Mobile internet usage now surpasses desktop usage, and what it means to your business

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Last month saw a momentous milestone. According to the latest data from web analytics firm, Statcounter, worldwide mobile and tablet internet usage finally became more prevalent than desktop usage. It’s been a slow, inexorable rise with mobile usage being at around 40% 24 months ago, 45% 12 months ago, and finally last month it topped over 51%. The figures come hot on the heels of another milestone that was reached less than 6 months prior when Google announced that more Google searches took place on mobile phones than on desktops and tablets in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

That’s looking worldwide. How does the UK measure up? In general, the UK is behind other countries, and it may well be at least another 12-24 months before mobile/tablet internet usage surpasses desktop use. Compare this with India for example which has over 75% internet usage through its mobile devices or Japan it’s over 76%! So even though we’re lagging behind many other countries, mobile’s internet usage is inexorably on the rise. This should act as a wake-up call to both big and small UK businesses alike – you need to ensure your site is mobile friendly.

Some companies got that message early and responded accordingly, with varying success. Some opted to run two versions of their site for desktop and mobile viewing, but this can be heavy on administration and risks one or other version not being kept up to date. Others opted for one mobile-friendly website and were often unimpressed with the overall result, but stuck with it as the price you pay to be mobile-friendly. So, to all those business owners who baulk at their own mobile served website, the question you have to ask is, ‘Aren’t an ever-growing number of your potential customer’s thinking exactly the same thing?’ Of course, there are other benefits to your site providing a better user experience for mobile views. Mobile compatibility has long been a ranking factor for search engines. So, this could give you an edge over your non-mobile friendly competitors when prospects search for your services. This may be particularly worth considering for companies that operate in overseas markets where mobile internet usage is far more prevalent.

So, let’s assume you have decided to opt for a fully responsive website design. It’s well worth also being aware as you begin to populate it with content to be mindful of mobile usability, which is frequently overlooked. Mobile compatibility is how well your site is designed to work but usability is how well the user can interact with it. The usability can soon be compromised by simple things like putting two links closely together in some body text. It may look fine on a desktop but on mobile it may be near impossible for a user to click on the link they want!

Finally, there are greater considerations with mobile internet usage than purely your website design. It can be worthwhile considering your overall digital marketing strategy. For instance, your social media’s visual content may need to be optimised for mobile devices. Many pics that look great on a desktop can get radically cropped on a Twitter feed or simply the text can be too small to read on a mobile device.

For a free no-obligation review of your website, including mobile compatibility and usability, then don’t hesitate to contact Cheltenham SEO services consultancy Ready Steady Go SEO.

I've been involved in marketing for over 20 years and digital marketing over the last 6 years. My goal is to see clients thrive from using both ethically based affordable SEO services and effective digital marketing best practices.

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