Numerous market research forecasts that by 2014 more users will access the Internet from their phone than from a computer. Does this mean that your website is bound to become obsolete? Probably not. However, it clearly implies that if you do not have a mobile presence you’ll be missing out on over 50 percent of all web browsers.
It is also worth noting that these studies indicate that people who are using mobile web services tend to be about twice as active online as those who use just computers. To get a better idea of the growing importance of mobile web, let’s look at some of highlights of a study conducted by KISSmetrics:
- Website visitors are 51 percent more likely to do business with an entity that has a mobile site.
- From February 2009 through August 2011, mobile browser share grew by 1,000 percent.
- In August 2011 mobile browsing represented 7.1 percent of all worldwide browsing activity.
- Twenty-five percent of mobile users anticipate having access to the web from their Smartphone at least once a day.
But how does this affect you? Think about the following situation: At a social event, a current client of yours recommends your firm to a friend. Appreciative of the recommendation, this individual immediately decides to conduct a mobile search of your website on his phone. Regrettably, it does not display properly on his Smartphone or iPhone, because your site is not tailored to the formatting and style of a mobile web device. What are the chances this prospect will leave the event and dash to a computer to view your website, or that once back at his office or home he’ll take time to conduct the search?
You can see for yourself what a site not designed for mobile viewing looks like when viewed on a phone. Try searching for your site on your Smartphone, or click go to iphonetester.com and enter your firm’s URL where indicated. How does the site look? How long does it take to view it and find the most basic information? When viewed on an iPhone or a Smartphone, most websites are displayed awkwardly and this makes the browsing process lengthy and difficult. The majority of the searches conducted on a Smartphone are quick and focus on the “About Us” section of a site to get general information such as a phone number, email and physical address. When we are all pressed for time and accustomed to getting the information we need in real time, if your site is not mobile-ready it will inevitably encourage the viewer to give up and look elsewhere.
Tips for Success
The secret to an effective mobile site is to have a limited number of pages, condensed content, limit to a bare minimum the typing a viewer must perform, and leverage the Smartphone technology to feature location finders and click-to-talk phone numbers. Creating a mobile version of your website does not have to be painful or expensive. The new site is simply a smaller version of your existing one featuring all the essential information. There are a number of small and reliable firms in the marketplace that can build a professional mobile site for a small monthly fee.
Currently, the world counts more than 5.3 billion mobile subscribers—more than 75 percent of the world population is using mobile phones, and a vast majority of these users, especially in the United States, subscribe to data plans that enable them to conduct fast web searches from their phones. Mobile is the most direct and personal communications channel, second only to an in-person meeting. A mobile website enables you to effectively engage your key audiences, and your marketing messages are more likely to be read on mobile devices than on computer screens. So get in at the early stage of this irreversible phenomenon so that you can be ahead of your competitors now and not be forced to play catch-up later.
As always, comments and/or questions are welcome.
i-Impact Group Inc.