Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I dont need a mobile website

Why You Should Convert Your Website into a Mobile Version

Are your product/service offerings and your customers in the same place at the same time? The connection between you and your customer is the necessary component.

Before the Internet and search engines came into play it was all about advertising. Getting the word out about your product through mediums like TV or newspaper ads, billboards, word of mouth and leaflets stuck on car door handles were the way you got to your customers. 

The general idea remains the same when used with local search marketing and just as advertising has evolved in the real world it has done the same online. In both instances, the evolution has come about in reaction to who is being marketed to. Years back as people began to use cars and drive on the highway, roadside billboards became more viable. The same thing is happening right now online as more and more people are consuming and searching for content online from their mobile phones.
local search on smart phones
Local Search on Smart Devices

As smart phones have evolved, mobile internet traffic has increased exponentially. In fact the gap between desktop and mobile searches continues to narrow and predictions place mobile searches in the United States ahead of desktop searches as soon as 2015.

Mobile phones view web pages differently than desktops. Smaller screens mean less viewable content at a time. You probably have used term "above the fold" to describe the information that is first viewable on a website. For a mobile device the information viewable above the fold is more like a newspaper being folded into a quarter of its normal size.

Mobile phones are used for local search. It is estimated that up to 80% of searchers research purchases online before shopping within 10 to 20 miles. Because of how well represented brick-and-mortar businesses are becoming customers is able to compare products online before going out to the store. Some will even compare pricing on their cell phone while in the store.

Mobile searches are much focused. More so than normal online searches. It's much more difficult to type into a cell phone compared to a keyboard so this lends itself to focused search queries. Combine this idea with searchers who are shopping in the physical world while they compare in the digital one and you are up against your first impression.

Websites are doing more to be mobile-friendly. Not every website can initially justify the investment that a mobile version of their site represents. But make no mistake, eventually all websites will need this ability. The best way to determine when this needs to happen is through the analytics of your website. Once your mobile percentage rises above 30% of overall traffic, you need to seriously consider a mobile version of your website. If a visitor is accessing your site and the site of your competitor and you're the one without a mobile site, then you've already lost.

Mobile websites act as a quick reference. Especially for service-oriented websites, having a mobile webpage that readily displays clickable, callable information means that your customers can quickly contact you when they need to.

So what should you do with your design?
Get responsive. If your site can automatically detect a device's screen size and pull up the correct design you are a step ahead of the game. Keep the same look, simplified. With a smaller screen, you are going to need a less complex design. That doesn't mean that you should ditch the design of your desktop site in favor of a white background and only text. Use the same color scheme and a simplified version of your header.
Responsive Website Design

Reduce the amount of text. No one wants to be reading a bunch of tiny words on their Smartphone screen. Cut out what isn't essential. From there, try to explain the essential elements in fewer words.

Mobile internet usage will only continue to increase and like a marketing strategy that doesn't evolve with its audience, any website that doesn't seriously consider this will be quickly left in the dust.

Steve Steinberger

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