Responsive Content – How Important Is It?
The consumption of digital content has been growing rapidly, driven by the rise of mobile devices and the ability to access content from anywhere. The case for responsive content is becoming undeniable, as has the change in ways we should engage mobile readers.
Many organisations are still playing catch-up in properly targeting and accommodating mobile users. Often, it’s either the struggle to change the attitudes to mobile internally, or simply not seeing the need in their industry to adapt.
1. Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead
This is a scary statistic and one that’s been echoed since Google’s findings were released. A huge number of potential users are bouncing simply because of a poor mobile experience. This could easily be remedied with responsive content for users on smaller screened devices. Having to pan the screen, zoom, or scroll excessively because the content being shown to mobile users was designed with desktop in mind, isn’t a great experience, but one that is still considered acceptable by some publishers.
With smartphone penetration in Western Europe and the U.S. approaching 70%, and with consumer internet usage now primarily coming from mobile devices – mobile is the standard experience, with desktop browsing secondary.
2. 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.
A lot of users don’t complete an activity in a single sitting, whether it’s because of an interruption, or because the activity is better suited to another device. A typical use case would be reading content on desktop, then going mobile and continuing to read on the go. A consistently good user experience is important for retaining those users, as shown by Syndacast’s Wolfgang Jaeger’s analysis on user behaviour which provided the above statistic.
Some of the biggest brands in the world still fail to recognise the browsing behaviour of their users, or the basic need of responsive content. Mobile is still viewed by many as the secondary or even tertiary device, purely used to read content quickly on the go. However, this has been repeatedly proven in the past few years to not be the case, most of us are now choosing mobile devices as our primary platform, especially for text content (with 44% of millenials viewing video almost exclusively on mobile too).
When it comes to providing a seamless experience, it’s important to remember it’s not just about providing a good experience on each device – which consumers expect by default now, it’s about creating a recognisable experience. Whether a user is on desktop, smartphone or tablet, the experience should feel the same. Content should look and react in a similar way and navigation through that content should be intuitive because of previous use on other devices. Seamless isn’t the same as responsive, it’s a step further.
3. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site
Word of mouth is undoubtedly the more effective form of marketing, Nielson’s 2012 Global Trust in Advertising Report found that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends more than any other form of advertising. It’s no secret in the business world that some of the best customers and leads are likely to be the result of word of mouth. Even if you have fantastic content, it’s not always enough when the mobile experience is so poor that people are hesitant to recommend you – the potential for losing a large number of consumers and recognition in return for your efforts is massive.
Small and niche businesses are slowly realising they need to focus on connecting instead of collecting. Building relationships with a few customers is generating better outcomes than simply collecting the information of many when the product or service they’re offering doesn’t have mass appeal. Each of those relationships is a number of magnitudes more valuable than the cold leads, but a lot more effort goes into each one too.
Sabotaging those relationships because of a the lack of understanding of today’s digital requirements to be a competitive business is a trap too many organisations big and small have fallen into.
4. Avg. page-load speed on mobile sites is 22 seconds
22 seconds! Ouch! It’s worth noting that even the slowest of mobile sites are likely usable after 10-15 seconds, but the statistic really shines light on how far behind most mobile offerings are. Would you wait that long to browse content that you weren’t already fully invested in? It’s likely most would bounce to find the content elsewhere.
Having a mobile ready site/app/platform includes optimising mobile load times. For instance, there’s little benefit in showing a large complicated image to a user on a mobile device when it’s difficult to digest and just adds time onto the page load.
The opportunity is there for organisations to pull themselves ahead of the pack, if the average load time is 22 seconds, there’s likely competitors that aren’t that far off the same figure. Capturing traffic is difficult enough, yet so much content is still turning people away before they’ve read a single line.
For more compelling statistics on mobile usage, you can find them in this impactbnd article as well as sources. Alternatively, check out this Mobile Marketing Guide for a deeper look into catering to a mobile audience.