Mobile marketing consists of reaching consumers on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, usually as part of an omnichannel marketing campaign.

Mobile internet usage has been increasing in recent years, and today, any marketing campaign needs to involve mobile to be successful. As a marketer or small business owner, being aware of mobile marketing and smartphone statistics will help you make informed decisions for your website and other marketing channels.

So how exactly is mobile marketing changing and how can you, as a business owner or marketer, take advantage of it in 2021? In this guide, we dissect the most important mobile marketing statistics, facts, figures, and trends to boost your mobile marketing efforts this year.

General Mobile Marketing Statistics

General Mobile Marketing Statistics

The global growth of mobile marketing has accelerated in the past few years. With an increasing number of consumers relying on mobile devices alone for all stages of the buyer’s journey, mobile marketing is growing and is expected to become even more important in the coming years. Below are some statistics that show why you need to leverage mobile marketing in 2021.

Mobile devices (excluding tablets) account for 54.22% of all devices.

(StatCounter, 2021) mobile devices
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Mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 50.81% of global website traffic in 2020.

(Statista, 2021)
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81% of mobile marketers in the U.S. used location data on mobile devices in 2019.

(Statista, 2020)
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U.S. businesses spent 18.5% of their marketing budget on mobile marketing in 2020, and this figure will reach 23.3% in 2022.

(Statista, 2021) mobile marketing
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The State of Mobile in 2021 Smartphone Statistics

The State of Mobile in 2021 Smartphone Statistics

The number one reason why mobile marketing is so important lies in mobile device usage statistics. About one-third of the world population uses smartphones today, and this number continues to increase.

Following China and India, the U.S. ranks third highest with the number of smartphone users. The United States has, however, the highest smartphone penetration rate (how much smartphones are being used by customers compared to their total estimated market) in the world, with 81.6% of the population using a smartphone in 2020. Utilize the stats below to better understand why creating content that’s designed for smartphones is crucial for effective mobile marketing.

As of 2020, there were over 3.6 billion smartphone users worldwide and there will be 4.3 billion by 2023.

(Statista, 2021)
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In the U.S. there are almost 300 million smartphone users.

(Statista, 2021) us mobile users
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96% of Americans aged 18–29 own a smartphone.

(Pew Research Center, 2021)
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Mobile apps account for the majority of mobile internet usage in the U.S., with each person projected to spend an average of 277 minutes daily on mobile apps in 2022.

(Statista, 2021) average minutes spent
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49% of U.S. mobile users said social media and messaging apps were among the three types of apps that they spent the most time on.

(Statista, 2021)
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In 2020, mobile users spent 90% of their time in apps as opposed to mobile browsers.

(eMarketer, 2021) mobile app to mobile browser
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Mobile Search Statistics

Mobile Search Statistics

Awareness is the first step of the marketing journey. To attract customers, you must make sure your content is easily discovered and accessed on the devices your audience uses.

In 2021, users are searching for information, visiting websites, and interacting with businesses mostly through mobile devices. If you want mobile users to find and click on your content, optimize for location searches and keep mobile in mind. Below are some stats that showcase the pertinence of mobile search.

"Where to buy" and "near me" mobile queries grew by over 200% between April 2016 and March 2019.

(Think with Google, 2019 )
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As of January 2019, 60% of smartphone users contacted a business directly using the search results.

(Think with Google, 2019 )
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Google accounts for 93.22% of the mobile search market in the United States in 2021.

(Statista, 2021 ) google account
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Phones and tablets generated 64% of Google organic search visits to brand sites in Q3 2020.

(Merkle, 2020 )
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The first mobile search result on Google gets an average organic CTR of 26.9%.

(Advanced Web Ranking, 2021 ) ctr
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In 2017, nearly two in three smartphone users were more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customized information to their location. 

(Think with Google, 2017 ) location
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27% of the global online population used voice search on mobile in 2018.

(Think with Google, 2019 )
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In just two years, from 2015 to 2017, there was a 500%+ growth in “near me” mobile searches that contained a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy.”

(Think With Google, 2018 )
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Mobile Ecommerce Statistics

Mobile Ecommerce Statistics

Mobile eCommerce currently represents the majority of retail eCommerce and is expected to account for nearly all eCommerce sales in the near future. Most visits on retail websites already happen on mobile devices, with more than $190 billion spent on smartphone devices in 2020.

