Do You Really Need a Mobile Website?

Mobile |

Mobile Website Information Consumption is Exploding

Whether it’s new 2-in-1 laptops, tablets or mobile phones, mobile will soon be king for all things online.

According to the GWI Device Q3 2014 update,  80% of online adults now own a smart phone and almost 50% have a tablet.  The staggering figure here is that these mobile device owners are now surfing the web for 1.85 hours per day and now account for 30% of total time spent online.

Clikz stated that “for Google, mobile comprised almost half of all traffic from June to November, with 52 percent coming from desktops and 48 percent from mobile. However, in November, mobile traffic surpassed the quantity of visits from desktop, marking the turning point on the way to mobile dominance for Google.”

The IDG Global Mobile Survey points out that out of all of the executives they surveyed “86 percent use their tablet and 72 percent of executives use their smart phone to conduct research for products or services for their business.”

It is interesting to note, however, that the same IDG survey found that “93 percent of executives will purchase that product via the Internet using a laptop or desktop.”

As you can see, mobile is not the end-all-be-all in online surfing tools…yet.  But if your company’s online assets are not completely optimized for a user’s mobile phone or tablet, you will surely miss some opportunities in 2015.

Not convinced you need to have a mobile ready website yet?

Once business owners have that ah-ha moment about the importance of having a strong mobile presence, the next few questions we hear are:

What do I need to do for my website to render best on mobile devices?

Making sure your site is mobile ready usually involves redoing components of your site to make sure that it is responsive.

According to TechTarget.com:

“Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.” 

Another key consideration when making a decision to invest in a mobile ready website is that Google Search is now designating if a site is mobile friendly or not.  The last thing you would ever want is to have Google label your site as not mobile friendly and give someone, no matter what device they are on, a reason to NOT click through to your website.  Not sure if your site is mobile friendly?  Check here and let Google tell you themselves.

A lot of times, making your current site mobile responsive is going to be the best solution.  In some instances, a complete site redesign and build may be required depending on the current state and technical foundation of your website.

Once business owners realize mobile is critical, the next question we get asked is:

Since mobile is so popular, do I need a mobile app for my business?

Most times our suggestion is going to be to make sure that your site is mobile friendly by recommending the responsive solution.  But there are cases where a mobile app makes more sense.

What if you own a local small business?

If you have a small local business or a site that acts like a brochure for your business and is content heavy, a mobile app is probably not for you.  There are some low cost mobile app solutions that allow you to place a small app on a mobile phone that makes it easy for customers to one-click-call your business, or have your hours of operation, menu, pricing and other details readily available.  But even if you choose to go that route, a mobile friendly site should be your first priority.

But sometimes your business dictates taking the next step in mobile.

If you have an interactive app or want to provide interactive information to your customers (think Uber here) then a mobile app is going to be something you need to consider.  Are you looking to create a social community where people can interact while on the go?  A mobile app probably makes sense, then.  The more functionality, features and social aspects you want to offer the more likely a mobile app is best for your specific situation.

However, that does not mean you can get away without a mobile friendly website for your business.  Whether you offer a free or paid app to your customer base, your main website still needs to be mobile friendly.