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Posted by Masen - August 23rd, 2011
Mobile web usage is increasing rapidly. As of this writing, nearly 30% of the 4+ billion mobile phones are smart phones. By 2014, it’s predicted that mobile Internet usage will overtake desktop Internet usage. That’s a lot of users that you don’t want to miss out on. However, most smart phones will pull up your regular website, so why would you need a mobile website?
For many businesses, the answer is that you don’t. For now. However, if you have a business that people are likely to search for from their phone, then there are some compelling reasons. For example, if you are a restaurant, retail store or provide a service that might be needed in an emergency such as a plumber or locksmith you need a mobile website now. Here’s why…
One half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. Consumers looking for local products and services are as likely to use their mobile phone to find those businesses as they are to use their desktop computer.
In addition, mobile websites are treated differently by the search engines than normal websites. How? They are in a completely different “mobile” category. In other words, Google has a separate index for mobile content. Because this index is so much smaller than the normal Google index, it’s much easier to get a higher ranking in mobile. The mobile web is a little like the normal web was 10 years ago. It’s a new frontier with a fraction of the number of sites and many of the sites not highly competitive for the terms you will want to rank for.
Like Google’s regular website index, the longer your site is on the mobile web, the better chance it has of ranking. This, combined with the fact that within a few years it’s likely that virtually EVERYONE will be searching from a mobile device means that even if you don’t have a business that might get a lot of mobile traffic now, it makes sense to start your mobile web development efforts now.
While smart phones will render your regular website, many of them do so poorly. Regular websites are optimized for a computer screen, typically 1000 pixels wide. Mobile devices average about 300 pixels wide. The result is that when viewing a regular website from a mobile device, you have to scroll a lot as well as zoom in and zoom out to find the content you are looking for. This can be frustrating and anything that frustrates your website visitors is likely to lose them.
Mobile advertising and mobile sales are exploding. And consumers are 51% more likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile-specific websites. In essence, if someone is searching on their mobile device, they are much more likely to become a customer if you provide them with a mobile website. This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. Good user interface design creates trust with users by making it easier for them to find what they are looking for. This translates into sales.
Get a mobile website now or get one later. It isn’t a matter of “if” you’ll get a mobile website. It’s a matter of “when”.
3 Responses to “Mobile Website – Do You Need One?”
August 26th, 2011 at 5:08 am
Nice article and I wholeheartedly agree with you – it's not if, it's when.
One of our initial tasks is to get website owners to look at their analytics and usually they are quite shocked by the numbers that are currently visiting via a mobile phone – and getting a pretty poor user experience! It's not just the numbers (typically 8-15% of visits), but the growth rate – which is phenomenal.
We deal mostly with ec-ommerce websites with catalogues of products and after implementation of a mobile website version we see much lower bounce rates, we see increased page views (people like what they see so they stick around) and most importantly we typically see a 3-5 times increase in conversions from "mobile" browsers.
Finally we built a small tool to show website owners how their website is currently seen on a mobile phone. It's free for anyone to use I hope it might be of use to you or your readers – http://www.sayuconnect.com/mobile_check.php
January 2nd, 2012 at 6:18 pm
The way I see things, users don't like browsing mobile websites more than regular websites. Even when they are using a smartphone, they prefer to select: "Desktop display" instead of "mobile" because they are more used to it.
The website owners have to use light elements in order to improve pageload speed for all devices. It's SEO 101.
The GSM based internet speed will increase thanks to the competition between phone companies and smartphone companies will try to create devices capable of reaching top download and upload speeds.
So, in my opinion – website owners should focus more on keeping their website as accessible as possible from the same source.
PS: Do you think that iPad users will enjoy a mobile version of your website more? They are using the same mobile internet connection as an iPhone or any other smartphone.
April 24th, 2013 at 12:53 am
Newspapers and local trade magazines are by far the most popular in localized markets, newspapers reach a wide audience and trade magazines captures the niche customer base you are trying to appeal too.