Today celebrates the release of Google’s new algorithm giving preference to mobile-friendly web browsing; rewarding pages with higher search results if they are optimised for mobile. However, does everyone have cause for celebration? Google are leading the way for browser innovations; dragging corporate and personal lives into the digital world but if you can’t keep up with the times, you will be lost in a sea of HTML and eventually sink to the deep like VHS players and cassette tapes.
Why is mobile leading the way?
According to pjweb.co.uk there are currently over 49.5 million smartphone users in the UK. The amount is increasing at a staggering rate and we are sure the younger generations will not have heard of the Nokia 3310 most of us had to suffer with as a teenager.
With advances in technology, we are hungrier for information and want to wait even less time to get it. No longer do we sit behind our computers to browse a website; we are able to shop on the move, download music and even tell all our friends exactly what we are about to eat for breakfast!
Google's mobile path to purchase report surveyed 950 US consumers across 9 diﬀerent sectors such as Finance, Travel, Home & Garden, Automotive and Electronics to assess how they made purchases via mobile technology. As expected, the most common starting point for searches was through a handheld device, illustrating the importance of companies using their own apps and mobile-friendly sites.
How ecommerce sites stay on top
Online retail sales are predicted to reach £52.25bn in the UK this year, a 16.2% increase on 2014 when the total stood at £44.97bn. Here at Netmatter, we specialise in the design and build of Ecommerce and Digital Marketing sites so we ensure our work is focused around mobile optimisation and our clients get the best financial results. The retail market is expanding and business owners are constantly required to rethink their online marketing strategy to keep up with the ever changing world of modern technology.
The main point to remember is we are all using smartphones to compare sites, check store information and ultimately make purchases. With each major retailer offering an app suitable for smartphone and tablet, there is really no need for us to walk along the high street. By not having a mobile-friendly website; you are not only losing potential business but handing it over to your competitors who have beat you to the thumb swipe!
What's the difference between mobile-friendly and responsive design?
With mobile devices ranging from tablets to handheld, understanding how your website will display on each screen will be critical to the user journey. When terms like mobile friendly, mobile apps and responsive design come up in development discussions, you need to know what will work best for you.
This term has been galvanised in the campaign for Google’s latest algorithm; coined to describe a website that remains suitable for any type of smartphone or tablet. Essentially, mobile-friendly refers to a site that displays exactly the same screen between your desktop and mobile device regardless of size. Whilst the display may appear smaller on a phone, it will remain functional and provide the same information as a desktop which is ultimately the main concern for Web Developers today.
Some companies have even gone as far as to create a separate mobile site that will only appear when searching on smartphones to ensure maximum coverage. ASOS and Topshop are good examples for this, Topshop even offers you the option to purchase their app as exampled below;
The development of smartphone applications has paved the way for increased use of the handheld computers over our desktop counterparts. With information stored and found literally at our finger tips, we no longer even need to visit a company’s website to find answers or purchase the new kitchen table.
Some companies chose to make their entire business "mobile-friendly" with a separate smartphone app, rather than adjust their original website. Smartinsights have a report that has shown apps are in use far more than mobile websites. No wonder most companies end up having both!
Differing from mobile-friendly; responsive design will be considered in the actual development of the initial website. This will ultimately ensure the site's code remains flexible regardless of the device its shown on or the size of the screen, even on a desktop you would be able to shrink the browser and the website will respond accordingly.
Who is Royally missing out?
As if the prospect of a ‘Mobilegeddon’ wasn't scary enough – we researched companies and individuals without mobile-friendly sites and came across some rather well-known names that don’t seem too bothered about keeping up with modern technology;
Our Government says its “time for change” well here at Netmatter we would agree. These individuals and parties above are all rather important figure heads in our society and their information will no longer be accessible to the masses, worst still they don’t appear to have taken notice let alone action to the wave of warnings Google have heeded leading up to this massive browser change.
So with ‘Mobilegeddon’ officially starting today; have you made sure your business is keeping up to date? Don't let your voice be left behind in this battle of the browsers; if you are worried about your website or would like more information on migrating to a responsive solution or online digital marketing plan please get in touch with us today and together can we be responsive to change.