Sunday, 4 November 2012

Make your site mobile-friendly - and be quick!

Ensure your business has an online presence with a search-convenient website
Make your site mobile-friendly

In 2011, nearly 500 million smartphones and tablets were sold around the world. In 2012, Apple alone is projected to sell nearly 250 million iPhone 5s over its first four quarters.

In 2010, less than 3% of visitors to my company’s website were using a mobile device. In 2011, that number rose to 6% of visitors. To date in 2012 more than 14% of visitors were using a mobile device. The three-year trend for my company shows that mobile users to my website are more than doubling every year. I’ve observed similar mobile visitor growth rates in the traffic of websites I’ve built for my clients.

What all of this means is that the world is going mobile — not just cellular phones but smartphones. People are accessing the Internet (and conceivably your business) through their mobile devices. The question you need to ask yourself is this: is your business mobile-ready?

Have you ever looked at your website through a smartphone? How about your competitor’s website? What sets businesses apart online today is how easy it is to access and navigate their websites via a mobile device.

Most websites don’t offer a mobile version for visitors. Instead, a smartphone user is forced to view your entire website at a fraction of its normal size. It’s almost impossible to click on hyperlinks or follow menu options without zooming in and scrolling around helplessly.

Invariably, if a website is not mobile-friendly then the smartphone user will likely just move along in search of a more convenient website to visit.

Adding to this problem is the fact that more and more businesses are starting to use QR codes (those barcode-like images that people scan with their smartphones). Of course, when someone scans the QR code with their mobile device they’re expecting to be taken to a mobile-friendly website. There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to scan a QR code only to end up completely unable to navigate around the website you’ve been taken to.

So, as you consider your web strategy and online presence for 2013, take the time to evaluate your mobile online presence. Web users are only going to get more mobile as time goes by and having an effective mobile presence could really set your business apart.

Geoff Evans, of London, is founder of Social Media Coach, which trains businesses in the use of social media. For information visit: www.mobile-websites.pro

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