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Mobile-friendly website: A must for companies!

Mobile-friendly website: A must for companies!

Ann-Kathrin Habl
Ann-Kathrin Habl
published at January 20, 2022   
updated at May 3, 2022

Mobile friendly Website – The most important in a nutshell

  • A mobile-friendly website is a must these days!

  • Mobile-friendly & responsive design is not the same thing: Rather, responsive design is the best way to implement mobile-friendliness.

  • The easiest way to create a mobile-friendly website is to use a content management system with a responsive layout (such as WordPress).

In 2021, around 4.7 billion people in the world used the internet – this corresponds to 59% of the world’s population. More than 50% of internet accesses were made via mobile phones. The desktop is in second place with 42%, while the tablet is clearly behind with just under 3%.

So if anyone should still be asking whether a website really has to be mobile-friendly – or responsive – the answer is probably a resounding “Yes! But apart from this obvious reason, what other advantages are there to responsive websites?

Mobile-friendly & responsive – what is the difference?

You have probably heard the terms “responsive” or “mobile-friendly” before. But what exactly is behind them? Or what is the difference?

mobile-friendly vs. responsive – Definition

  • mobile-friendly means that a website is displayed correctly on a mobile device. This includes that the user does not have to zoom in, all elements have a sufficient size and all links & buttons are easy to click on a mobile phone.
  • A website with a responsive design flexibly adapts to the size of the browser window. This means that users always get the best possible display of the website, depending on the device they are using.

But what exactly is the difference between mobile-friendly and responsive?

The term mobile-friendly simply means that a website is well presented for mobile use. However, the term does not describe how this is implemented. For example, there are still many websites that offer a separate mobile version on a subdomain, which then looks like this:

  • Desktop version of a website: https://myurl.com
  • Mobile version of a website: https://m.myurl.com

The use of a mobile version on a subdomain is mobile-friendly, but no longer up-to-date. With responsive design, on the other hand, there is no subdomain and no separate mobile version. Here, the layout of the website automatically adapts to the size of the browser window. In principle, responsive design is an optimal way to implement mobile-friendliness.

mobile-friendlyA website with responsive design adapts flexibly to the size of the browser.

5 reasons why your website must be mobile-friendly!

Mobile-friendliness is no longer “nice to have”, but simply necessary if you want your website to be found online. Why? – There are simple reasons:

1. Google’s mobile-first Index

It is undisputed that SEO is a big factor when it comes to the success of one’s own website. Anyone who does not at least appear on the first page of the search results rarely gets clicks on their page. But since 2019, Google has taken into account not only the “classic” SEO factors such as page content, click duration and dwell rate, but also whether the page is responsive and thus functional via mobile devices. No wonder: in 2019, 65% of all Google search queries came from a mobile device, and this value has probably increased by a few percentage points in the meantime.
 
Since 2021, Google not only values mobile-friendliness as a positive factor when calculating rankings – but Google switched to “mobile-first indexing”. This means that Google no longer uses the desktop version of a website to calculate rankings, but only the mobile version. This makes mobile-friendliness almost existentially important for everyone who wants to be found in the organic Google search results.

2. Digital natives as decision-makers

A 2016 study found that today 73% of millennials are involved in B2B decision-making and 33% even make these decisions alone. The crucial point here is that millennials have grown up as digital natives.
A responsive website is much more important for this target group than it is for Generation X or the Baby Boomers. To back this up with figures: 82% of Millennials consider mobile devices important for research. If you fail this target group with a non-responsive website, you could get fewer orders in the future and thus put your company’s success at risk.

3. The relationship between bounce rate and responsive design

There are studies that have examined the connection between bounce rate and responsive design. The result is clear: visitors who come to your website will only stay if the loading time of the website is short and the readability is good. If the user first has to zoom into the website with two fingers in order to recognise some of your content, not only is the probability that he will do so very low – he will also not come back.

4. Mobile design is important for your image

Potential customers are not the only users you will find on your website. You will probably get to the point where you are looking for employees – and it is at this point that you need a good image. With the baby boomers retiring from the workforce in the next few years, employee acquisition will become even more important. Big difference: more and more young job seekers are now entering the market. And it is precisely for this target group, which was virtually born with a mobile phone in its hand, that mobile design is extremely important.
 
Responsive design is an important part of a successful external presentation; after all, nowadays the website has the same function as a business card. If you have missed the changeover so far, now is the right time to tackle this project!

5. The future is responsive

While web design started with desktop computers and now extends to mobile phones and tablets, this is far from the end. In the future, more and more devices will be equipped with displays and be able to access the internet via the WLAN – from refrigerators to smart watches. This means a greater number of different screen formats and thus an even greater compulsion to design websites responsively.

Mobile-Friendly Check: How is my website displayed on the smartphone?

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test: You want to test whether your page is displayed correctly on mobile devices? Google provides a tool for this purpose. Here you simply enter your URL and then find out whether Google detects problems with the mobile-friendliness of your website.

Mobile-friendly website: A must for companies! Test for optimisation for mobile devices

 

How do I make my website mobile-friendly?

In principle, there are three ways to make your website mobile-friendly:

  1. Revise the HTML code of your website: If you do not want to change anything on your website other than making it mobile-friendly, you can adapt the HTML code accordingly. However, this is extremely time-consuming and requires some expertise. In practice, it only makes sense in the rarest of cases.
  2. Create a separate mobile version that can be found on a subdomain: This is about the m.ihreurl.de page mentioned above. There are various tools that help to create such a mobile version. However, this approach also has some disadvantages: You always have to maintain two versions of a website (if you make changes on the desktop version, you also have to make them separately on the mobile version). In addition, this approach is now also outdated; Google prefers a responsive design.
  3. Use a content management system with a responsive layout: Ideally, you should switch to a content management system and relaunch your website. Content management systems such as WordPress offer a variety of ready-made layouts that adapt to the user’s screen in a responsive manner. This means that no extensive programming knowledge is necessary to realise this.

 

Again, this shows: The best solution is a responsive design. The easiest way to realise this is with a content management system such as WordPress – even without programming knowledge, a mobile-friendly & responsive website can be designed quite quickly.

 
 

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