How to convince your clients they need a responsive web site

So perhaps you heard about mobilegeddon (that big Google update that was supposed to seriously shake up the search results for any site that wasn’t mobile friendly).

Which means you know that your client’s website is in serious need of a mobile-friendly update.

You know the current mobile experience is losing them customers left and right.

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And you’ve tried to gently nudge here and there.

But they need something to show them it really matters. Or maybe they just need something to show their boss to validate the project.

Is that possible?

Is there a way to show your client definitively that they NEED a mobile website like yesterday?

Why, yes.

Enter Google Analytics…

…the 100% free tool that tells you what’s going on with your website traffic.

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First, make sure Google Analytics is setup on your client’s website. If it’s not, get it on there ASAP – it doesn’t start tracking data until the day you install it.

Once it’s set up, you’re ready to prove yourself right.

You’ll do that by answering two questions:

  1. Just how much traffic is coming from mobile devices?
  2. Is the current mobile experience under-performing?

Answer 1: Percentage of mobile traffic

Simply head to Reporting > Audience > Mobile > Overview.

what percent of mobile traffic does my website get

From here we can decide whether or not investing in a mobile website is worth it.

  • Is your client’s site receiving less than 5% traffic from mobile devices?
  • Is it receiving 40% or more?

This is KEY in getting them to understand how much potential business they’re losing due to a poor mobile experience.

Answer 2: Overall mobile experience

How do we answer that?

Here we’re taking a look at how mobile is doing not against some vague industry standard – but against your own site’s average.

Much more valuable.

So let’s take a look at the QUALITY of traffic coming from mobile devices to determine if our mobile experience is under-performing.

Bounce rate is a good place to start. (Of course, goals & conversions would be better, but it’d require a bit of tweaking.)

Stay in the same report, but switch up the chart to the comparison view.

mobile traffic bouncing higherFrom here, we can easily see if mobile is under-performing by look at whether the mobile bar is green or red.

  • If it’s green, the mobile experience is doing a-okay (at least from this metric)!
  • If it’s red, the mobile experience is worse than your desktop experience.
  • The longer that bar, the more terrible it generally is.

The “magic” combination

So what’s the magic combination you’re looking for to sell your client on that mobile upgrade?

  1. At least 25% of total traffic from mobile devices (from the first report)
  2. A big red bar with 20%+ bounce rate from mobile (from the second report)

From there, it’s easy to play the numbers:

  • What would halving that red bar from 20% to 10% do for your client’s revenue?
  • How many more new customers might they get?

If your client needs a little extra push to get going with that mobile redesign, dig into their Google Analytics and see what you can find.

PS – Want more on Google Analytics? Read more here:


Have you checked on your own mobile experience for your site? Or your client’s sites?

Do you have trouble convincing your clients’ of the importance of a mobile-friendly site?

Share your stories in the comments.

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About Liz Lockard

Liz Lockard is an analytics and conversion nut who loves helping small business owners get more of the right kind of traffic to their websites & more out of that traffic. She’s also the creator of the Free Google Analytics Quickstart Email Course which you can grab here.


  1. coupsteer says:

    Great post! I use WP Touch because it is highly customizable and looks elegant on mobile.

  2. I hope this article opens people’s minds about pitching work that will make a great impact on a client’s business. It can be hard for designers sometimes, but having data to fall back on helps (along with user testing). Thank you!


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