You already have a website. But did you know that your website is virtually unusable on a smartphone? It’s true! Try going to your website using your smartphone and you’ll see a very small version of your site. To navigate it, much less read it, you have to zoom in and scroll all over the place. Imagine the short patience of your customers, and you can foresee the problem.
What is a mobile website?
A mobile site is one that is specifically designed for use on smartphones. It simplifies the content from your desktop site and formats it for the small screen size of a smartphone. When a smartphone user navigates to your site, the mobile version automatically displays.
The numbers tell the story: You need a mobile site. Now.
- 50.4% of mobile subscribers have smartphones, up from 23% in 2011. These numbers are skyrocketing. Nielsen May ’12
- 54% of mobile subscribers are in the 18-24 age bracket. Trying to reach students? You need a mobile site. Nielsen November ’11
- 78% of Australians own smartphones. Trying to reach an international audience? You need a mobile site. Pew Research October ’12
- 20% of all website visits come from mobile devices. FiddleFly October ’12
- 50% of all website visits will come from mobile devices in 2013. These numbers are only going up, folks. FiddleFly October ’12
- 61% of smartphone users search for local information on the go. A total of 52% of local search clicks result in calls, and between January 2011 and January 2012, mobile access to the Internet doubled. That’s a lot of people using their phones to search for local businesses! Localeze December ’11
- 30% of consumers research products while they’re in a brick-and-mortar store! Giving them a fast, useful experience increases the likelihood that they’ll make their way to the cash register. ZDNet’s Small Business Matters, December ’12
- 93.3% of websites are not mobile-compatible and will not render successfully on mobile devices or smartphones BIA/Kelsey April ’12
- 80% of smartphone users leave a traditional desktop web- site without going deeper than the home page. Ouch. MarketingProfs August ’12
- 84% of businesses with mobile sites saw increases in revenue and customer satisfaction! FiddleFly October ’12
What are some things to think about for your mobile site?
Perhaps the biggest challenge of mobile sites is stripping down the content of your desktop site. Desktop site users are generally doing research and are looking for spec sheets, articles, blogs, bios, etc. Mobile site users are all about action. They want to have actionable items right up-front.
For instance, on the mobile site we designed for Andrews, Harrell, Mann, Carmin & Parker, we put the phone number and email address on the home page of the mobile site. Many mobile users just want to connect with the firm quickly. By putting that information front-and-center, we gave them one-click access.
Mobile sites have specific design considerations, such as making sure there’s plenty of room around buttons for people’s fingers. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of a desktop site on a smartphone: You have to zoom in and out continually and very, very carefully click on links. It’s frustrating. So people give up.
A note about Responsive Web Design (RWD):
With the explosion of mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc), designers have been moving towards RWD. RWD takes the same content but formats it differently based on the size of the screen. It can cover everything from a desktop site all the way down to a mobile phone. Check out this site from Forefathers: Resize your browser window wider and narrower to see how the layout changes. For instance, as you go narrower, the navigation buttons are stacked rather than horizontal. This is the future of web design. Some businesses are not ready for it yet, however, because it takes more up-front investment. It takes more time and creativity to design for target sizes and the coding of the site is a little more complex. But if you have the budget, RWD is the way to go. It ensures your site looks good no matter what device is being used.
The good news, as noted above, is that those businesses with mobile sites saw increases in revenue and customer satisfaction. Smartphone users are willing to reward businesses who make their experience positive and easy.
It’s time. Ten years ago it was mission critical to have a desktop site. The fast-changing world of technology has moved on. It’s now time to create a mobile presence. Contact us to get started.