Google search results based on mobile usage rank higher than desktop and laptop. Here’s why.
Websites are developed on desktop computers. They can look amazing until a user tries to view the site on a smaller device, such as a smart-phone, tablet or mini-tablet. (Of course, a good developer will have made the site responsive to device sizes). In 2018, Google announced that search results based on mobile data would be considered more important than desktop and laptop.
Google has access to more user data and trends than probably any other company on earth. We don’t. However, we can use data from across our client base to understand and explain why mobile friendly websites are critical to website owners.
In the following example, statistics are provided by Google Analytics on a client’s Business-to-Consumer website that has approximately 40,000 visits per year:
In this example, views on mobile phones have risen from under 44% to over 52% from 2016 to 2018, whilst views on desktop have dropped from over 40% to 36% of all visits. Tablet percentages have gone down, too. Their use may have been replaced by smartphones which are more portable and their screens have become larger and easier to read.
Global Google vs London Home Counties Website Data
However, the use of mobiles vs desktops vary between audience types. Across our customers’ sites, browsing with mobiles has risen as much as 5.5% from 2017 to 2018 for some; for others it has dropped by 3.5%. Inconclusive – but Google has a far wider sampling to analyse.
The following comparison shows the top device used, with percentage, across a selection of our monitored websites:
- Websites that were mostly accessed via mobile phones (approximately half of all visitors in 2018)
46.81% 52.60% 52.61% 53.32%
- Websites that were mostly accessed via desktop/laptop computers (2018)
57.17% 63.95% 76.68% 82.31% 84.29% 89.05%
Note that the highest figure, with almost 90% of visitors using a desktop/laptop to view the website, applies to this website, thebpc.org.uk. Again, inconclusive results and certainly not in line with Google’s more diverse data sampling.
The message of this post for website owners is… Please use Google’s quick, easy and free checker to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. If your website fails the test, contact your web designer for a resolution as soon as possible or, if you prefer, contact us for a smarter new website.