Why your business needs a mobile website TODAY! [INFOGRAPH]
Ten years ago, I might have spent a significant portion of a client meeting educating my client on how more and more consumers are using the Internet to shop and compare businesses and providers. Today, I generally do not have to make that argument since we all understand that no one uses their Yellow Pages anymore. Instead, I am now talking more and more about mobile. This is another critical evolution in how our society uses technology to connect and interact, and businesses that leap to take advantage are going to reap the rewards.
What we're talking about is "Mobile Websites." A mobile website, or mobile-optimized website, means that your business website can be displayed on a smart phone or tablet and appear somewhat different, so as to take advantage of the smaller screen size and usability differences of a mobile platform.
In other words, someone using their iPhone should be able to call up your website in their mobile Safari browser and see a version of your website that's designed for them in this situation. They shouldn't have to zoom in just to read your text. They shouldn't see large, gaping holes in the screen where your cute Flash movie would be playing on a desktop browser. They shouldn't have to wait a minute or more for your graphics and images to download. The mobile experience needs to be fast and to the point. But you don't have to take my word for it.
Many of you have a Love - Hate relationship with Google and I understand that, but most of what Google does is designed to make their user experience as optimal as possible. Google tracks user activity constantly. When Google sees that more and more users are clicking Back when they're on their smart phones and hit a website that's not mobile optimized, that fact is noted. 65% of all Internet traffic is currently coming from mobile devices, and that number is growing daily. If you're a search engine and you see that your users aren't interested in wasting time visiting sites that don't work as well on their device, what do you do? You serve them more mobile-friendly solutions instead.
That's a fact, folks. Google is now giving preference to mobile-optimized websites in search results. Google has found that users on a mobile device actually prefer a simpler version of a site, even if it means less information, generally because if they're browsing on their phone it's because they're looking for some very specific information - like how to contact you. They don't want to spend several minutes trying to get to that information.
So, what do we do about it?
The good news is that if you already have a great website, you don't need to scrap it. You can have a mobile version of your site created and all it takes is a little snippet of code placed into your website's main file so that your website can now be SMART! The website will now be able to detect if a user is coming from a mobile platform or a desktop platform, and serve the appropriate version of your site.
If you don't already have a great website, then you can commission a "Mobile Optimized" site. This kind of website is nice because you have just the one website, but it adjusts and transforms itself depending on the device viewing it. This is also a great option for small businesses that are service-based. If you sell products and want transactions online, you're probably going to need two versions of your site, rather than one website that's mobile optimized.
The bottom line is that a mobile website is going to increase your customer engagement, website traffic and sales. Not having a mobile website is going to help your competition. The infograph below will help illustrate the facts and figures behind the statements that I have made above.
Key points from the infograph:
- 4 out of 5 Smartphone users in US use their phone to help with shopping. <Tweet This Statistic>
- There has been a 400% growth in mobile searches over the past year. <Tweet This Statistic>
- Mobile eCommerce is expected to reach $31 Billion by 2016. <Tweet This Statistic>
- Mobile friendly sites can improve customer engagement up to 85%. <Tweet This Statistic>
- 9 out of 10 mobile users are more likely to purchase from a mobile friendly site. <Tweet This Statistic>
Please feel free to share any questions or concerns you have about mobile websites in the comments below. If you are looking for specific help with your own website, please contact us today.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."