4 Reasons You Need Mobile First Web Design
Mobile First Web Design is more important in 2017 than ever before. With over 95% of users now mobile, the internet is evolving faster than we know how to keep up with it. Not only has there been a great deal of evolution in the marketing community, the technology industry is changing the game with the plethora of new smart devices available. As a web developer, you must be able to adapt to these trends to stay relevant as well as ahead of the curve. Then, on top of keeping up with modern technology, you must design with the future user in mind. The following is a list of five benefits to consider while intending to design with mobile first in 2017.
1. Greater Exposure — AMP
The number one benefit of Mobile First Web Design is the amount of exposure you can receive if you participate properly in this online era. Google has developed what’s called AMP, or, Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP acts as a secondary version of your website minus the java, widgets, heavy images, and toys to slow down the speed of your landing page. By implementing AMP into your website, Google will cache your page so it can be served faster to users looking for that specific information. This also gives your site a boost in rankings on mobile devices because the user experience is said to be improved. If your pages are loading faster, not only will your bounce rate decrease, the chance of your user both fully reading and remembering your page’s content, along with the possibilty of them diving deeper into the site, will grow. This, in-turn, increases your CTR (click through rate). These results would be quickly noticeable when reviewing your website’s statistics.
2. User Experience — Navigation
There is a lot to be said about user experience on the web. Having quality UX is, understandably, said to make your user comfortable if they’re able to navigate your website with ease. The key to doing so is proper website navigation. Remember when sticky headers increased the changes of a user navigating to multiple pages? It made finding information faster, therefore decreasing the percentage of unsatisfied visitors. This is standard on just about every website you find. Mobile first navigation is the same in today’s handheld world. As soon as a user feels the information they wish to seek or explore is out of reach, the back arrow is more then happy to take them off of your website. Enacting Mobile First Navigation is not only aesthetically pleasing, it gives your user a reason to stay, and makes them less likely to press that back button instead of a button you’d prefer.
3. SEO — Google SERP
In December of 2016, a Google algorithm update gave a decreased rank for websites that did not meet google’s minimal requirement for mobile usability. This same update looked favorably upon the sites that did pass the test. Google uses a multitude of various metrics — page load speed, CTR, AMP implementation, use of navigation — to measure if your site is capable of assisting the user in obtaining the information they desire. Not only will having a well built website give your users a reason to remember you, they will come back and share that experience with they will come back on their own, and hopefully share their experience with others. Who wouldn’t want positive word-of-mouth advertising!
4. Money — AdSense
Let’s face it; monetizing your blog or business is the key factor in all of this. Unless you are a non-profit giving people free and helpful information, we all want to be compensated for our efforts. AdSense is a great platform which can help make this happen. One of my favorite sayings, “Google Loves Google,” perfectly illustrates how monetizing your website can benefit you . A quick review from earlier: if your website is mobile friendly, you will rank higher, thus giving those ads a higher probability of being clicked on. If you implement AMP, your pages will load faster increasing the chances of someone viewing multiple pages of your website, thus giving them multiple options to click on your ads. You can see very quickly that having a mobile first website built for the user not only benefits them but it will also benefit you. This system was brought about by some of the best minds in Silicon Valley.
Mobile First Web Design is here to stay no matter what we as developers have to say about it. We have a decision to make. One: we can lead the pack and make the web a better, more accessible playground, or two: we can sit back and watch while someone else steals our thunder. I sign off from this article with the hope that these benefits will entice you to decide to make your next web design project with mobile first in mind. In the long run, this will help you in providing a more attainable platform for whatever you wish to advertise. Stay tuned for my next update where I will develop a Mobile First Wordpress Project for a local business using only free tools. You will be able to duplicate the same process and build out your very own mobile first website in no time. Good luck!