As of April 2023, 5.81 billion people were accounted for as active internet users, which amounts to 64.6% of the global population. Many of these internet users are not just browsing social media sites, but also shopping online, which is a boon for businesses online.
However, internet users and online shoppers are fickle when they don’t get what they want fast from business websites and brand apps that are not fit for purpose on their mobile devices or browsers. Industry benchmarks for mobile page speed find that the likelihood of a mobile website visitor moving on increases the longer it takes a page to load.
More than half of mobile users leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. A 3-second loading time leads to a bounce rate of 32%, 5 seconds leading to 90%, 6 seconds and it increases to 106%, while waiting 10 seconds leads to a bounce rate of 123%
Google has already responded to these accelerated trends, especially in light of the move to remote working and growing digital economy, with a mobile-first indexing algorithm that prioritizes mobile websites over desktop websites indexing.
By 2025, it is projected that almost three quarters (72.6%) of internet users worldwide will only use their smartphones to access the internet – that's more than 4 billion people, according to World Advertising Research Center (WARC).
Not surprisingly, businesses now need to build a solid online presence, whether for visibility or e-commerce, or both. Unfortunately, many business owners today are still designing and developing websites for desktops and then trying to make them work well on mobile.
LambdaTest, a digital experience testing service, believes it should be the other way around – and if businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly website, they risk missing out on Google rankings and sales.
Mobile-friendly and Optimized Website Is a Must
Asad Khan, LambdaTest co-founder and CEO, says:
“Mobile users do not spend time waiting for the entire website to load. They want results immediately and within seconds, almost at first glance.
The first impression is often the last impression in a web presence, and if your website takes time to load completely, they won’t wait.
If your website is not presentable or breaks on their browser, they won’t stay. If your website has an important element say two scrolls down, they will switch.”
Khan issues a note of caution for brands that believe they have good mobile site but have no metrics to prove it.
“What does a mobile user seek on a mobile website? Mobile users are goal-oriented. Unlike desktop versions of a website, mobile sites must not fill their pages with unnecessary components.
The components must also be strategically placed and prioritized in a way that works best for the limited screen size. This is why it is important to note down metrics and areas which are important to customers in a mobile view of any website.”
Prioritize and Implement a Mobile-First Strategy
In helping brands prioritize their mobile site, LambdaTest has pulled together top tips and solutions (listed below), including ditching the nav bar, keeping the menu short, and limiting downloadable content to increase conversion from mobile shoppers.
Here are top tips to implement a mobile-first strategy and improve your website’s user experience on mobile devices:
- Ditch the navigation bar. Simplify by using a short menu.
- Provide a search button and make it visible. Search button relieves the user of the responsibility of finding what they are looking for. Remember to put the search button on all the pages on your website.
- Vertical scrolling is always preferable. Mobile users are more focused on finding what they are looking for so help them to do this.
- Avoid pop-ups. Bad for UX and Google has started to penalize websites using full-page pop-ups and decrease their search rankings.
- Disable multiple tab system. A mobile browser does not keep the tabs side by side but stacks these tabs on top of each other.
- Provide click-to-call buttons for phone numbers. Design a click-to-call button where the user can automatically connect to the business.
- Move automatically in forms and validate inputs in real-time. Enable ‘move to next element’ allowing users to populate information without having to press into individual lines. End with the ‘go’ button to move to the next stage.
- Provide a home button on all pages. This will allow users convenient access to the main page without having to navigate. The logo of the company these days should be embedded to return to the home page. It is clean, convenient, and a good design method.
- Keep important elements within reach. Devices are typically used with one hand. Ensure actions buttons are centrally located.
- Compress necessary but irrelevant images. Using high-quality images will just lead to the bandwidth wastage. Use images that will allows better navigation
Khan concludes by insisting that a mobile-first strategy is not a one-time event:
“Test, test and keep testing across multiple browsers & devices. Why? Because dozens of new phones and mobile browsers are released every year, and just because your website looks good on one device doesn’t mean it will look good on others with different screen sizes, viewpoints and resolutions.”