.  Mobile search surpassed desktop search.  Google announced that mobile searches topped desktop searches in 10 countries, including the U.S.A and Japan.

However, did business owners get the picture of what was happening?   

Sadly, not many were listening at the time.  Little data is shown, but anywhere from 45 to 60% of business owners in 2015 did not have mobile optimized web sites.  We find even as of this publishing as much as 30% of small and medium businesses are not mobile at all or are not optimized properly, making them still unfriendly to consumers on mobile devices.

If you say you don’t care, here’s why you should carefully think about your position:

  • Web.com reports that 84% of business owners using mobile marketing see increases in new business activity.
  • Since 2012, numerous consumer surveys show that a consumer searching for business on mobile has a 60 to 80% chance of making a purchase in the next 24 hours. To boot, they typically spend more than even desktop searchers.  This statistic has been holding true, even today.
  • Most surveys show, including Google data, that consumers are 5 times more likely to leave your site if it isn’t mobile friendly. There is more to being mobile friendly than just being able to be seen, but that’s a different article.
  • Over half of mobile users will leave your mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Google made it clear in November, 2016 it intends to use a mobile-first prioritization for search results, because now more world-wide search occurs on mobile devices than desktops.

Google says,

To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.

Mobile is already a signal used to rank your site.  Google is simply upping the ante for those that want to gamble on not being mobile.  It’s clear your business will lose.

What Business Owners Should Understand About the Mobile Path to Purchase

Small and medium business owners need the web to work for them because, believe it or not, it is the single lowest cost, most powerful way to get the attention of both new and old customers.  Nothing else comes close.

Xads Mobile Path to Purchase 2016 report makes it clear, how world-wide, the smartphone alone is more important to 30% of all global shoppers.

I know, you think now, that you don’t sell to the world as a local small or medium business, so why should you care.  Because:

  • In the U.S 31% of shoppers think the smartphone is most important
  • In the U.K., 32% think it is so
  • In Germany 29% believe in the smartphone over anything else
  • In Japan, this is true for 44% of consumers
  • And in China, 50% say the smartphone is more important than the desktop.

Remember, the above data does not include any kind of tablet or another type mobile device.  It is just the smartphone!

The same report shows the primary things shopped for.  But don’t make the mistake, that if you’re business type isn’t on the list, that this doesn’t affect you.  That would be foolish rationalization.  Nonetheless here is what they found in rather broad categories to be the top consumer things bought from mobile search…

  1. Clothing and Apparel
  2. Grocery products
  3. Electronics
  4. Home goods & Home Improvement
  5. Beauty & Wellness
  6. Games & Entertainment
  7. Sports & Leisure

Remember, these reflect the top purchasing categories, not what people search for most.  Remember, for example, for most restaurants or services like medical or dental, it does not make sense the consumer would make the purchase from a mobile search.  These types of services must ultimately go to your business location or office in most cases.

Regardless of what the consumer is looking for in a mobile search, the study showed that in the U.S.A., 78% of consumers using mobile to find business are ready to make a purchase in 24 hours or less.

There are many more facts showing why having a fully mobile optimized web design is key to your business being king in your market.  However, showing you more facts won’t matter to those too hard headed to pay attention.  I know those that want to get more from the web, get it that mobile web design is crucial to making more sales, and getting more customers in the door.

The Bottom Line of Being Mobile in Small Business

If it hasn’t sunk in, you should realize that if you are not mobile ready right now, Google and Bing likely place you much lower in the results.  Have you seen what the results look like for smartphone?  If you’re not ranking in the top, you won’t be found.  That means, you lose customers you never knew took the time to look for your services in your area.

That can mean anywhere from a 30 to 70% chance of lost opportunity, depending on your market and your geographical location.  It doesn’t matter if you do have the best of whatever the consumer wants.  The mobile searcher doesn’t care because they never found you.

So as a business owner, it’s always your choice.  You can choose to not change, and say it’s just too hard.  The other choice is to change, and find the way to do it because your business is awesome, and you want to dominate your market.

Options for Getting Mobile Web Design Fast and Fully Mobile Optimized.

As of publishing this article we get businesses a true mobile web design that is fully mobile optimized and SEO optimized as well saving you money for an incredible, custom design focused on delivering you customers, clients, patients, or donors.