Does your business need a mobile website? Well, according to a new report by Chitika, 43% of all Google queries are local searches. 74% of these queries are via mobile devices and the numbers are on the rise. Projections by leading statisticians and internet marketing experts show that by 2014/2015 mobile usage will have overtaken the desktop. So is the desktop dead?
Improved User Experience
Recent research on mobile website usability suggests that mobile-optimised websites significantly improve user experience and satisfaction. A dedicated mobile website or responsive design is now a must, and this can have a huge impact on the profitability of your online business.
Fast Download Speed
As mobile responsive websites are specifically designed for mobile web standards and usually exclude many of the heavy graphics, image slideshows and background images of the desktop version of the site, mobile websites generally load much quicker, which usually means the visitor spends less time waiting and more time browsing. Also, having a mobile-optimised website can provide a boost to your search engine rankings as Google now favours fast-loading sites over less responsive ones.
A mobile responsive website helps you to stand out and enables your brand to express its contemporary approach to digital communication in a way that appeals to existing and prospective customers alike. It helps to show that you care about your visitors’ browsing experience and have made an effort to improve the accessibility of your website.
If your website doesn’t look good or function correctly on a smartphone or tablet, chances are that the visitor will swiftly move onto one that does. A responsive site gives you the best possible chance of engaging and retaining visitors to your site and can provide your business with an advantage over your competitors.
Designing a responsive website that works well on every device is much less expensive than developing different apps for different platforms (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry, etc). Each app would also have to be submitted to a different app store and would require the user to download and install it before the app can be accessed. A mobile website has far fewer barriers to conversion than a mobile app and is also much more flexible, can be developed much faster and is often a fraction of the cost of having a custom app created.
Enhanced SEO Performance
Websites that have mobile-optimised versions or responsive layouts tend to rank higher in Google than those that do not. Google demotes non-mobile friendly websites from ranking so well on mobile devices. This means that if a potential customer is using a mobile device to search for the products or services that you provide and you don’t have a responsive website, chances are that you won’t be found. It is also important to get the technical aspect correct as well. Having a poorly coded mobile website is arguably worse than having none at all.
A mobile website presence means you can talk to users with mobile specific functions like click to call amongst others. You decide what appears on your mobile site and in what order. As a result better customer targeting.
The mobile web is no longer a concept; it’s a mainstream reality that will have an impact on any organisation that wants to communicate with audiences online. By the end of 2014 mobile phones will overtake desktop PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. If website owners want to take advantage of the unique opportunities a mobile web offers, they need to ensure that they have a mobile website that caters for a growing number of visitors who will inevitably access their site via a mobile device.
Michael Bell One is a web design, SEO and digital marketing agency based in Lewes, East Sussex, and with offices in Sussex, Surrey, London and Kent. To talk to us about your web design project, contact Jake Judd or David Park on 01273 478822 or simply send us an email instead.