Ever since the iPhone burst onto the stage over 10 years ago, the internet has become increasingly mobile. It started with simple mobile versions of websites that were easier to read on the smaller screens. Then android entered the market and flip phones were quickly being replaced by their smart-phone counterparts. As mobile web experiences have improved and screen sizes have increased, mobile web browsing became the most popular way to browse the internet. More than that, your mobile visitors will be more likely to engage with your site and buy your products or services compared to desktop visitors. Clearly, it is no longer just a good idea to have a mobile-optimized website, it is absolutely essential.

More and More Americans Own Smartphones

Now around 77% of Americans own a smartphone and the vast majority have just become smartphone owners in the last several years. But smartphones aren’t just being used for social media and games. Nearly 70% of consumers between 18 and 39 are using their smartphones to research products before they buy them. Currently, 53% of paid search clicks are done on a mobile device too. With such staggering numbers that are still growing, it is clear that mobile optimization has never been more important for your business.

Mobile Web Searches are Dominant and Growing

A year and a half ago. mobile web searches surpassed searches on the desktop. This means that any search your business comes up in on Google is most likely being made from a mobile device. If your website is difficult to read and navigate, potential customers are more likely to swipe back to the search results rather than be bothered trying to read a website still living in the year 2007. The bottom line is if you are dedicated to giving your customers a positive experience, you not only need to make sure your website it mobile, but you need to be thinking about your mobile experience first.

Google Ranking on Mobile Devices

Google took a stand in 2016 when they started favoring websites that are mobile friendly in their search results. Mobile is now what truly matters when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Currently however, there are separate search results for both mobile and desktop devices. In order to stay on top of your mobile ranking in 2018, you can’t simply include less information on your mobile site and let your desktop site function as your main site. Your mobile site should allow your visitors to access everything they can on your desktop site. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be the same. Different keywords are typically used on mobile devices and companies that take advantage of this can streamline their Google rankings for both desktop and mobile. Additionally, making your business address and phone number easily available and clickable is a big plus for mobile users.

Now the big question, how can you meet Google’s standards for a mobile-friendly website? Fortunately, Google made the answer to this question very simple. Check out their “Mobile-Friendly Test” to make sure the features on your site are mobile ready. Beyond simply having a mobile site, the tool will tell you if any elements on your site do not work properly on mobile.

The most important thing to keep in mind when looking to improve your search rankings is to stay up to date. Google is constantly changing and testing new ways to improve the search experience. If you’re not staying on top of the changes, you can easily find yourself falling behind the competition. Also, patience is key. Too many marketers and entrepreneurs want their SEO results to happen overnight. However, the reality is that organic search takes time. If you’re properly optimizing images, including keywords into your content, and working to build trustworthy links back to your site, you will see results in the long run.

Want A Fluid Customer Experience? Go Mobile-Responsive

With the varying sizes of screens between desktop, tablets, and mobile devices, it’s easy to see why mobile-responsive websites have become such a sought-after design. After all, it keeps the information looking good no matter what device visitors are one. When mobile-responsive sites first made their debut, businesses were quick to make the adoption and it’s easy to understand why. Having a separate mobile site set up like m.yourdomain.com can be quite a process. Dedicated mobile sites were designed initially so that users could quickly access essential information on their small screens. Now that screen real estate on smartphones isn’t as big an issue, responsive sites are much more desirable and allow for an experience that is similar to what a visitor will get on their desktop.

Yes, having a mobile site is essential even for a B2B company these days. If you want anyone on a mobile device to take your business seriously, it is a must. Fortunately, most new theme designs for WordPress and other back-end frameworks are mobile responsive. For mobile users looking for a great web experience, responsive websites are definitely a huge plus. Not only do they allow your site to look great on mobile devices, but they look great on larger tablets as well.

Even though they look perfect on every device and have become the standard in web development, many businesses still do not have responsive websites. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, it is a great investment to make in 2018 even if you already have a mobile site.

Reach Your Customers Where They Are

Despite some that claim apps are on the way out, consumers clearly aren’t ready to give them up. Regardless of the huge growth in mobile web browsing, 90% of media on mobile devices is consumed in apps. This means if you want to reach your customers where they’re at, having a social presence or running ads on mobile apps such as Instagram can be a great way to reach an audience.  Both Facebook and LinkedIn have very sophisticated targeting that allows you to make mobile ads as effective as possible. Not only are more and more consumers moving to mobile devices, but mobile ads on average cost around 25% less than desktop ads, but boast a 40% higher click-through-rate. As if you needed more reasons to start shifting your focus towards mobile devices.

The bottom line on mobile in 2018 is that it’s no longer the latest trend—it’s the standard. If your business isn’t prepared for the mobile customer, you’re only holding yourself back and it is only going to get worse. Mobile devices are taking over in a big way and if you’re not thinking about mobile before even your desktop site, you’re out of touch with your customers. With features like Apple Pay, it’s not even taboo to pay for your coffee anymore without even getting out your wallet. Mobile is here to stay and businesses that have kept up to date with mobile optimization are the ones that stand to benefit.