“Google has increasingly pushed its advertising customers to create special mobile websites because, as we know all too well, most conventional websites look awful on a smartphone.
Now, Google’s providing more research to back up its advice.
The search ad giant is hoping, of course, that the better mobile experience people have, the more they will use Google search to find sites and products.
A poor mobile experience reflects badly not only on the sites but on Google searches that sent them there. That’s especially worrisome today as Facebook, to name one rival, and Twitter, to name another, double down on mobile advertising.
And it happens that Google has some relatively new mobile ads to hawk as well.
A few of the highlights (or, in some cases, low points):
- Two-thirds of smartphone users say a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a company’s product or service, and 74% say they’re more likely to return to the site later. “Mobile is creating massive opportunity,” says Jason Spero, head of Google’s global mobile sales and strategy.
- 61% says that if they don’t find what they’re looking for (probably within about five seconds), they’ll click away to another site. Half say that even if they like a business, they’ll use its site less often if it doesn’t work well on their smartphone. “This is a wake up call,” says Spero. “You will lose customers at the moments that matter” without a site specifically made for mobile devices.
- 72% of users say a mobile-friendly site is important to them, but a nearly unanimous 96% have visited sites that aren’t. “When you offer users a desktop experience on mobile,” Spero notes, “it’s kind of crap.”
Google’s advice: Create a fast mobile site with big buttons and text, keep steps to complete tasks to a minimum, and–you knew this was coming–promote the site with Google mobile ads for the two-thirds of people who use search to find a site.