(image courtesy HubSpot)
In a prior blog post I wrote about the need to have a "mobile-friendly" website as a potential reason to redesign your website. HubSpot recently did a study to determine the actual impact of not having a mobile friendly website on traffic.
5% Decrease in Traffic
What impact does that have for your company?
My bias regarding whatever traffic loss your company might incur is not purely "numbers based". (Here's a link to the HubSpot post with additional information on the # of sites they gathered info from and their findings, I recommend you read it). Let's go back to what Google said: "If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search."
Certainly when Google notified everyone about this, it was obvious it was going to have some impact on traffic. But I also noticed the impact was going to be on MOBILE traffic only. Other words, the traffic you receive from those visitors that are NOT on a mobile device, it wouldn't have an impact.
So does that mean it's not really that much of an impact? Actually, No. My belief is that even though HubSpot's analysis showed "5% decrease", it can be worse OR it might not have as much impact as you might think. Let me explain...
Your website should be attracting specific traffic that matches your target audience
If you've spent time on my other blog posts or perusing our company's site, this is a very common theme that is often repeated. IF the analysis of your target audience (buyer persona) demonstrates a high use of mobile devices when they spend time online consuming similar content as your company provides - the impact in this case of NOT having a mobile friendly website is far greater than "5%".
However, the devil is always in the details and found thru research. Here's a link to an article from AdWeek that goes into detail on this topic. The article points out that even though Millenials certainly utilize mobile for much web consumption, they still rely heavily on laptop/PC (larger screen sizes) for shopping across categores. So in this case the impact might not be as great.
Bottom line? Know your target audience. Interview existing customers and learn their habits. Form opinions based on data and implement tactics accordingly.
User experience is also very important - not all traffic comes from Google
We stress a very specific path when analyzing a client (or prospect's) website. The UI-UX (user interface and user experience) is planned to direct different (targeted) traffic down various paths depending on their needs. This process gets sidetracked if your website does not render properly on different browser sizes and devices. In this case, the impact of not having a mobile friendly website is doubly (not sure if that's a word but I'm going with it) dangerous to achieving your goals. When you implement various inbound marketing strategies, there are many different ways you'll drive traffic to your website outside of Google (or other search engines) and this particular traffic will also be lost because the user experience is terrible and they will abandon your site altogether.
Learn more - Your website CAN be a lead generator and being "mobile friendly" is an important step.
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