This trend will continue and, by 2023, mobile sales will account for three-quarters of all eCommerce sales. As you plan your eCommerce strategy for 2021 and beyond, below are some statistics and trends around the mobile eCommerce market to keep in mind.

72.9% of global retail eCommerce is expected to be generated via mobile devices by 2021.

(Statista, 2020)
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In the U.S., 53.9% of all retail eCommerce is expected to be generated via mobile devices in 2021.

(Statista, 2020)
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60% of online retail website visits come from mobile devices.

(ADOBE, 2021) retail websites
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With over $190 billion spent on smartphone devices in 2020, mobile accounts for 40% of all online sales, and this number will surpass 50% by 2022.

(ADOBE, 2021) global online sales
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By 2023, mobile sales will account for three-quarters of total eCommerce sales

(Google, Fifty-Five, and Deloitte, 2020)
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Consumer Behavior and Mobile Usage Statistics

Consumer Behavior and Mobile Usage Statistics

As mobile devices become increasingly used by consumers to shop, search for, and interact with businesses, the consumer behavior of mobile users is also changing. In particular, a good mobile shopping experience can impact brand perception and sales.

While it’s fundamental to have a responsive mobile web design, about half of the population prefers shopping on a mobile app, so consider creating one for your online store. Although updates and promotional messages can be important for your marketing strategy, make sure you don’t scare your customers away with too many.

Here are some useful statistics about consumer behavior and mobile usage that you should keep in mind for your business’s marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.

59% of shoppers believe being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.

(Think with Google, 2019)
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In 2019, 46% of U.S. mobile device owners used a mobile retail app to look for more information about a product or a service.

(Statista, 2020)
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39% of smartphone users are more likely to browse or shop from a store's mobile app since it's easier or faster to make purchases.

(Think with Google, 2019) mobile app for a store
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49% of U.S. smartphone users unsubscribed from a brand or company's mobile messaging service because of too many messages or updates.

(Statista, 2021) too many messages
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Mobile Advertising Statistics

Mobile Advertising Statistics

In 2020, over three-quarters of search ad clicks happened on mobile devices. With advertising being a major part of digital marketing, it’s no surprise that mobile trends are changing the way marketers advertise their business too.

With financial services, automotive, telecom, and travel industries spending the most on mobile advertising, companies of all types and sizes around the world are increasing their mobile advertising budget to target users effectively. This is due to the wide reach, high ROI, and measurable results offered by mobile advertising. Learn more about the importance of mobile advertising in 2021 by pouring over the stats below.

Mobile advertising spending worldwide is expected to surpass $240 billion by 2022.

(Statista, 2021)
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In 2019, the U.S. was the largest global market based on mobile advertising spending.

(Statista, 2021)
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Mobile advertising expenditure in the United States is expected to reach $146 billion by 2023.

(Statista, 2021)
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Programmatic mobile video advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $24.26 billion in 2021 and $30 billion in 2022.

(Statista, 2021)
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Financial services, automotive, telecom, and travel were the top four industries for mobile advertisement spending in 2019.

(Statista, 2021) top four industries
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In 2019, U.S media buying decision-makers spent 55% of their mobile advertising budget on conversion and/or direct response efforts, and 45% on branding.

(Statista, 2021) advertising vs branding
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40% of U.S media buying decision-makers are very confident that their organization was able to measure the conversion rates of their mobile advertising efforts.

(Statista, 2021)
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27% of marketers in the U.S. and U.K. thought playable mobile ads had the highest retention rates.

(Statista, 2021)
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52% of app developers used playable ads in their products and 23% found playable ads as most engaging for app users.

(Statista, 2021) playable ads
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Mobile devices generated 73% of Google search ad clicks in Q3 2020.

(Merkle, 2020)
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Mobile and Social Media Marketing Statistics

Mobile and Social Media Marketing Statistics

Social media is the marketing channel where optimizing for mobile is most important. In 2020, Facebook was the most used social media platform and it was accessed on mobile phones by nearly all users.

