When you build or renovate your business website, you actually need to think in terms of two different sites: a traditional one and a mobile one. The structural requirements and graphic layouts are somewhat different for mobile sites, as is the emphasis on certain keywords. Many businesses are only slowly catching on to the necessity for a mobile site, but as the number of smartphones and tablets continues to exponentially grow, your business needs to have a place in that new mobile universe.
1. Mobile is technology’s leading edge
When you construct your online presence, you obviously want to demonstrate that your business has its finger on the pulse of current practices and ideas. By showing that you participate in today’s emerging technology, you’re letting your customers know that your products and services are also part of the leading edge.
2. Your neighbors are searching for you
If you have a physical business location, users are going to search for it on their mobile devices. Using the GPS signals that their phones transmit, your potential customers will do a search for businesses in their immediate geographic area — and you want to be front and center in the results of that search!
3. Mobile is where the entertainment is
Look around at the bus-stop or on the subway: what is everyone doing? They’re all on their smartphones, playing and talking and shopping. Make use of the fact that you’ve got a giant built-in audience just looking for something new and amusing.
4. A shopping center in everyone’s pocket
Because people are busy, they’re likely to shop for that item they’ve had on their list while they have five minutes waiting in line at the theater. When they click on your site, it needs to be graphically appealing and functionally useful on their mobile device.
5. Leverage your good reviews
Tools like Google Maps and local business directories often show listings based on two variables: location with respect to where the user is, and how good the business’s reviews are. Make sure you have a 5-star business, and it’ll pop up on users’ phones all over your part of town!
6. Speed matters
Obviously the people who access the web frequently from their smartphones care about doing business efficiently. If your site is primarily built for a computer, it will behave sluggishly when people look at it on a mobile device – or, if it uses Java or Adobe Flash, it may not even work at all. You will lose users who simply click away rather than wait for everything to load.
7. The numbers tell the story
Analysts expect that 983 million smartphones will be sold in 2013, and by 2017 there will be more mobile devices in use than there are people on the planet. Furthermore, its estimated that 20% of internet traffic will be from mobile devices by the end of 2013.
8. Super-targeted marketing possibilities
Combining a variety of emerging apps and Google ad options, you can actually design offers that target only people who have physically walked into your store, and further divide those customers up by age and other demographic data. Their smartphones will talk to you if you know how to listen!
9. Mobile devices are good places for content
You might think that text would be hard to read on a mobile device, but 33 percent of the New York Times online traffic is now from tablets and smartphones. And mobile devices are all about video, of course.
10. A mobile website is often better than an app
So, you may be thinking, if a mobile website would be good, wouldn’t an app be even better? Actually, the answer to that question is often “no,” especially in the case of smaller businesses. The upfront development cost on an app is higher, and mobile websites have cross-platform utility, whereas apps tend to be device-specific. Furthermore, its far easier to track clicks and gather analytics from a mobile website than from an app.
If we’ve convinced you to create a mobile site for your business, you’re in the right place! Sprout Media Lab offers full service website design and development for mobile websites. Call us at (800) 617-6975 for a free consultation on your new mobile site today.