Why Mobile-First Should be Your Strategy
Although most people were unaware and the effects were not immediately noticeable, on April 21, 2015, the internet changed drastically. If you signed online that day it is unlikely you noticed anything was different at all.
Known as “Mobilegeddon,” this was the day that Google updated their algorithm to prioritise websites that display well on smartphones and other mobile devices. Other search engines would soon follow suit, and it signaled a drastic shift in the way search engines viewed mobile-friendly websites.
What is “Mobile-First?”
When a website is said to be "mobile-first," this means that the design and development of the site prioritised mobile readiness and functionality over that of laptop or desktop viewing. This differs from the traditional approach, which does the opposite.
When it became clear that mobile search was gaining in popularity, many websites were quick to optimise their site for mobile viewing. However, this still leaves the original website intact, making the site “mobile-friendly,” but not mobile-first.
Why Mobile-First Matters
Google did not force the hand of the consumer with Mobilegeddon. Rather, their behavior was already trending in that direction. Over the last decade, mobile web browsing has been steadily increasing, while desktop and laptop browsing has gone in the opposite direction.
In October of this past year, mobile and tablet browsing crossed over to account for 51.3% of all searches globally. And there’s no signs this trend will stop anytime soon. In fact, the effects are only growing.
People Turn to Mobile Search First
When the need arises, people are more likely to turn to mobile search first by a whopping 87% of individuals. This method is not only the first choice, it’s far and away more trusted and relied on than visiting a store in person, or even researching on social media.
For your business, these micro-moments are vital. Micro-moments are times when your potential customer is most likely to act. For whatever reason, they have grabbed their phone or mobile device and are actively searching. You want your business to be the name that pops up when they do.
What You Can Do
A mobile-first strategy can help ensure you are getting in front of your customers and winning those micro-moments. Your website must display well across multiple platforms, load quickly, and feature a design that loads quickly, is intuitive and user friendly.
Implementing these changes will result in improved mobile SEO as well as increased mobile traffic and conversions. All of that adds up to a strategy that puts your business in a better position to conquer those micro-moments and get in front of your customers when they want to find you.
Sources: Think With Google, Mobile Has Changed Search Intent and How People Get Things Done: New Consumer Behavior Data Sep 2016; Sukhraj, Ramona. "31 Mobile Marketing Statistics to Help You Plan for 2017." IMPACT Branding & Design. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.