As smart phones continue to develop and become more powerful mini computers, they are giving rise to a new class of websites geared toward their strengths, as well as their weaknesses. A recent report found more than 1 billion smart connected devices shipped in 2012, growing by 29 percent. Desktop PC shipments, meanwhile, fell by 4 percent. Mobile websites may be the next wave for businesses to catch.
1. Customers crave it – As more consumers surf the Internet on a mobile device, they want a website that is designed to work with their smart phone. Limit the amount of scrolling and data entry required. Only the most important company information should be included on the main page so it can all be seen at once.
2. Localize – Mobile users may be in an unfamiliar area and looking for a particular type of restaurant or business. They’ll use their device to search in the neighborhood, but might skip past a site that is not optimized for their device.
3. Refocus – A mobile website forces a business to focus on what it really wants to accomplish. Since text and images have to be reduced, the point of the business needs to be expressed clearly and succinctly. This may also lead to new avenues of thought.
4. Working together – The desktop and mobile websites might be designed differently but they should work together. The desktop website should automatically detect when it has been accessed by a mobile device and instantly send the user to the mobile site.
5. More rankings – A mobile site provides the business an opportunity to increase its rankings in Google’s search system. Keywords likely would be similar between the two websites.
6. Speed – Mobile users have an expectation of speed when it comes to their websites. If a site doesn’t load in less than five seconds, they likely will move on to the next one. Reducing the size of images and limiting text help increase the download speed of mobile websites.
7. Mobile looks better – A desktop website viewed through a mobile device can be confusing and frustrating, sending them away. A mobile website reduces the level of frustration.
8. Interact with customers – Mobile users are used to chatting, texting and using social media through their devices. They may be more likely to leave a comment on a mobile site than on a desktop version.
9. Growing audience – The mobile audience shows no sign of decreasing. In fact, in just a few years it is estimated there will be a smart phone for everyone on the planet. It would be best to capture that audience now.
10. The competition is doing it – Others are seeing the future of mobile and you don’t want your business left behind.
A mobile site is important for a business, most of all because it’s another way to cater to a growing audience. It’s a new way to reach potential customers and improve their experience dealing with a company.