As one of Southeast Asia’s most tech driven nations, the Philippines is currently the fastest growing smartphone market among the Asean countries and is forecast to have an estimated 33.3 million smartphone users alone in the year 2017.
A study by TNS in 2015 also showed that 20% of Filipinos made online purchases and out of that pool, 11% consisted of purchases made through mobile devices.
All of this information clearly points out that the act of mobile optimization no longer falls into the “nice-to-have” category and that making your website mobile friendly is an essential element towards furthering audience engagement, driving sales, increasing traffic and the list goes on.
Hafiz Murat, the country manager for Saleduck, a successful European online deals community with presence in five Asean countries, highlighted several key reasons as to why online businesses in the Philippines should prioritize mobile optimization.
Higher priority on Google
In April 2015, Google completely revamped its algorithm to expand the search engine’s use of mobile friendliness as a ranking device. In short, websites that are fully optimized for mobile use rank higher compared to those that aren’t.
By simply taking the steps to make your website more responsive, you’ll go up in the ranks and by default, increase your customer base and also open it up to anyone running a mobile search. This essentially means that it’ll be easier for customers — both new and returning — to find you and is a step towards improving (or at least retaining your organic traffic.
Lower your website’s bounce rate
Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. The chances of you spending time on a website that is near impossible to navigate is often close to none. Even if it has great content, the fact that you’re going to have to pinch, zoom and basically muddle your way through a website to get to what you’re looking for is reason enough to click out of the site and move on to greener pastures.
It’s always important to remember that a great desktop display doesn’t always translate into mobile and not paying attention to this can greatly affect the way people choose to interact with your site and a big part of sustaining site visitors is by providing them with quality user-experience.
Sets your brand apart from the competition
Despite a growing mobile penetration rate in the Philippines, many websites are still unoptimized. This is a great way to gain an edge over your competition by positioning your website as one that is relevant, intuitive and geared towards user experience.
Paired with the fact that an increasing number of internet users are transitioning over to mobile as their primary source of digital media consumption, a site that is unoptimized runs the risk of lingering in the shadows of its competition.
Build credibility and engagement
Useful content and high quality user experience are a match made in heaven and one that is almost guaranteed to bring you better audience engagement. Ultimately, your likelihood of garnering return visitors is heightened when you’re able to provide your audience with a website that is concise, functional and consistent.
When users walk away having had a positive experience, chances are that they’re going to bookmark you as a reliable source and value your platform over the competition. Even more so if you’re an e-commerce platform where a seamless navigation system is often a symbol of credibility and security.