By The Word Waiter
Mobile search is becoming increasingly popular – many expect mobile searches to overtake static desktop searches by 2015.
In some business sectors – and in India and China – the tipping point has already been reached, with most web searches now being carried out on mobile devices, so how should you respond?
In February, Google released some data which showed “A whopping 62% of searches for popular national chain restaurants on Valentine’s Day occurred on high end mobile devices or tablets”.
Meanwhile, mobile now accounts for around 40% of search activity on Yelp, and 30% of Groupon’s transactions in April occurred on mobile devices, with mobile customers spending 50% more than those on desktops.
And recent research suggests 87% of those searching restaurant, holiday and car websites with mobile devices planned to make a purchasing decision the same day.
So, how do you respond to the mobile revolution? Well, firstly check your stats and see how users are interacting with your website at the moment. You may already be losing custom, or perhaps not. Just take a look.
If there’s a clear problem, an interim step could be the mobile-optimization of your current website. It’s a quick fix that’ll drive more custom your way while the bigger changes are being put in place.
Then it’s time to plan for the future. Do you need a responsive website or would a specific mobile version of your website be a better option? It’s a heavily debated question.
User experience guru, Jakob Nielsen, suggests a separate mobile site, others have said that responsive design is a great stopgap solution before everything switches to mobile, and others tell us responsive is the way forward, opposing the very idea of separate mobile websites.
An interesting ‘presidential smackdown’ article in Smashing magazine recently examined how Obama’s campaign team chose responsive and Romney’s chose a separate mobile website. Even potential presidents can’t agree!
In our opinion, the answer depends on the website. There are no definites, but for most smaller companies the cost of a responsive website redesign will be prohibitive, whereas our mobile websites are well within the reach of any organisation.