Smartphone ownership as percentage of population is at an all-time high in the United States. This figure is likely to go further up from 64.05% in 2016 to 68.4% in 2017 and then further to 78.75% by 2021. This has in turn given rise to the app economy along with a higher level of internet consumption from the mobile web.
Mobile responsiveness is a contentious topic with respect to the mobile web. It essentially refers to a website that can render as well on a mobile phone as it does on a desktop computer. Since April 2015, Google has rolled out a few updates to their search algorithm that provided websites with mobile friendly design an additional boost in their rankings. They have also been penalizing websites with non-mobile friendly interfaces and this has rankled quite a few businesses. In this article, we will take a look at some statistics regarding mobile responsiveness and how the internet landscape has been maturing to this new reality.
Consumers Like Mobile-Friendly Sites
In 2012, Google conducted a survey of nearly 1088 smartphone users in the United States to understand mobile behavior and according to this study, 72% of mobile users felt it was important for websites to be mobile-friendly. Further, 74% of the respondents said they were more likely to return to a site in future, if it worked well on a mobile phone. There are other interesting insights from the study – 67% of the respondents said they were more likely to buy a product or service if the site was mobile-friendly. To a question about user experience, 61% of consumers revealed that they were likely to move to another site if they could not find what they were looking for on their mobile site.
Responsiveness Is Not The Only Way To Mobile Web
With responsive design, your website automatically adjusts and aligns to fit the display resolution of your viewing device; desktop or mobile. But responsiveness is not the only way to build a mobile-friendly website. The other ways to do this are by having separate websites for the mobile and desktop user or by dynamically serving different content based on the device requesting content. In a survey, that is admittedly non-scientific, it was found that nearly 82% of webmasters preferred responsive design as a way to build a mobile-friendly website. In contrast, 4% of participants preferred dynamic serving while 6% of participants preferred having separate URLs for mobile and desktop users.
Percentage Of Businesses With Responsive Websites
Back in 2014, a study conducted by BaseKit found that an overwhelming 91% of small business websites were not optimized for the mobile user. In 2015, two months after Google first announced an update to provide a boost to mobile-friendly websites, the company noted that this helped increase the number of mobile-friendly websites by 4.7%. Most recently, Clutch published a small business survey that found that nearly half of the small businesses they surveyed did not have a website. Among those that did, 23% owned sites that were not mobile friendly. Another nine percent of websites had unknown mobile capabilities. Regardless of what the digital marketing gurus are advocating, it is clear that mobile responsiveness as a customer experience strategy is still not actively pursued by a vast majority of business owners.
Exhaustive studies that look into the adoption of responsive web design standards are still hard to come by four years after Mashable wrote an article declaring 2013 as the year of responsive web design. As Google continues to push through mobile-friendly website formats, we will see a larger transformation into responsive design over the next few years. It will be interesting to see how the stats evolve over time in this regard.