By 2014, mobile device usage had surpassed PC usage as the dominant method by which consumers browsed the internet. Nearly 100% of consumers use mobile devices to look up information while on the go, including details about businesses, restaurants, and services, while more than 15% use mobile devices consistently to make purchases online. As the popularity of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices continues to increase, it’s essential to understand mobile website optimization and the role it plays in your business’ future success.

Mobile Optimization: The Basics
Mobile website optimization is about more than simply ensuring your website can be viewed on a mobile device. Specifically optimizing your website for mobile device usage includes considerations such as touchscreen technology and limited data transfer capabilities when wireless internet is not available. Thus, mobile optimization often requires the development of a sleeker, mobile-specific website that may differ—either slightly or significantly—from your “traditional” PC-based website. Taking into account the way information is viewed and conveyed on a mobile device versus a PC and designing a website around these differences is the key to not just making your website mobile-friendly, but actually optimizing it for consumer use while on the go. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that your mobile-optimized website may need to change as mobile devices and their usage continue to evolve. Updating your mobile website regularly to reflect these changes is the best way to maintain and grow your consumer base as mobile device usage continues to increase.

Mobile Optimization: The Benefits
If you’re wondering about the benefits of creating and maintaining a mobile-optimized website, there are many. The first major benefit of mobile optimization is simply that it allows your website to remain accessible and usable to your consumers. Recent research on mobile browsing has indicated that more than half of consumers will decide to make a purchase based on the time it takes a company’s website to load on their mobile device, while 30% will abandon a purchase if the site and online shopping cart are not optimized for mobile use. This means that if your site is not specifically tailored to make shopping easy and straightforward on a mobile device, you could be losing business. A site that is designed for mobile use makes purchasing easy, and consumers are much more likely to go through with a purchase when the process is simple to view, understand, and complete. The experience your consumers take away from your mobile site will also affect their opinion of your company and their likelihood to turn to you in the future, affecting long-term business prospects as well. If your site is not optimized for mobile use today, consumers may assume your business is outdated and won’t meet their current and evolving needs. Conversely, a site that looks great and functions well on mobile platforms shows your dedication to adapting your business practices to modern consumers and your willingness to engage in your customers’ lifestyle, thus demonstrating your company’s commitment to its current and future clients.