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Your data is lying to you

When chatting with clients about how a particular feature or component might work on a phone or a touch-screen device, they often respond with something like:

We don’t get many mobile users on our site today, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal if this doesn’t work on a smartphone.

And based on the data, they’re right. They don’t have much mobile traffic. But that lack of traffic doesn’t mean their website shouldn’t provide an amazing mobile experience.

It means they could be losing up to half of their potential revenue and don’t even realize it.

Your current data has a (major) bias #

Imagine if you went to a grocery store, and there wasn’t enough parking. When you went inside, the aisles were tall and narrow, and the layout was confusing. The lighting sucked. And the cashiers? They weren’t just unpleasant. They wouldn’t even help you check out. You had to figure out how to use the register yourself, and if you couldn’t… well, this ain’t the store for you.

So you left, and went down the street. There was ample parking and clean, spacious aisles. There were tons of easy-to-find items, and a courteous, friendly staff. Where would you go shopping next time?

That first store is what your not-mobile-friendly website is like. Why would anyone spend any time there when you’re basically telling them they’re not welcome?

Small screens are big money #

For a growing number of people, smartphones and tablets aren’t just one way to access the web. They’re the way people access the web. Did you know that…

And study after study has found that mobile-friendly sites generate more revenue than desktop-only sites, even when the user visits from a desktop computer.

A case study #

In 2011, I helped PAWS New England redesign their website.

At the time, they had a desktop-only site, and just 9-percent of their traffic came from mobile devices. Based on the data, I’d have been justified in saying, “Our users don’t want this content on their smartphones.”

But we went with a mobile-friendly website anyway, and mobile traffic grew to 25-percent of all traffic in the first 12 months.

Over the last four years, overall traffic to the site has grown by 500%. But mobile traffic? That’s grown by 2700%. More than half of all traffic now comes from mobile devices, which are overwhelmingly responsible for the surge in growth.

And this surge in traffic had a huge impact on revenue. Annual donations nearly doubled over three years. At it’s current rate, PAWS will see increased donation revenue of $1 million over a 5 year period compared to their projections prior to the redesign.

How much more good could you do if your annual donation revenue nearly doubled?

Is your site mobile-friendly? #

There’s a quick and easy way to find out. Head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and pop in your website. Is less than 30 seconds, you’ll get a simple “yes/no” on whether or not your site is mobile-friendly.

If it is, congratulations! And if it’s not, check out my free mobile strategy for animal rescue email course.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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