It seems like everyone has a smartphone or tablet nowadays and the numbers certainly back this claim. There are currently 1.75 billion smartphone users around the world, with this number expected to rise to 5.13 billion by 2017. This fast adoption rate is mainly due to the decreasing prices of low-end smartphones and the rise in availability of 3G and 4G networks.
The importance of mobile isn’t something you can worry about in the distant future; it’s something you need to focus on now. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, there’s a good chance you are losing potential customers. Research suggests that 40 percent of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. If you are struggling to get more customers, it might be that your site isn’t mobile friendly.
Many companies struggle to understand what exactly makes a site mobile friendly. Just because you can view your site on a smartphone or other device doesn’t mean it’s optimized; it might take too long to load or your navigation buttons might be too small for touch-based gadgets. Of course, mobile has its own set of challenges, such as different screen sizes, network capabilities, processing powers and even operating systems.
As daunting as all this might sound, there is a solution that can not only improve your mobile usability but may also improve your Google page ranking: responsive design. Responsive design automatically changes the layout of websites to fit the device on which they’re being viewed.
Of course, responsive design isn’t a magic bullet. Even with a responsive website, it’s imperative to keep mobile at the forefront of your mind when creating content. High-resolution images might look nice, but they will slow down page load time. Also, make sure that any content that appears above the fold is compelling enough that visitors keep scrolling.
If you are just starting to incorporate mobile into your strategy, the following infographic can provide more information on responsive design and tools for mobile design.