Additionally, many social media platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, are only (or mainly) accessible on mobile devices. And these are the fastest growing social media channels. For example, Instagram (which is already the most frequently accessed platform in the U.S.) is projected to reach more than 120 million users by 2023. The stats below will give you a good overview of how to approach mobile social media marketing in 2021.

In April 2020, over 98% of Facebook's active user accounts worldwide accessed the social network via mobile phone.

(Statista, 2020)
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98.8% of all social media users access social channels via mobile devices.

(Hootsuite, 2021)
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YouTube is the most used smartphone app in the U.S. with a 71% audience reach.

(Statista, 2021) youtube app
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TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020 and is the #8 mobile app by the number of users.

(Hootsuite, 2021) tiktok app
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In 2023, Instagram (primarily a mobile device app) is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users in the United States.

(Statista, 2021) instagram users
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In 2019, 61% of users in North America accessed social media via mobile devices.

(Statista, 2021)
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Mobile Email Marketing Statistics

Mobile Email Marketing Statistics

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting people in front of their computers more often than ever, mobile email opens decreased slightly in 2020. Despite that, mobile devices are still the main way users open emails.

Besides, users opening emails on mobile are spending more time reading them compared to the past. This suggests that creating high-quality emails for mobile device users is more important than ever. For 2021, make sure your email marketing strategy is focused on mobile-friendliness. Below are some of the top stats encompassing the significance of mobile email marketing.

Mobile-friendly email is the second most-used tactic email marketers use to improve their performance.

(HubSpot, 2020) mobile friendly email
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Mobile accounted for 39% of all email opens in 2020, down from 42% in 2019.

(Litmus, 2020)
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Mobile was the number one way to read emails by the end of 2020.

(Litmus, 2020)
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Nearly 76% of webmail opens happened in Gmail in 2020.

(Litmus, 2020) gmail
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In 2020, over 83% of mobile email opens happened on iPhones.

(Litmus, 2020) iphones
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Since the beginning of 2020, mobile read times went up by 1.33 seconds.

(Litmus, 2020)
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Mobile Messaging Marketing Statistics

Mobile Messaging Marketing Statistics

While only about half of the global population has the luxury of using a smartphone to read emails, search on Google, and access social media, 97% of Americans own a mobile phone — and they used the texting app more often than any other messaging method (emails included). But is messaging marketing still effective in 2021?

Well, more than half of consumers say text messaging is the most effective way a business can reach them, and more than half of retail marketers plan to increase their messaging marketing budget. That makes SMS marketing a mobile marketing strategy with a lot of opportunities, both in the U.S. and in foreign countries. Below are some statistics showing why.

5.27 billion people (67.08% of the world population) own a cellphone in 2021.

(BankMyCell, 2021)
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97% of Americans own a mobile phone.

(Pew Research, 2021)
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58% of consumers say text messaging is the most effective type of business communication to reach them quickly.

(Zipwhip, 2021)
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The texting app is the most used messaging tool for 63% of cell phone users.

(Zipwhip, 2021) texting app
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Global business messaging traffic reached 2.7 trillion in 2020.

(Juniper Research, 2020)
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In 2019, SMS accounted for 99.2% of the total business messaging traffic.

(Mobilesquared, 2020)
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In 2020, 56% of retail marketers planned to increase investment in messaging or SMS marketing.

(eMarketer, 2021) increase investment
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Consumers are more likely to open text messages before any other form of mobile communication.

(OpenMarket, 2017)
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Text messages are opened and read 134% more than email.

(Ez Texting, 2019) text messages to emails
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90% of all text messages are read within thirty minutes of being received.

(Ez Texting, 2019)
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70% of businesses use text messages to reach customers and employees.

(Zipwhip, 2021)
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Mobile Video Marketing Statistics

Mobile Video Marketing Statistics

It’s no secret that today, video marketing is becoming increasingly prevalent in all industries and types of businesses. But did you know that most internet and social media users view videos on mobile devices?

The average user spends almost an hour every day watching mobile videos on Facebook alone. For YouTube, it’s more than one hour. The mobile video ad budget in the U.S. is growing too, and now you know why — by investing in mobile video marketing, you can easily increase the reach of your content, ads, and promotions (in an interactive way). The statistics below show why you should create videos that are optimized for mobile in 2021.

