Targeted Musings on Financial Marketing

The Mobile-First Revolution is Already Here: Is Your Website Ready?

23 Sep 2019

In certain public spaces, it sometimes feels like we’re living through something of a technological zombie movie: you realize that everyone in the restaurant, or waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, or sitting in a flight lounge at the airport—everyone is staring at their phones. Indeed, a recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that we check our phones an astonishing 80 times a day on average (every 12 minutes), while on vacation! Some participants in the survey checked their phones as much as 300 times each day, which might make you wonder if they had time to do anything else at all during their vacations.

All of which is to say, we spend an awful lot of time with our devices, so much so that we now live in a mobile-dominant paradigm. Mobile phones now drive the majority of web traffic, eclipsing desktops back in 2016. In 2018, mobile phones accounted for roughly 60% of all web traffic, with desktops making up the remaining 40%. So it should come as no surprise that in March of last year, Google began rolling out its “mobile-first” web indexing, preferentially using the mobile versions of web pages to index pages and show snippets of text.

See also: How to Tell your ETF Story with Visuals

All of which is to say: we already live in a “mobile-first” world. But if you work in the financial services industry, chances are your website was not built with mobile browsing in mind, and even if it does include some functionality that makes it “mobile-friendly,” it’s highly unlikely that it was built to take into account the mobile-first revolution.


Don’t be Last in the Mobile-First Revolution

But in concrete terms, what does the mobile-first revolution mean for financial services marketers? For starters, although we spend a lot of time with our devices, we do so in quick bursts of attention that Google calls “micro-moments.” Translation: mobile visitors to your website are looking for quick information right now, and the data bears this out. Although mobile users account for roughly 60% of all web traffic, their share of the time spent on websites overall is inverted: just 40%, with desktop users making up the difference.

If there are barriers for visitors seeking out the information they need, such as impenetrable walls-of-text or a mobile-unfriendly user experience, they’re likely to quickly give up or go elsewhere. If a prospective investor can’t locate the key piece of information they’re looking for in just a minute or two, you’re likely to lose them before they can even learn anything about your products or services.


The bottom line

The mobile-first revolution represents a sea change in how prospective investors seek out, browse, and review potential investments. While there may always be a place for desktop-friendly websites, the trend is clear: financial marketers will be rewarded by pivoting towards the mobile user and positioning their information in a way that is user-friendly for mobile users. This means designing websites from the ground up to appeal to mobile website visitors, clearly presenting information for short, quick visits and serving up precisely the information that is most relevant to the user at the time they’re seeking it out. By doing so, financial marketers will be positioning their websites for success in the mobile-first future: after all, everyone always seems glued to their phones—why not embrace it?