Last month, Google updated its search engine algorithm to rank mobile-friendly websites higher than those stuck in the Stone Age.
Many anticipated that the so-called "Mobilegeddon" would annihilate companies that hadn't gone mobile. But the launch date came and went, and the world has yet to end. In fact, most companies didn't see a huge difference--but don't rest on your laurels yet. Death is patient.
Taking into account today's average consumer, mobile means everything--64 percent of American adults own smartphones, after all. Customers believe an unfriendly website means a brand doesn't care about them. Optimizing your site for mobile can be the difference between a customer influx and a "for sale" sign on your window.
Still don't believe me? Consider these reasons why your business should go mobile:
1. Everyone Uses a Smartphone to Shop
If you think your customers are too young or too old to make purchases via mobile, think again. Millennials are the biggest online shoppers--spending an average of $2,000 annually online, despite making less than their older counterparts. Twenty-five percent of Baby Boomers and seniors also shop on mobile devices. Even men are more likely to make purchases on smartphones than women. No demographic is exempt from mobile's influence.
2. Mobile Is Absolutely Exploding
In 2014, mobile network connection speeds grew 20 percent, and the number of smartphone users increased 10 percent. Experts project that by 2018, 220 million people will have a smartphone--with the greatest growth coming from the Middle East and Africa. If you wait too long to optimize your business for mobile, it'll be too late.
3. (Almost) No Business Is too Small
People ask me all the time whether mobile is important for their business, and it almost always is. Maybe your curbside lemonade stand doesn't need a mobile site, but if you have a legitimate business with a few employees, it's imperative. People are always on the go--whether they're racing to catch a flight or meeting up with a business partner. Other consumers might be snacking in front of the TV when the urge to search strikes. And for most Americans, a smartphone is always within reach.
4. A Bad Mobile Site Drives Away Customers
If your site isn't compatible with a phone, 57 percent of people won't recommend your business, and 40 percent of people will turn to a competitor. You can't get away with neglecting mobile users to focus on other avenues of contact. Word spreads quickly, and a jumbled interface or sluggish load time can make or break a sale the moment someone pulls up your website.
5. Clients and Employees Depend on Mobile
To create the best mobile site for your business, you must consider two stakeholders: staff members and clients. For example, when your sales team pitches a potential client, it might use the mobile site as a resource or reference. If the site fails to load or looks awkward, your brand looks bad. Additionally, you want consumers to easily find your company's contact information because customer service is such an important factor for client retention.
Even though Mobilegeddon didn't wipe out your business, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go mobile. More and more people are reaching for their smartphones. So if your brand doesn't upgrade its mobile presence, it'll lose visibility and sales. Don't ask whether you should go mobile--ask how soon you can make your business optimal for the mobile landscape.