70% of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices.

(Hootsuite, 2021) youtube mobile
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93% of Twitter video views occur on mobile.

(Twitter)
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Users spend an average of 40 minutes a day watching mobile videos on Facebook, and one-fifth watch more than an hour a day.

(Facebook, 2020) videos on facebook
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YouTube users spend an average of over an hour a day watching videos on mobile devices.

(YouTube)
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Smartphones are the primary device used to watch online videos.

(Statista, 2021)
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The mobile video ad spending in the U.S. is expected to grow to $9.26 billion in 2024.

(Statista, 2021)
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Mobile B2B Marketing Statistics

Mobile B2B Marketing
Statistics

By now, it should be clear that mobile marketing is the future of marketing. But how will changing mobile marketing trends impact B2B industries and businesses in 2021?

More than half of business buyers use mobile devices to research products to buy, and believe that mobile marketing significantly impacts their decision-making process. In fact, more than 9 out of 10 B2B buyers will buy again from a website with a first-class mobile experience.

Not only that, but mobile marketing makes the decision-making process faster, with purchases happening 20% faster. More than three-quarters of B2B companies already know mobile apps are the solution to improving customer loyalty, and many of them are starting to invest in these. The mobile B2B marketing statistics below will give you a good overview of things to consider if you’re a marketer in the B2B space.

61% of online business buyers use mobile devices to research the products and services they buy for work.

(Amazon Business)
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60% of B2B buyers report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.

(Boston Consulting Group, 2017)
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More than 90% of B2B buyers who report a superior mobile experience are likely to buy again from the same vendor.

(Think with Google, 2017) buy again
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Mobile drives an average of over 40% of revenue in leading B2B organizations.

(Think with Google, 2017)
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50% of B2B search queries were made on smartphones in 2017.

(Think with Google, 2017) b2b search queries
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Mobile marketing can accelerate time to B2B purchase by 20%.

(Boston Consulting Group, 2017)
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78% of B2B eCommerce firms think mobile apps are the future, and about 65% already have a mobile app.

(Bugsnag, 2020)
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When it comes to B2B mobile apps, customer loyalty is the primary use case for 63% for IT professionals and 60% for marketers.

(Adobe, 2018) customer loyalty
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Mobile Speed and Load Time Statistics

Mobile Speed and Load Time Statistics

A 2020 study published by Google, Fifty-Five, and Deloitte analyzed mobile site data from 37 retail, travel, luxury, and lead generation brands across Europe and the U.S. It found that even a minimal improvement to mobile speed can significantly improve business KPIs, such as impressions, conversion rates, and order value. When it comes to SEO, the priority for marketers is optimizing for mobile. And that’s because a good mobile website will significantly decrease the bounce rate and keep users on your site. Below are some statistics that will give you more insight into the importance of mobile speed and load time.

The top technical SEO tactics marketers use to improve site performance are page speed and mobile optimization.

(HubSpot, 2020) page speed
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Almost 25% of companies invest in mobile optimization as a top SEO tactic.

(HubSpot, 2020)
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By prioritizing mobile speed, Pfizer’s Media Lab reduced its bounce rate by 20%.

(Think with Google, 2019)
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53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

(Akamai, 2017) leave page
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The average web page takes 87.8% longer to load on mobile than desktop.

(BACKLINKO, 2019)
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Improving site speed by 0.1 seconds results in an 8.4% higher conversion rate and 9.2% higher order value for mobile users.

(Google, Fifty-Five, and Deloitte, 2020)
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10 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Mobile

10 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Mobile

In 2021, optimizing your website for mobile should be a top priority.

To understand if your site needs improvements to be optimized for mobile, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the website load within 3 seconds?

  • Is the website easy to navigate on all devices?

  • Is it easy to perform actions (like contacting you or making a purchase) on the website from mobile devices?

If you answered no to any of these questions or you’re unsure, follow these 10 top tips to optimize your site for mobile:

  1. Make UX Seamless

77% of smartphone shoppers are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps allow them to make purchases quickly, so the online purchasing process on your mobile site must be fast and flawless.

