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The Importance Of An Effective Mobile Business Website
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There are more than 5.3 billion mobile subscribers in the world today, with sales of mobile devices and smartphones in particular rising exponentially in the past two years.  In other words, more than ¾ of the world population is using mobile phones, and a vast majority of these users, especially in the United States, have some sort of data plan that allows them to surf the web, check email, and even watch videos online. 

It is also worth noting that research indicates that people who are using mobile web service are about twice as active online as those who use computers alone.  But what do these facts mean for business owners who are not specifically in the mobile phone sales industry?

In short, these facts highlight one very important piece of information.  If your website is not accessible to mobile phone users, you may be losing out on significant business.  If a users conducting a mobile search of your products and services cannot access your page, or if your page is not tailored to the formatting and style of a mobile web device, users aren’t going to rush to a computer to see what you have to offer, they are going to go back and click on the next page in the search results.

A Look at Mobile Use from Consumers

Taking a look at what the average consumer is doing on their mobile phone these days can help highlight the importance of creating a mobile version of your website.  Research shows that some 21.4% of mobile users perform online searches using their mobile devices, and that 6.5% of all mobile users visit retail sites with their phone. 

News and other services are also enjoyed by a significant percentage of the mobile population, and at least 5.6% of users are also watching videos online.  Social networking and blogging seems to have the biggest share of mobile data use, with more than 24% of users visiting social networks and blogs on their phones.

The Pitfalls of Not Being Mobile Friendly

With more people owning mobile phones than personal computers, this is a large share of the market to isolate or ignore.  While it is possible to view many traditional websites on a mobile device, the simple fact is that a site that is not tailored to smaller screens and different needs is not going to garner the same level of interest and conversions as a site created specifically for mobile users. 

Even the average website design is inherently unfriendly to mobile users.  Most links and page jumps are found at the very bottom of a traditional webpage.  Keep in mind that many mobile web users do not have the convenience of a touch screen, let alone a mouse with a scroll wheel.  If your site is too difficult to navigate- users are not going to stick around.

A website doesn’t just need to be reachable and accessible on a mobile phone, it needs to be easily usable.  If your consumers can’t navigate your page without a great deal of zooming and scrolling, you can rest assured that your underlying message will be lost amid the frustration.  They should be able to easily navigate, and should make it easy for consumers to access vital information.   Instead of contact links that display email addresses or phone numbers, these items are better suited to be placed on the initial landing page.  This can make it easy for mobile users to utilize click to call or click to email features built into many mobile devices. 

Web Users Have Different Needs

Another important thing for business owners to understand is that web users have different needs when visiting a website.  Most mobile users want instant information and gratification.  If they have come to your site for a specific piece of information, they expect to be able to find it within seconds of landing.  This means that a mobile website needs to have a more user-friendly interface and content that is properly scaled.  Pages should also take into consideration the low bandwidth of many mobile users when looking to add multimedia content to a landing page.

An Effective Mobile Website Will Bring In Users

When you have a website that is created for and tailored around the needs of mobile users, it greatly increases your ability to take advantage of this growing share of the consumer market.  The creation of an effective mobile website can help you increase your return on investment and overall profitability, as these sites are far less expensive to produce even while offering significant potential for income.  The number of users performing searches and even shopping via mobile phone is growing rapidly, and with more and more advanced smartphone devices becoming available at affordable prices, this trend is expected to continue rising quickly.

When you stop to think about it, every user out there with a web enabled mobile device or smartphone is a potential customer, and a mobile website lets you bring your business to them no matter where they go.  While text based marketing certainly works to engage mobile users, its features and capabilities are extremely limited.  A mobile website can be as full featured as a traditional site, offering everything from information and videos to mobile shopping.

Of course, in order to truly take advantage of the mobile data market and the potential that it holds, one must work to take advantage of all of the trends in mobile data.  Apps are certainly very popular today, as are online marketing videos.  Videos tailored to mobile users should certainly be a bit more “to-the-point”, but there is no denying their power as marketing tools.  Likewise, with millions of apps downloaded onto smartphone devices every day, it is critical not to underestimate the potential benefits of tying your mobile website in with an application.  


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