Every modern business owner is well-aware of the importance of online presence. This is the reason why almost all businesses regardless of their size have their own websites. However, being present is not the only thing that matters. You must follow the latest trends in order to stay on top. In the recent period there is a growing number of mobile web users and it seems that their number is growing very rapidly. Using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is a relatively new phenomenon, yet there are thousands of people who use these devices to access the Internet. Every serious marketer and business owner must take a close look at this new practice because this is a completely new approach in the use of the Internet because the sizes and shapes of these devices is completely different than the ones found in laptops or desktop computers.
The popularity of mobile devices is incredible. For instance, there were more than 4 million iPhone 6 devices sold in the first day after this smartphone was released. In addition, there are certain brands that are relatively new like Huawei that have sold millions of devices in the last couple of years. See below for more information on this quickly growing trend.
Mobile vs. Desktop Website Viewing
For many people, these numbers won’t mean much unless they get some other data that they can relate to their business. In 2014, the number of mobile users has surpassed the number of desktop users. This number is expected to reach 2 billion in 2016. What small and medium business owners will find especially interesting is the fact that almost all smartphone users use their devices to find local businesses before they make an in-store purchase. About 70% of them contact the local business they’ve found over the Internet and 90% take actions in the first 24 hours.
If everything remains the same (ad we cannot see why things would change), in less than 3 years, every business should have a mobile-friendly website. Those who are acknowledging the importance of mobile websites will start this change right away. There are many reasons why you should do this.
First of all, if you are not eager to make this change, your competitors are. It will cost you a fortune to keep up with your competitors in case you enter this race for attracting mobile users late. This is quite logical because most mobile users leave websites that are not friendly to mobile users. They obviously open websites that are optimized for mobile users. What is even worse is that when they leave the website they probably won’t come back, ever. In other words, once users learn that your business doesn’t have a responsive website, you will have to double your efforts to attract them back when you finally make a mobile-friendly version of your website. The initial cost of investment will pay off in the long run.
However, there are many business owners who are looking for ways to cut expenses and although they are interested in implementing innovations in their operations, they leave them for some “better days”. While it is true that there are certain things that can wait, it is also true that having a mobile website is not one of them.
What makes a good mobile website?
Now that you know the benefits and importance of having a mobile website, you should learn how to optimize this website. Just like “regular” websites, mobile websites consist of different elements and you must pay special attention on each of these basic elements.
Keep Things Simple
First and foremost, you should follow a minimalist concept and keep things simple. Since we are talking about a slightly different form of presentation, you should be able to highlight the most important content. The homepage should contain the basic info like name, address and short About Us-style section. The website should also have several buttons for those who want additional info.
Optimize for Speed
Just like in the case of standard websites, mobile websites must have fast page loading speed. According to some specialist loading time under three seconds is perfect. If you are not able to provide this speed, your visitors will probably avoid your website and visit another one (your competitor’s website). Although we are talking about mobile websites, you should be aware that there are many different mobile devices and they run on different platforms and have different displays. So, when you create a mobile website you must test whether it is optimized for the use of any mobile device and on any platform. This is crucial because not all users rely on the same brand or OS.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Even though this is a mobile version of your website, the essence should remain the same. So, if you have already built some identity, use the colors and logos that you usually use. Feel free to make the same modifications, just don’t confuse the visitors. Experts who work in this field agree that any information that visitors need must be available in less than 3 clicks. In addition, don’t expect users to download EXE or PDF files from your mobile website.
Avoiding ads is a good practice at least in the beginning until you learn how these things work. Since the displays on these devices are smaller, big ads can be very distracting. If you are interested in using mobile ads on your website, you should consult an expert. Finally, if you are optimizing your mobile website page by page, make sure that at least 10 pages are mobile friendly. Remember that Google has started to rank mobile-friendly websites higher in the search results.
Investing in a mobile website is no longer some kind of luxury. This is an investment that will completely pay off in a very short period of time. You can rarely find another activity with such a good ROI. With the help of a mobile website you will be able to improve brand awareness, increase customer retention, improve their average spend, attract new clients/customers and improve the loyalty of existing customers.