Mobile traffic to web sites continues to increase, particularly as apps have integrated web site URLs into their features. Mobile search is now heavily leaning towards sites with mobile versions over sites without mobile versions in result reporting. This importance varies depending on the web site – frankly, some web sites are conceived and used almost exclusively for the desktop experience based on their content. When we look at client Mobile reports on Google Analytics, we find the vast majority showing some sort of an increase in mobile traffic in 2016 over 2015, regardless of whether there is a mobile-friendly version of the site available or not.
If you have a site built prior to 2014, and you did not specifically incorporate for your site a mobile-friendly template, then your site likely resolves on mobile much as it does on desktop, with much tinier menus and links. These are considered to not be mobile-friendly.
Organizations with limited budgets may be wondering if it is time to upgrade the site to incorporate mobile. It depends on your web site’s traffic. We have traditionally used the 15% traffic point as to whether we recommend the slight redesign required to provide a mobile version template that utilizes your content management system. That is, when looking at the web site’s analytics, if mobile usage accounts for 15% or greater of your web site’s traffic for a significant period of time (such as 6 months or a year) then it is time to make sure you have mobile covered.
We have seen several client sites jump from 5% mobile in 2015 to over 15% mobile in 2016. The mobile generation is in the adult world now, and their preferences are showing. And older generations are getting more comfortable with their mobile phones. If your site needs or wants that audience, we will need to make sure you have the preferred mobile experience relative to your site.
For our clients, if the web site is above the 15% mobile audience threshold AND does not have an option to resolve to a mobile-friendly structure for mobile, we will be strongly recommending such a mobile upgrade for 2017. Mobile is not going away – but that business accessing your web site via mobile just might.