Recent statistics show that worldwide internet usage by mobile and tablet users has exceeded desktop users for the first time, with analysts stressing the importance of mobile-friendly websites.
Independent web analytics company StatCounter revealed its statistics for October on Tuesday, which showed 51.3% of global internet access is now done through mobile and tablet browsers.
This is compares to 48.7% of internet users who are using desktop or laptop computers to get online. These statistics were gathered from over 15 billion page views each month to over 2.5 million websites.
“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” said chief executive of StatCounter Aodhan Cullen on his website.
“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.”
In March this year Google announced that it would rank webpages higher if they were mobile-friendly, stating “getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using”.
Cullen believes that the maturity of the market has an impact on the number of desktop vs. mobile users. In a market like the UK, 55.6% of users are still on desktop, while only 25% of Indian users browse through desktop browsers.
Australia statistics nearly mirror those of the UK, with 44.9% of Aussies using mobiles to get online, while 55.1% use desktop.
A report conducted last year found that only 35% of SMEs had a website optimised for mobile.
At the time, Craig Reardon, founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team, told SmartCompany that SMEs were making websites that are not “future proof”.
“There are very few industries that have not been impacted by digital and digital needs to be front and centre of the plans for your business,” Reardon said.