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According to one recent study, about 85% of people in the United States now on a smartphone of some kind. That's an incredible increase over the last decade, as the same study indicated that ownership was at just 35% back in 2011.

But even more interesting is the fact that a significant number of people - to the tune of 15% as per the research above - are "smartphone only" Internet users. That means they don't have traditional home Internet service and are using their smartphones and tablets as the main way they navigate the web. With the impending arrival of 5G and the next generation of devices right around the corner, you can expect this number to increase as time goes on.

Which, of course, is why a mobile-first design for your website is so important.

The Power of Mobile-First

Mobile-first, as the name suggests, means that you're making web design choices with an eye towards smaller devices with touchscreen interfaces first. That doesn't mean that you're neglecting your desktop or traditional users - far from it. It just means that by making sure you're offering an exceptional quality experience on those smaller devices, the rest will more or less fall into place automatically.

The major benefit of this is that it means you only have to design one version of your site - thus saving a significant amount of time and money. If you were to design with desktop users as your primary concern, you may end up with a great looking website - but it would also be one that you would essentially need to scale down to reverse engineer something that you can intuitively use and enjoy on something like an iPhone.

This approach offers advantages in a number of other ways, too. For starters, it's simply far easier to maintain because you're not trying to manage multiple sites for multiple devices. If you had two distinctly different versions of your site, you would essentially have to make every change twice. There are also more opportunities for something to break on one version of the site versus the other, harming the experience your visitors are getting.

It's also far easier to monitor website analytics when you're only working with one site. You have a single source of truth for what is working, what isn't and what still needs to be done.

But perhaps most importantly, a mobile-first design can mean a significant boost for your SEO efforts. Google in particular has said that mobile-friendly websites are a major factor when determining rankings these days and they actually prioritize mobile sites over desktop ones. If the world's biggest search engine says something is important, guess what - it is.

If you'd like to learn more about the importance of a mobile-first design in the modern era, or if you're just interested in discussing your own needs with an expert in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact InfoStream today.