By 2013 it is estimated that more people will use their mobile devices to access the internet than their computers. We are almost there now, mid-2011 people were spending more time on their mobile devices than on their computers. That being said, it is important to make sure that the people who are looking at your website on these devices can see it properly.
Here are the facts:
Did you know that over 50% of Americans have a smartphone? What about the fact that one billion people access the internet on a mobile device regularly? That is a 400% growth in 2011 for mobile searches in 2011. Studies also show that 9 in 10 people take action based on the results of their smartphone searches within 24 hours. 95 percent of these mobile internet users typically look up local information about purchasing, price comparisons, to find a businesses location, to read reviews, and to get promotional offers. The bad side? 40% of consumers have turned to a competing business after a bad mobile experience. Is that something you can afford to miss out on?
What is the difference on a mobile device?
Smartphones and tablets can access the same websites as a computer can, yes. However, their appearance is not the same!
First, Flash- it will not load at all on an iPhone or iPad. So if you use an entirely flash site- it’s going to show a white screen. If you have a flash banner advertisement on your webpage, expect to see that as a blank spot.
Second, if your website is rather large it might be hard to use on a tiny smart phone. Think about all of the scrolling someone would have to do to in order to find your phone number or address. Make it easy to use on a variety of devices. Also, the load speed is much quicker on websites designed specifically for mobile devices. A “traditional” website is’t designed for a website and may take several minutes to load.
Mobile App vs. Mobile Site
This entirely depends on the business and type of website. If people are looking at your website for information or a few questions, a mobile site is most beneficial. If you are providing a constant stream of information and people visit your website on a regular basic, an App might be something you want to consider. The important thing to consider here is that people might not know you have an App, but they will know about your mobile site- it’s rare someone will look in the App store for a business, but extremely common that they would look for your business page on the internet. Don’t just assume you need a mobile app, but do assume that you need a mobile site!
Mobile App’s are not as flexible as mobile websites; they must be built for each platform (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, etc), must be submitted and approved by the appropriate App stores, and generally cost more money. Mobile websites are accessible by anyone with a smartphone or mobile device, regardless of the platform, they don’t have to be downloaded, and are easier to update.
Things to consider
- Look at your analytics- see how many views your website has from mobile devices.
- Mobile sites improve your SEO rankings
- A mobile site can boost perceptions of your company, showing that you value your brand and clients
If you haven’t considered a mobile website yet, it’s time to start!