Mobile devices and smartphones have advanced far beyond their originally intended communication purposes and continue to blaze down a path paved with unlimited potential.
Mobile devices are less of a voluntary supplement to daily routines and are now more of a permanent appendage. But more importantly, they are the device through which your website will most likely be accessed. The Internet is carried in our pockets, not something that merely hangs out on our office desk or in our homes. Your customers are no longer clicking with your desktop website while they have the Internet at their fingertips (literally). As the world continues to display an upward trend in mobile usage, businesses are doing their best to adjust and demonstrate a deeper understanding of this not-so-virtual reality.
What is mobile first design?
As you’ve probably guessed by the naming of this website design practice, mobile first simply means designing a website for mobile use before designing it for the desktop experience.
Before mobile devices invaded every corner of society, the majority of your customers would view your website via a desktop computer. This was probably all well and dandy if your website was designed before Mobilegeddon took the world by storm. But today, people are gravitating towards employing their mobile devices for everything from online shopping to banking to social networking. The moral of the story is that revamping your website with a mobile first strategy can’t be postponed any longer.
Why should you care about the design process?
As long as you have functional website, who cares how it was designed, right? Your website designer will surely care, but more importantly are the other two parties that not only give a hoot, but have quite a say in the success of your business:
- Your customers care. In today’s saturated market, user experience has the ability to make or break potential business opportunities. If your website is not built with mobile first design, it’s likely the only response your visitors will have is hitting the back button. Customers can be lost just as quickly as their attention gained when you don’t offer a pleasant mobile user experience. Your website is your first impression and if customers can’t navigate your website effortlessly, they won’t think twice about jumping into the arms of your mobile friendly competitor.
- Google cares. One of the major catalysts for the rise of mobile first was the announcement that Google now favors mobile friendly websites and prioritizes them in search algorithms. In other words: Google makes the rules and the rule is mobile first. Even if your website is overflowing with amazing content, without mobile first design, your ranking will plummet. Google just wants what’s best for you and for its users to have the best possible experience, so get in their good graces by giving your customers the greatest mobile experience possible. And since the big G brings your website more traffic than any other source, it’s best to give Google what it wants.
The simple answer is that at the end of the day, it will put more money in your pocket. Statistics show that 84% of small businesses that optimized for mobile reported an increase in new customers AND saw immediate and long-term benefits. Consumers today are expecting, even demanding, that your website adopt a mobile first design and companies that don’t speak mobile really are missing out.
Mobile first is a solution for today, tomorrow, and many years to come. As technology continues to revolutionize at lightening speed, mobile first design keeps pace. Other technologies depend entirely on today’s standards, setting themselves up for obsoletion. With not only the speed to stay in step with the technological revolution, mobile first design also has the endurance to persevere through the changing times and save you time, energy, and money in the future.
It’s important to remember this moving forward. Rather than making changes just to appease Google and stay one step ahead of the algorithm changes that continue to make the web more mobile friendly, it’s worth your while to truly invest in mobile first technology and get ahead of your competition before it’s too late.
So now that you know what all the hubbub is about mobile first, take the Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your website stacks up. You can test a single page or your whole website to see how easily a visitor can traverse your site on a mobile device and understand exactly what Google’s search algorithm is looking for. If your website isn’t up to snuff, Net Designs is skilled in building websites that present beautifully on the small screen. Contact Net Designs today to start a conversation!
Author: Kendall Dick, Net Designs Blogger
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