Do you really NEED a mobile-friendly page for your nonprofit?
Spoiler alert: Yes.
But not for the reasons you may have been hearing lately.
Much has been made lately about Google’s “Mobilegeddon.” In case you need to catch up, here’s the story in a nutshell: Google changed their search methods so that websites that don’t offer mobile responsive design will be pushed way down in the rankings on mobile phones. Millions of websites could be affected, however this will only apply to searches done on a mobile device.
So you might be thinking “What’s the big deal then? How many people are really discovering my organization for the first time through a mobile phone search?”
The answer: probably not a whole lot, to be honest.
So from that perspective, your lack of a mobile-responsive website won’t hurt you that much.
But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Not by a long shot. Mobile still matters, no matter which way the Google winds are blowing.
1. 24% of Your Donation Page Visitors Are Using a Mobile Device
Imagine throwing a gala in which you hoped to raise thousands of dollars for your organization. Everything is picture perfect. The food is top notch, you’ve got drinks flowing, music playing, and your entire staff has on their best cocktail dresses and tuxedos.
Then, when the crowd starts filling in, your director of development takes a quarter of them and shuffles them into another room in the back with cheap cans of beer, no music, and nasty fluorescent lighting.
Something tells me that development director would not be around much longer. But this is exactly what you’re doing if you don’t have a mobile-responsive donation page! 24% of the site visitors to donation pages on the WeDidIt platform use a mobile device. If you’re not accommodating these people, you might as well be that director; shuffling gala attendees into a separate, less fun, room.
2. Mobile-Friendly Is Quickly Becoming the Norm
While the new Google update might not affect you directly, it will undoubtedly affect all internet users in a secondary way.
By enforcing these changes, millions of websites will change to mobile responsive design. And just as a rising tide raises all ships, a mobile-responsive page will quickly become standard.
3. Mobile Traffic is Rising, and Quickly
While the estimations on just how much mobile traffic will rise vary, they all point in the same direction: up.
One recent study predicted a 97% increase in mobile web traffic across the next 4 years. As mobile devices become more accessible to more people, mobile traffic will command a bigger share of total traffic for all websites.
4. Responsive Pages Adapt to New Devices
People seem to be lining up for the latest greatest electronic device on a seemingly monthly basis. First, the screens were getting smaller. Now they’re getting bigger. Who knows where they’ll go next?
Responsive pages don’t have to be redesigned every single time a new popular device comes along. They’re designed in such a way that they can adapt to any screen size.
Don’t Panic About the Google Update
There’s a lot of hysteria going on right now about the Google update (with some even referring to it as “Mobilegeddon”). Some have a right to panic: the local businesses that rely on mobile searches for customers.
But if we’re being perfectly honest, nonprofits don’t need to immediately panic about this change. In the short term, it’s hard to imagine massive losses in traffic for most nonprofit websites.
However, it does mark yet another signal in a rising sea of messages that the time to adopt a mobile responsive web design is now. It would be very surprising if this were the only mobile update Google had up its sleeves. More likely, this is just the first step in a series of changes that will further increase the pressure on site owners to offer responsive design. The next step could likely be to punish non-mobile-responsive sites across all searches, not just mobile.
Better to act now than risk falling further behind.