The Internet in 2014: The Necessity of a Responsive Website
The number of people using phones and tablets to access the internet continues to grow. At JTech, we use responsive website design to craft and develop websites that look great and perform well on devices of any size. Your old website — the one that may have only been built a few years ago — is no longer adequate to accommodate the way that people are using the internet today.
In January 2014, 58% of American adults had smartphones and 42% owned tablets. (1)
Smartphones and tablets were responsible for 55% of the United States' internet traffic — compared to 45% of internet traffic from PCs. (2)
More than a third of phone internet users use their phones as their primary means for accessing the internet. (3)
This is an incredible shift in how people access information, communicate, and buy goods or services — and if your website doesn't work well or look good for people who are using mobile devices to access the internet, they will often choose to go elsewhere. Not only will a responsive website lead to more time spent on your website, higher sales (if you're offering eCommerce), and a more satisfying experience, it may also improve your search engine rankings.
Google offered the following thought regarding mobile search results:
“According to our studies, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing from their phone. That includes sites that use fonts which are illegible on mobile, or sites where users have to zoom in or pan around excessively. Mobile is a very important area; the mobile device penetration is over 50% in the USA and most users use their device for browsing websites. Because at Google we are aiming to provide a great user experience on any device, we’re making a big push to ensure the search results we deliver reflect this principle." (4)
Already, Google penalizes search rankings (5) for sites that offer a poor mobile experience or load slowly on phones. As of October 2014, Google was experimenting with offering a "not mobile friendly" (6) icon to name and shame websites that won't offer a good experience to those searching.
These days, it is no longer a question of whether your site has mobile traffic. The question is how much it's costing you not to serve mobile visitors to your organization's website. To learn more, contact JTech about how you can make your website work on mobile devices.
(1) Pew Research Mobile Technology Fact Sheet
(2) comScore data reported by CNN Money
(3) Pew Research, Cell Internet Use 2013
(4) Sent to Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table
(5) Google Webmaster Central Blog: Changings in rankings of smartphone search results
(6) Search Engine Roundtable: Google Displaying Not Mobile Friendly Icons in Search Results