Making Mobile Web a Priority

More and more people are ditching their desktops for phones and tablets. If your site doesn’t display properly on mobile, you run the risk at falling behind your competitors. According to Global Product Partnership, Barb Palsner, the median mobile web experience has grown almost 1,000 percent in the last eight years. That is a staggering …
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More and more people are ditching their desktops for phones and tablets. If your site doesn’t display properly on mobile, you run the risk at falling behind your competitors.

According to Global Product Partnership, Barb Palsner, the median mobile web experience has grown almost 1,000 percent in the last eight years. That is a staggering number.

It’s clear mobile users can’t be ignored. It’s not enough to allow for your site to work on mobile, you have to cater to these users specifically. Just because you have an agile desktop site doesn’t mean it will translate to a phone or tablet.

A study conducted by WP Engine and Vanson Bourne asked 450 IT, Engineering/R&D and Marketing decision makers about their current mobile strategy. The survey revealed that almost half, 44 percent, of traffic is coming from mobile. That number shows no sign of slowing down.

A huge part of creating compelling digital experiences is reaching people wherever they might be. Luckily WordPress, together with PWA and AMP, make tackling mobile easy.

The faster the better

Users are looking for faster experiences. According to the study, the average mobile page takes over three seconds to load. In that time, you can be missing out on 40 percent of your revenue. According to the survey, mobile users will vacate your site when load times for any particular page exceed two seconds.

Palsner highlighted this fact by saying 51 percent of the top 500,000 websites load in over three seconds, with 20 percent taking almost 8 seconds.

This is unacceptable in a mobile world. Palsner said 53 percent of users will abandon a site after just three seconds. Not only does this look bad, but it could also lead to loss of revenue. The desire for immediacy will point customers to your competitors sites. According to Palsner, 46 percent of users say waiting for a page to load is the worst thing about the web.

Mobile apps aren’t enough

Though it is true mobile apps have a better user experience and benefit from strong brand recognition, they just aren’t feasible for every company. Not only that, they are very difficult to get in front of users.

In Palsner’s presentation, she said an average mobile user spends 67 percent of their time going between their three favorite apps, with their favorite taking up 50 percent of the time. Many people will download an app only for a specific purpose then delete it when they’re done. That’s because an abundance of mobile apps crowds our phone screens and disregards the desire for simplicity.

Considering the amount of time, money, and manpower it takes to build and manage a mobile app, that doesn’t make sense for every company.

AMP and PWA to the rescue

So you need a fast and reliable mobile experience but mobile apps aren’t the thing? Enter AMP and PWA. These two applications give users everything needed to optimize for mobile. Both of these tools work to accomplish a better mobile experience from different angles.

AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, are geared toward speed and embeddability. The framework provides a less than a second load time and makes content embeddable and portable. AMP ensures all content you serve through mobile loads quickly and doesn’t lose formatting on a phone or tablet.

According to the WP Engine commissioned study, “Virtually all (99%) respondents can see benefits for their organization to use AMP. The most likely benefits anticipated are improved security (44%), increased mobile traffic (41%) and improved conversion rates (39%).”

PWA, or progressive web apps, are optimized for engagement and reliability. The program allows the user to add push notifications, enable offline viewing, and more.

The study goes on to say, “Three in five (60%) respondents say that their organization uses mobile apps/ PWA to give their customers a better user experience. More than half say this for increased sales (53%) and/or enhanced customer service (51%).”

AMP gets people to your page, PWA keeps them there. Together, these tools provide an easy-to-use digital experience to every user. Both are secure, require little maintenance and are cost effective. They are supported on all major browsers and are being used by companies such as Vox, CNN, The Washington Post, and Tasty by Buzzfeed.

Most importantly they work well with WordPress. There are plugins for both PWA and AMP that make it incredibly easy to integrate.

Don’t fall behind

Companies can no longer afford to put mobile on the back burner. The number of mobile users shows no sign of slowing down and if you’re not ready for them you will get left in the dust. Creating compelling digital experiences means making sure you’re reading your customers everywhere you can, and mobile is a huge part of that.

Download AMP and PWA, and start reaching people much faster.

“Performance is a product,” Barb Palsner

It can’t be an afterthought. Users will leave if they have to wait too long and it will start to impact revenue faster than you might think. Adopting a mobile-first mindset will set you up for success in the future.

Emily Schiola

Emily Schiola

Emily Schiola is the Editor of Torque. She loves good beer, bad movies, and cats.

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