For faster mobile sign-in, allow users to use their Google or Facebook account. To make mobile payments easier, allow them to use fast digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

  1. Prioritize Website Speed

Slow websites result in high bounce rates, lower rankings, and a negative user experience. While website speed is important for desktop too, your mobile website must be as fast as possible, since mobile users are often in a hurry and looking for quick answers or solutions.

If you want to optimize your website for mobile and improve the mobile user experience, make website speed your priority. Most of the tips below will help you accomplish that.

  1. Compress Images

While having high-quality images is necessary for good content and a positive user experience, you should avoid using files that are too heavy on your web pages.

Compress your images to free up space on your website and improve website speed. There are many online tools you can use to do that, like JPEG Optimizer and Optimizilla.

  1. Use HTML5

In 2021, you need to be very careful with the software and programming languages you use on your website. These can have a huge impact on both loading time and user experience.

Adobe Flash is an example of an outdated software platform and programming language that presents many issues, including slow page load time and security problems, especially for mobile device users. Fortunately, you can use HTML5, which can be accessed by any device without problems.

  1. Be Careful With Pop-Ups

In 2016, Google announced a change to its algorithm which penalizes sites that have intrusive pop-ups for mobile users. Pop-up advertisements can be especially bad for mobile users because they often take the entire screen.

You have two choices to avoid being penalized because of pop-ups. You can replace these with other forms of advertising (such as simple links or CTA buttons) only on the mobile version of your website, or you can follow some best practices — which include having them cover only a small part of the screen and making them easy to close.

  1. Use the Right Font Size

When users access your website on mobile, the text of the content should be as readable as the text in a book when held at a natural distance.

The rule of thumb for the body text size on a mobile website is to have at least 16 pixels. That’s about the same size as the text in a printed book. Anything smaller than that can cause reading issues on mobile, especially for visually impaired users. A font size that is considerably larger than that could also cause reading issues when accessed on mobile devices.

What about headers? An MIT study found that short text like titles and headers that are larger, all caps, and with regular lettering width (not considered) result in better comprehension. This becomes especially important for mobile device users.

Additionally, make sure you use CTA buttons and links that are large enough and mobile-friendly. In its Human Interface Guidelines page, Apple recommends a minimum size of 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall.

  1. Choose a Responsive Web Design

For most websites, we suggest using responsive web design to deliver content that renders well on mobile devices. Instead of considering every possible screen size when designing your website, you can use responsive HTML code that adapts according to the device size and orientation.

Responsive design is the most efficient way to deliver a seamless user experience to all device types and, at the same time, minimize HTML code (which is another best practice for improving page load time).

  1. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Markup

Another option to deliver content that is optimized for mobile devices is using AMP markup.

In 2016, Google added AMP to Google’s mobile search results. Since then, webmasters can easily create mobile-friendly versions of their websites — which will only appear for mobile users. By using this markup, your website can appear above search results and paid ads on the SERP. We suggest using AMP only if your website or blog is text-heavy.

  1. Create a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Most mobile users prefer using mobile apps over websites. Since it can be complicated to create a mobile app version of your website, especially if your website has a lot of content, you can instead create a progressive web app, which is one more option to improve the user experience on your website.

Progressive web apps have been referred to as being the best of both worlds, delivering a native app-like user experience through the web (and using common web technologies like HTML). On top of that, converting your website into a PWA is not as difficult as you might think, since you “simply” need to create a Web App Manifest JSON file and add a service worker JavaScript file.

  1. Test and Verify Mobile-Friendliness

Finally, you need to use the right tool to test whether your site is optimized for mobile. We suggest using Google’s Test my Site to get a full mobile usability report of your website, along with custom recommendations to speed up your site, which you can share with your developers.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Mobile Marketing

Looking Ahead:
The Future of Mobile Marketing

As you’ve seen, mobile device usage has been increasing at a fast rate and will continue to do so in the coming years. Consumers are using mobile devices to search for information, communicate and interact with businesses, and purchase products and services.

As a marketer or small business owner, you need to understand how mobile marketing trends are changing, and how they can impact your business. To make the most of your mobile marketing efforts, follow our best practices to optimize your website for mobile, and make sure you’re using a website checklist. This includes all the steps you need to take before and after you launch a website, along with instructions to complete each one — the best way to streamline your website launch process and ensure you’re not missing important tasks.