Monday, 26 August 2013

The Importance of Having a Mobile Website

The amount of time and money people are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly and yet many businesses don't have a website optimized for mobile — at what cost? Think back on your past 24 hours. How much time did you spend on your smartphone? Were you mostly texting, reading news, checking social media, or were you actually talking to another human?

Device vs Desktop traffic has risen over the past year, as shown in the graph below. Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014” was the big headline from the widely shared infographic summarising the bold prediction from 2008 by Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. By June of this year, Device traffic had risen to 10% from last years' stats, and according to experts, it is still rising. 

Yet many businesses have not yet optimized their websites for mobile, frustrating visitors with tricky navigation and slow loading times (i.e Blackberry - which is still a major and affordable brand in many countries around the world). Jesse Haines, group marketing manager for GoogleMobile Ads, told Mashable that a survey of major advertisers in early 2011 showed only 21% had launched a mobile-friendly site. A 2012 L2 study of the top 100 fashion, beauty, retail, hospitality, and watch and jewelry brands found that only two-thirds had mobile-optimized sites, and yet a third of those did not allow consumers to shop from their sites.

If you're in the business of e-commerce, those figures should help you benchmark what you're already losing, but a recent survey from Google underlines the damage you might also be doing to your brand by not having your site optimized for mobile.
  • Mobile sites lead to mobile purchases. This is a no-brainer: Shoppers are more likely to buy a product or service if your site is optimized for mobile. Three-fourths said they are more likely to return to a site in the future if the experience on mobile is good.
  • If your site isn't optimized for mobile, shoppers will go elsewhere. The majority of participants in the survey said that if they can't find what they're looking for on your site, they'll sooner seek out a competitor's mobile-friendly site instead of switching to a PC to revisit yours.
  • A bad mobile experience can damage a company's brand. A bad mobile experience can create bad feelings about your company. Nearly half of participants in the survey said they feel frustrated and annoyed when they happen across a site that's not mobile-friendly, and that it makes them feel like a company doesn't care about their business. More than half said a poor mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company in the future.

    Here are the key reasons why your business should have a mobile website:
    1. Google indexes mobile content differently than regular search. Ranking on mobile is easier because Google has a much smaller index of content under mobile, as this segment is still in its infancy.
    2. According to a study on CNN this year, the average person spends an hour on mobile every day. As the percentage of mobile web users increases rapidly, you should not miss the opportunity to capture this audience and preempt the competition.
    3. 20% of all U.S. households are now “mobile-only” for their phone service. Even Google’s ex CEO Eric Schmidt has said “The Future is in Mobile Search”. The next frontier of the internet is the mobile web and some say it will even overtake the desktop. In the near future, most of the visitors to a website will be through mobile. Mobile devices such as the iPhone and Android have revolutionized web surfing, enhanced the experience dramatically, and continue to drive more consumers to use mobile devices for browsing the Internet.

    Red Hot Web Designs is running a special! If you do not have a mobisite yet, they will design one for free with every purchase of a new SEO website!

    2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt

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