people are never without their mobiles

The Importance of Mobile Friendly Sites and What it Means for Your Business

Recent research has revealed that consumers spend 3.3 hours per day on their Smartphone’s. Therefore, it should come as no surprise, then, that 85% of Smartphone owners who were asked said that mobile is a central part of daily life. Yes, Smartphone’s are right up there with wallets and keys as items consumers cannot leave home without.

People use their mobiles for everything from interacting with friends on social media sites to researching information, in particular, product and services while out and about – and more importantly to purchase products and services.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

As people use mobile web browsers on their iPhones, Androids and tablet devices it is important that your website be mobile friendly. What this means is that your site displays content quickly and is optimised for viewing on smaller screens without your visitors having to pinch and enlarge the screen in order to view your content.

Many business websites still don’t have mobile-friendly architecture in place and this is disastrous for their business as it means that they are missing out on lots of opportunities to sell to all of those people now accessing sites from their mobile devices.

Your website should be optimised with the right code that recognises what kind of device visitors are using (computer or mobile devices) and display the site in the best format for them.

Visitors and successful businesses all agree and stress just how important it is to make sure that your mobile content loads up quickly.

The reasons are simple; people are accessing your site on their mobile devices while on the move are doing so wirelessly. That means that in most cases it is costing them money in their data plans. You want your site to load quickly for them. Not only that, but they are viewing your site on a much smaller screen so your web pages need to be as light and uncluttered as possible.

Having a mobile friendly site means that you need to re-think what sort of content you have on offer. Because they are on the move and generally in a hurry to find the information that they want you should display the most crucial information that you think somebody coming in through a mobile device would want to see.

So if you are a restaurant owner, it might be your menu, or your booking reservation number, your opening times and where you are located.

Another point to remember is that search engines have a separate ranking system for mobile. Google for example, has Mobile Google, which is a very different version from the classic or normal Google. It is designed and marked differently. It gives preference to sites that are mobile friendly.

Your website maybe ranked on the first page of normal Google search results, but if your site is not optimised for mobile, the chances are it will not rank very highly for mobile searchers so they might not even find your site and will go to your competitors instead.

That is why it is vital that Google understands where your mobile content is by setting up what is called a ‘site map’ for mobile users. This map will be different from the site map for normal users.

Your business may depend a lot on local trade, so you will also need to use geographic descriptors. For example, many buyers might just type the word ‘flowers’ in Mobile Google and in almost every case they will get Google Places information listing all of the local florists (or whatever business you are in). That is because Google has made an assessment that the person searching want that information locally or close to them, or they want the business that services that particular area that they are currently in.

There are thousands of potential customers in your area that make these kinds of searches every single day. You can’t afford to miss out on all of that extra business. To ensure that you don’t, this is what you need to do today:

  1. Make sure that your site is mobile compliant. You need to make sure that the pages load properly in mobile devices.
  2. Create a mobile sitemap so the search engines can index your pages for mobile browsers.
  3. Make sure that your site isn’t too wordy and use smaller optimised graphics. Bear in mind that people don’t read much on mobiles and they want the data to come quickly.

Technology is moving so fast and it is vital for your business to keep up with it. Your customers are. They are embracing mobile internet. It is part of their everyday life.

As a business owner you need to not only understand this new landscape but adapt so that you don’t miss out on all of these new opportunities to sell to the many people who are now access sites and searching for products and services like yours from wireless devices.

Why not contact us today to find out how we can make your site mobile friendly so visitors buy from you and not your competitors.

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Six ways to make your site mobile friendly

Here are six things to consider in making your website mobile-friendly:

  1. Design with your customers in mind

When people visit your website from a mobile device such as a Smartphone or a tablet, what do they see? The browsing experience and visual structure should be clear and simple on any device. Think about how users navigate through your site on a small device. Call to action buttons need to be clearly marked, big enough to see, and easy to click on with the tip of a finger. Don’t forget to position them at regular intervals to ensure your visitor doesn’t have to scroll too much around your site especially if you want them to buy. 

  1. Don't waste customers' time

Don’t keep them waiting. How long does it take your site to load? Just think of how many times you have left a webpage because of a few minutes’ delay. Your customers will do the same. To find out what it will be like for your customers try viewing your website on a smartphone to see if it’s quick and responsive.

  1. Be relevant

Your clients are usually in a hurry and visitors will leave your site if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly. Mobile visitors are usually looking for specific information, such as business opening hours or directions to your business. So be sure to provide a balance between promoting your business and providing practical information. Your contact information should be clear and easy to find as soon as someone lands on a page from a mobile device. You could try providing links to phone numbers and driving directions so that users can launch their phone or maps apps directly from your mobile site.

  1. Keep it simple

While Flash animation and high-resolution graphics might look great on a laptop, they can negatively impact a visitor’s user experience when they are browsing on the move. Some mobile devices (such as the iPhone) are not able to display Flash at all. Animation or large graphics can take forever to load on a slow mobile connection, during which time a potential customer may well leave your web page and they’ll be unlikely to come back.

Top tip: It’s also worth remembering that your customers are not just surfing the web and social media on their phones; they are also checking their email. However, many companies still use coloured backgrounds, Flash creative and other complex design elements in their emails that can be unreadable on a mobile device and defeats the purpose of sending the email. When you’re designing your next email newsletter or promotion, make sure to optimise your email for mobile (or keep the design clean and simple) so customers can read your emails easily on the go.

  1. Be sure you're up to date – and get noticed

When you are busy running your business, it is very easy to forget about your website once it’s up and running. Don’t make the same mistake. Not only will you turn customers away with out of date information, you will be missing out on raising your profile with prospective clients who might have been on the verge of buying from you. Updating your website and directory listings on sites such as Google is a simple way to improve your ranking on local search results. More visitors to your mobile-friendly website will lead to more sales.

  1. Your Customers want it

More and more customers are using mobile devices each day, so having a mobile optimized website helps the decision making process.  Around 80% of people change from one website to another if it is not mobile friendly. What does it mean for your business? The answer is simple:  if you don’t have a mobile website your customers will replace you with your competitors who do and buy from them instead. It is as simple as that.