More companies are responding to mobile trends and designing websites for phones and tablets, but many are still not even testing how their sites look on mobile devices. 

According to our fourth annual Conversion Rate Optimization Report, produced in association with RedEye, the proportion of organisations designing their websites specifically for mobile phones has increased from 25% to 35% since 2011.

However, the majority of organisations are still not designing their websites (61%) or conducting usability testing (55%) specifically for either mobile phones or tablets.

Designing websites for tablets and smartphones

35% of company respondents are now designing their websites for mobile users, and 23% for tablets, an increase of 10% on last year’s survey.  

It seems that more marketers are seeing the potential value of the tablet user, with the proportion of companies designing websites specifically for tablets almost doubling year on year, from 13% to 23%.

However, around four in five companies still don’t design their websites specifically for mobile phones or tablets.

They need to think again, since optimising for mobile works: 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile and 64% that designed a site for tablets had increased sales.

Have you designed your website specifically for either of the following (company respondents?

Testing for mobile users

Conducting usability testing for websites using mobile phones and/or tablets follows a similar pattern, with the proportion of companies using them increasing by 13% and 17% respectively since 2011.

Companies are more than twice as likely to conduct usability tests for their websites using tablets as they were last year (33% say they do it, compared to 16% in 2011).

Have you conducted usability testing of your website using either of the following (company respondents)?

Should companies optimise for tablets? 

More people are testing their sites on mobiles and tablets than actually optimising for these devices. In the case of mobile, the user experience will invariably be better on an optimised site, though this is not always the case for tabets (though the smaller screened iPad Mini may change this). 

The question of whether or not to optimise for tablets should be answered using a combination of traffic data and user testing. 

First of all, are tablets driving a decent volume of traffic to your website? If so, then the opportunity is there to make the most of this traffic by improving the user experience and making the purchase journey as smooth as possible. 

The iPad / tablets may be worth optimising for, but only if you have accounted for mobile first. There may be bigger gains to be had from designing a mobile site. iPad conversion rates may be higher than mobile, but the latter may be delivering five times the traffic that tablets do, and may represent the bigger opportunity. 

The first step is to look at how you site works on tablet devices, so the 67% of respondents that haven’t tested their site on tablets are completely in the dark on the matter. 

It may be that the site works well on tablets. Though there are some potential usability issues, the browsing experience on a tablet is generally far superior to that on a smartphone, though it does fall below the desktop/laptop experience.