Google Recommends Responsive Design – and so does TKG!

If you’ve been reading TKGenius in the last few months, you are no stranger to the concept of Responsive Design. You’ve probably also paid attention to the growing trend for mobile traffic to your site. You may even be considering the upgrade.

Or maybe you haven’t, perhaps secretly hoping that if you just pretend you don’t know about it, you won’t have to face the reality that your site (amongst many, many, many other sites out there) will need to make some changes in order to adapt to this brave new world.

Whatever the case, recent comments from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, along with Google’s recommendation that “webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device” indicates that the need to pay attention to your mobile users is becoming more and more important.

In particular, if you’ve been using a mobile splash page incorrectly, you will need to make that update right away. For example, when a Google user does a search and the search results page show a specific URL (ie. www.tkg.com/online-marketing), it is imperative that mobile users are taken to a mobile version of that page, not the mobile version of the homepage. If you’re not sure how your mobile site is working, make sure to test that out and if it’s not working as it should, get it fixed right away!

Of course creating a completely separate mobile experience is a lot of work. Per Google’s recommendation, your best bet is actually to follow the best practice of a responsively designed site.

Not sure you should care about this? Let’s look at some mobile usage stats that TKG is seeing amongst our own client base. (Don’t worry – none of this information is personally identifying!) These stats cover a range of industries from online retailers to B2B lead gen sites to local businesses serving Canton, Ohio.

All data is from January 1 – June 30, 2013

Mobile 1

Mobile 2

(Yes, you read that right! Nearly ½ of all traffic is mobile!)

Mobile 3

Mobile 4

Mobile 5
Mobile 6
Mobile 7

On the whole, when we look at a large sample of marketing clients, we’re seeing between 8% and 26% of all traffic coming from mobile devices from January 1 – June 30, 2013.

But, when we look at trends in mobile traffic, we’re also seeing some remarkable jumps, both from 2012, and even just over this last 6 month period. Take a look:

Monthly Chart

You’ll notice that many sites went from single digit mobile traffic (often around 7 or 8%) in January 2012 to as high as 50% in June 2013. These numbers even blow us away!

So, what’s the take away on this? Well, even if you like to live life on the edge and aren’t so concerned with Google’s recommendation, you should be concerned with the user experience. If you’re seeing any real traffic from mobile devices, it’s time to take action and make sure that those visitors are given the very, very best experience possible. After all, a bad experience doesn’t tend to make someone want to do business with you.

Not sure how much of your traffic is mobile? Here’s any easy way to find out.

Paste this URL into a browser and then follow Google’s instructions to login to your Google Analytics account.

https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=VlkbrqAVQm–3sU6bhvgoA

Choose your website profile and then click “Create”.

You’ll immediately be taken to a Dashboard screen that tells you exactly how much of your traffic is mobile. You can also change the date range if you’re interested in another time period. The best thing is that this Dashboard will always be available in your account, so you can look at your mobile traffic any time.

My Stuff Mobile

Interested in learning more about your mobile visitors or what going responsive means? Leave me your questions in the comments! Or request a quote from TKG. We’d love to chat!

We may tease Leanne about being the only Canadian at TKG, but in truth she’s an online marketing pro with a breadth of experience including SEO, content marketing, analytics and more. She’ll be talking about these topics as well as high level marketing strategy.

Email Leanne | Read Full Bio

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