Mobile first has become a bit of a buzz phrase in the marketing world, but there are good reasons why it is being used so heavily. According to Statista, the global number of smartphone users is going to exceed 3.5 billion by 2021, and many these either do not own a desktop computer or will rarely use one. These figures highlight just how important a mobile first web strategy can be for any business hoping to reach as many customers as possible over the Internet. We are even seeing an increase in online start-ups that bypass mobile first and jump straight to mobile only, but these are usually centered around an app.
Below we look at some of the crucial aspects of going mobile first and examine why you should too.
A Growing Trend
It isn’t just the number of smartphone users that’s growing, but also the amount of time existing users spend on their phones. Well over fifty percent of all internet traffic is through mobile devices, meaning a large number of your customers will access your website through their mobile device. It’s critical to ensure they have as good an experience
as if they’d accessed it through a desktop.
The Importance of Being Found
The surge of mobile use in recent years is also leading to some search engines prioritizing sites that are optimized for mobile use. Lots of companies invest heavily to claw their way up the search results; failure to adopt an effective mobile strategy could undo all the good work. The search engine companies are only interested in providing the user with the best results, and this includes sites that are ideally optimized for the user’s device, as their experience will form part of their overall satisfaction.
Another huge part of mobile first is considering how images and features are viewed. Just presuming the user will see a complete image clearly is no longer good enough. Seeing a condensed version can mean busy images are hard to understand. This adds another important factor into your image selection, which should already be optimized for SEO tags, ensuring you are able to use them and that your image selection is consistent across your brand using reverse image search to find images that are similar and representing your company in the correct manner.
A Shifting Demographic
One of the reasons the focus has shifted so dramatically to mobile is because of the change in demographics. Millennials are taking over from Generation X and Baby Boomers as the biggest market of consumers. There are obvious and notable differences between these groups of people, with the majority of millennials having grown up with Internet connectivity being a normal part of their lives.
Will Responsive be Enough
The very least businesses should do is incorporate responsive design into their website. This will mean the user has a better experience no matter what device they are viewing on. Mobile first takes it one step further. Rather than simply trying to make the elements of your desktop site fit on a mobile, it considers the mobile experience as the most important design factor.
The digital world is changing. There is a definite shift towards mobile devices and social media. New start-ups and established businesses looking to create or renew their digital presence ignore this fact at their peril.