Ninety percent of websites not ready for mobile devices

Mobile

Having a multi-platform friendly website will improve conversions. Image: Flickr / adactio / CC-BY-SA

The statistics are unequivocal – your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Mobile shoppers are more likely to convert and more likely to spend more money, so if your website is not mobile ready, that needs to be prioritized as a to-do.

How mobile optimization helps conversions

Mobile web users are a demographic of the web that is growing exponentially. Research shows that mobile web users tend to use mobile web devices when they are doing something else, whether it is watching TV with their tablet or riding the bus while reading on their mobile phone. One study estimates that mobile users will surpass the number of desktop computer users within the next two years. A single second of extra load time on mobile devices can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Another study by Brand Anywhere and Luth Research Inc found that mobile-friendly retail sites could increase “consumer engagement” by 85 percent.

Search engines love mobile

Mobile websites provide additional opportunities for search engine optimization that simply cannot be ignored. A mobile site not only indicates to search engines that your website is more user-friendly, but it provides an additional layer of content to be indexed.

The current state of mobile optimization

Currently, research has shown that only about 9 to 10 percent of websites are actually ready for mobile users. Mongoose Metrics, StatCounter and Quantcast have all crawled websites, trying to determine mobile readiness. In 2010, that same data set found that just under five percent of websites were mobile ready. In 2011, about nine percent of websites were able to be read by mobile browsers.

Optimizing your website

If you are the webmaster or owner of a website, then you need to make sure it is mobile-optimized. If you are running a WordPress or Joomla powered website, do not assume that it is mobile friendly just because your theme says that it is. Double check that your site loads correctly on mobile browsers. Try a service such as CrossBrowserTesting.com to ensure that your site loads correctly across all browsers. Identify any problem areas to be addressed. Then, try installing a plugin that will optimize your site for mobile. If that mobile plugin does not render correctly, try another until you find something that works. It is simply not worth the risk of losing visits, conversions and interactions because sufficient efforts to make a site mobile-ready were not taken.