Going Mobile is Not an Option
Many business owners have yet to mobile optimize their company website. I’ve heard several reasons why they either don’t feel it’s necessary, or they are putting it off until “later”. The reasons given range from “My website works just fine on mobile” to “I can’t afford it right now” and “I use Facebook for my mobile customers” There is one reason business owners make statements like these, lack of knowledge.
How a company perceives it’s website performance on mobile can vary greatly from how a consumer perceives it. Just because a website can be viewed on a mobile device, does not mean it’s mobile optimized. A website not designed specifically for mobile viewing is hard to read, hard to navigate and hard to garner information from. You have to constantly resize your screen, scroll from left to right just to view all the information, let alone trying to make a phone call or get directions to the business. It’s much worse if your website uses flash, which is not viewable on a mobile device.
Consumers that use mobile to search for a local business, are people on the go. They want fast and easy access to the information they are looking for. This means big menu navigation buttons that can easily be tapped to make a phone call, get directions, view a menu or get product and service information.
From a company perspective, a website should be viewed as a main lead generating tool. Successful companies understand this, yet nearly 80% of companies may be losing over 60% of that lead generation because their website is not mobile optimized. Google says if your website is hard to read on mobile, 61% of your audience leaves within 5 seconds, and 40% goes to a competitor that has a good mobile web presence.
Using Facebook and other social media to connect with mobile customers is a must in any company’s marketing strategy, but don’t be fooled into thinking this can replace a mobile optimized website. A website is your main customer acquisition tool. Social media, sms marketing, mobile apps and mobile loyalty programs work best for customer retention and customer relations.
More consumers are now searching for local businesses on a mobile device than on desktop computers. That percentage varies from niche to niche, but regardless whether you own a photography studio or a restaurant, you have a mobile audience that is searching for you.
Below is an example of how many people are actually using mobile to search for local restaurants in the United States. The search term “restaurants near me” was used in this example.
In August of 2013 a whopping 69.5% of consumers searching for a local restaurant were doing it from a mobile device. That trend continued to grow to over 77% in July of 2014. This information alone should be an eye opener to any business.
There are several design options available for mobile optimized websites. Responsive websites, pure mobile websites and new on the scene, reverse responsive websites. Which option is best for you? There isn’t one option that’s best for all companies. It depends on your needs and most importantly your customers’ needs. I will discuss this in a future article. With today’s options and available technology, mobile optimization is less expensive than you may think. Clearly, going mobile is not an option, but a necessity.
Founder & CEO