Design Method

Is Your Business Prepared for the Mobile Browsing Revolution?


If we were to take a look at our personal online browsing habits, it’s easy to see just how far we have evolved since the early days of the internet. The smartphones in our pockets now have more processing power than the large desktop computers that once frequented our spare rooms or make-shift offices.

Maybe, we shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that mobile web usage has now overtaken desktop browsing. The proliferation of both tablets and smartphones across the globe illustrates how the online world is evolving.

Internet Usage Worldwide - Mobile vs Desktop

The harsh reality facing many businesses is admitting that their aging company website is in need of a desperate upgrade to appeal to mobile-centric customers in this digital age. Anyone that has ever experienced the pain point of having to pinch their smartphone touchscreens while desperately navigating through the tiny text and icons will seldom return to repeat the experience.

Google stepped up to tackle this first world problem by amending its search algorithm to prioritise mobile friendly websites in its results. The prospect of any business being invisible from mobile search results is enough to keep any CEO up at night.

For those with an even broader worldview, the news that developed and emerging nations are embracing mobile web on an incredible scale is yet another concern for those with an older website. The reality of 75% of India’s internet being accessed via mobile devices should act as a massive wake-up call to any business that trades outside of the EU and US.

This realisation is forcing many to prioritise their digital and marketing strategy accordingly.
Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that business owners should walk the streets wearing a mobilegeddon sign around their neck just yet. Google launched a Mobile-Friendly Test and a Webmaster Mobile Guide to help ease website owners through this digital transformation.

Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet.
Google Webmaster Blog

Although we all have the internet in our pocket, it’s not always a fast and easy experience. Armed with an almost infinite amount of knowledge at our fingertips and a thirst for instant gratification, if we encounter a page that does not load within a few seconds, we quickly bounce to another site.

Research company DoubleClick confirmed these fears in a report that illustrated how 53% of mobile site visits were abandoned if a site fails to load in three seconds. When this is combined with the fact that the average load time for a mobile site is 19 seconds, it’s clear that businesses will need more than just a mobile friendly website to be seen.

Last year, Google set out to make the web great again by creating a more efficient way to publish content on the mobile web. An open source project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was launched to remove the infamous frustrating sluggish mobile web experience.

Household names such as Time Inc., The Huffington Post. LinkedIn, BBC, Daily Mail and Twitter were quick to jump on board as early adopters. But; this apparent trend offers a glimpse into the future requirements of mobile browsing.

Customer expectation levels have been raised to an unprecedented level. We can order an Uber with a few swipes on a touchscreen or have Amazon deliver a package within an hour. So why would we wait for a mobile website to load?

Agile businesses that understand the importance of seamless browsing experience on any device will quickly gain an advantage over their sluggish competitors. Those that spend too much time in meetings navigating their own red tape, internal processes and lengthy debates around ROI could quickly suffer a similar fate of a long list of fallen giants such as Blockbuster, Kodak, and Woolworths.

Assuming your website is completely mobile-friendly with your head in the sand is no longer a viable option. Neither is placing your mobile design wishes at the bottom of a nice to have pile.

The rise of app fatigue is seeing users turn their backs on mobile applications and returning to mobile web browsers. We know from our personal mobile browsing experiences how we react to unresponsive websites. So how should you prepare for these changes?

The web has evolved into something entirely different from when your five-year-old website was first launched. Ensuring any web presence is indexed correctly by Google and loads quickly on a mobile device should be top of your wish list. Developing a future-proofed mobile version of your site requires the right approach to ensure your business will remain relevant on the mobile web.

If you have any questions or concerns about how your website performs on mobile platforms, please contact us.

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