Why Mobile-First is the Only Way To Go

In my 2015 Marketing Trends, I said I believe one of the areas that will definitely become the standard is thinking “mobile-first”. Since that blog post I have fielded questions about responsive website design and just the other day I was emphasizing to a vendor how our perspective on all digital content is mobile-first.

Why am I so committed to mobile? A quick look at mobile penetration across the general population is truly eye-opening – today, 90% of American adults have a cell phone (58% are smartphones). Website traffic statistics reflect that visitors are increasingly using their phones to consume content on mobile devices and websites that are optimized for the mobile experience see a greater share of mobile visitors than the sites that do not. According to eMarketer estimates that there were 145.9 million mobile shoppers in the US this year, up 23 million from 2013. 

One of the major reasons that businesses resist mobile is the argument that designing for multiple screen sizes – so-called responsive design – is difficult to do. Typically, marketers and small businesses think they need a custom site which is expensive and costly to maintain, and can be much more difficult to make mobile-friendly. While it’s true that mobile presents challenges due to the varying browser sizes and more limited bandwidth, if your site is based on a CMS, there are simple options available to you that can make responsive easy to deploy.

When it comes to Content Management Systems, WordPress is the king, currently powering 61% of all CMS-based websites and offering a broad selection of pre-built responsive templates. Many businesses still think WordPress is just a blogging platform but the software has evolved from these humble origins to become a fully-fledged content system. Here are just a few big brands using WordPress today as their website platform:

Ease of Use – WordPress is extremely easy to use and this is critical for new-age marketers and small businesses. While you may still require an external vendor to support major changes, you can control all content updates, which is essential as content production and curation is just one part of what marketing departments do to reach customers today.

Clean, Beautiful Templates – Why reinvent the wheel when there are thousands of templates that with minimal tweaks can easily be branded to fit your look and feel? When “mobile-first” is your strategy, there’s no need to overhaul a template to make it your own or build a custom website.

Responsive – It’s the norm and that isn’t going to change. Having a site that is mobile-friendly and accessible on any type of device is going to increase how you reach new and existing customers. When it comes to responsive all your content needs to be mobile-friendly. In today’s world you do not want to utilize marketing automation and lead generation without taking the time to have responsive email templates in place as well.

Search & SEO Friendly – As with any modern CMS, when you’re using WordPress, the on-page mechanics of SEO are almost automatic. WordPress has SEO plug-ins to make tagging, linking and descriptions easy for a marketer to manage and automate. You will continue to execute SEO specific tactics like backlinking and syndication but these plug-ins automate the basics.

When you are ready for a site design, consider working with a WordPress developer or agency to help you brand an existing WordPress template with minimal design customization.The value any good UI/UX designer or interactive agency will bring to the table in addition to design is strategy, content and user experience, all of which are critical to having a successful website.

The reason I love WordPress so much is that beyond its ease of use, beautiful templates, open source origins, and the dynamic community surrounding the platform is the simple fact that there are so many responsive-ready templates to chose from. Whether you are a marketer or a small business it makes sense to consider WordPress as your website platform. Those future customers are out there, but you won’t reach them unless you provide a mobile-friendly experience.

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