In the last few years, Google has been communicating the need for mobile ready sites. Forward-thinkers are already reaping the benefits of creating a mobile-friendly website. If your company hasn't taken the plunge, Google has publicly stated its intent to make mobile-friendly websites standout in its search results, which may lead to a new ranking factor. Google has always strived for the best user experience and, clearly, mobile-friendly websites are front and center when mobile search volume is starting to pull ahead of desktop search.
Ultimately, Google can't control whether a website is mobile-friendly or not. It also takes time to develop a mobile ranking factor that provides the best user experience and doesn't alienate important websites that may not have become mobile-friendly yet. With this challenge in mind, Google began testing an icon that alerts users to mobile-friendly websites in their search results. This icon may prove to be valuable in driving search traffic to mobile-friendly websites. Along with the trend of mobile search growth, it is imperative that every website implements a mobile-friendly website.
Is mobile Internet taking over desktop usage?
According to recent research provided by comScore, the majority of consumers are multiscreening. It doesn't mean that mobile alone is winning, but multiple devices are being utilized by the same visitor at the same websites. This is a key reason to have consistent experiences across multiple devices.
It is clear a standard site on a mobile device provides poor user experience: fonts are too small, there's an overwhelming amount of information on one screen, and it's very difficult to navigate. Unless the standard website is the only source of information the user is seeking, they will definitely bounce and choose a mobile-friendly website to visit.
A colleague provided a great example on how you can get an edge on a competitor by being proactive with a mobile-friendly website. He was on the runway at JFK and remembered a birthday for his friend was coming up. He did a search for "gift delivery New York." As most users would, he immediately clicked on the top result and thought this would be quick and painless. The company he was directed to didn't have a mobile-friendly website and his frustration brought him right back to Google to find another company with satisfactory user experience. The second result was a Belgian chocolate gift delivery service with a mobile-friendly website, so guess what his friend got for her birthday? And guess who just missed a sale (and who knows how many before that)?
Google has stated that a website should offer the same user experience regardless of the device used by the viewer. Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO, expressed strong feelings against having multiple sites for multiple devices and believes webmaster shouldn't be designing for mobile. Thus, Google officially endorsed responsive design as the preferred method of building a mobile-friendly website. Responsive design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).