I’d like to revisit a topic I wrote about earlier this year: “Mobilizing Your Website.” This technology gets “top of mind attention” (TOMA) from me these days because I feel strongly that any business that has a website needs to also have a mobile-friendly website.
Why? Have you noticed how many people are on their mobile phones these days?! To convince you they’re not all just texting their friends or playing Angry Birds:
- Mobile searches have increased by > 400%
- 1 in 3 mobile searches are local
- 61% of users called the business and 59% visited
- 79% of smartphone users use their phone to shop; 74% purchased as a result
I have some first-hand experience with this. The end of July I took a little vacation and rode my bicycle across Iowa in the popular RAGBRAI event. It’s a 7-day ride, so each night we stayed in a different town. To find a place to eat, what did we do? We used our phones to search for local restaurants. Then, we got a map, on the phone, to where they were located.
We looked up the location of the local grocery store (these were small towns). Had we needed a repair for the camper, we’d have searched online for a retailer or repair shop. When we wanted to find the post office, we brought up the map after searching for it on a mobile phone.
Do you see the trend? A mobile phone is the internet in the palm of your hand! (You can quote me on that 😉 )
But, guess what. Not all the sites we found were mobile-friendly. Getting a map or making a call was sometimes a multi-step process. Their websites were developed only for desktop access.
Here’s what the Sunstone Web Solutions website looks like without mobile-optimization:
You can find our phone number after going to Contact Us (you have to scroll to the right to find the “contact” button). Some smart phones will activate the number so you can “click-to-call,” but other mobile phones may not.
On our mobile website, you can click-to-call from the first page. You can also view our services, jump to our blog or Facebook page, or send us a quick message from the front page.
Here’s an example of a mobile website for a chiropractor in my area. Notice how convenient it is to find out what their hours are and how to find their office.
Your mobile customer is, well, mobile; they’re on the move. Time and attention is short. Give them what they need quickly. They’ll likely favor you with their business.
A mobile website is another website, separate from your full or desktop website. It does require a new domain name (or a subdomain if your webmaster is clever about it). However, it’s relatively cheap to develop and maintain.
You can do it yourself or have a web developer create it for you. There are plenty of good tools available by searching for “mobile website builder.” You will want to involve your webmaster to add a simple script to your full website that detects if the request is from a mobile device, in which case the mobile website is automatically brought up. This code is often provided by the tool you’re using to create the mobile website.
If this sounds too complicated, contact an expert for help. But, git ‘er done!
I can think of very few instances where having a mobile-optimized website isn’t a benefit to the business. It doesn’t cost that much. It should just be an integrated piece of your business’s “presence.” Your customers deserve it.
Tell me if you have a mobile website for your business, and if not, why not. (Click on “Leave a comment” below.)