Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mobile Websites: Not a Novelty, But an Inevitability

Leave your desktop & Laptops at home
We’re all on the go, all the time, leaving our desktops and laptops at home. Our need for information doesn’t stay behind with these machines; it runs out the door with us, hitching a ride on our smartphones.

Your customers and potential customers are also sprinting in this mass perpetual rush. This means mobile websites are not a novelty, but an inevitability for your small business.

Devices & Demand

Devices and Demand
Cellphone ownership is borderline universal, coming a long way from the “cool kid” toys that were early models. Flip phones, BlackBerrys, etc. all had their time. Smartphones were the next elite, now they’re a common sight, as are mobile sites on their screens.

People are using mobile sites, and if your small business doesn’t have one, they’ll just find someone else who does. Customers want the convenience of mobile sites, and your business wants the increased visibility.

A Google survey found nearly 3/4 of respondents want mobile and are likely to revisit mobile sites. Other studies conclude that 15% of total US and Canadian web traffic comes from smartphones. Smartphones helped themselves to this generous chunk of the web pie thanks to: 

  • The Smartphone Surge: Smartphone sales are projected at 1.05 billion units in 2015 with PCs and laptops lagging in comparison.
  •   Wi-Fi Hotspots Heating Up: Not just for Starbucks anymore, 5.8 million hotspots will be available in ’15, up from 800,000 in 2010.

Convert Browsers to Customers

Convert Browsers to Customers
At this point you might be thinking, “I want calls and customers, not mobile site views.” You’re right, small business mobile traffic is a superficial stat without conversion, and eyeballs on your mobile site will deliver more calls to your small business.

According to Google partner DudaMobile: “Users take action on mobile-friendly sites. 1 in 5 website visits lead to an immediate call to the business.” Further Google number-crunching indicates 67% of survey participants are more likely to join your customer ranks if you have a mobile site.    

Mobile Must Be Lean & Mean

Mobile Must be Lean and Mean
In regards to the web, the word “quality” gets thrown around more than “like” at a high school. This is Google’s go-to mystery adjective for web content. However, quality mobile sites are more clear cut. All good mobile sites have one thing in common: Optimization.

Mobile sites need to be simple and stripped down with blatant, direct paths to your company’s essential information. Efficient design means efficient navigation to your most vital content.

Mobile Function Musts:
  • Easy-to-use navigation
  • Minimum of scrolling and pinching
  • Quick load times 

Mobile Content Musts:
  • Business contact info: Address and business hours
  • “Click to call”
  • Social media links

Go Mobile or Go Home

Go Mobile or Go Home
Instead of sliding in front of a PC, more people are reaching into their pockets for information. It’s a trend that’s growing toward mainstay status.

The pro-mobile numbers will only climb as the technology gets sleeker, faster and more advanced. Keeping up with this curve and growing your business means optimizing your own small business for smartphone screens.