Do you browse the internet on a mobile device? You know – a phone or tablet or even a Kindle?
Same here. I’m always checking stuff out on the go. It’s so much more convenient.
And we’re not the only ones. Mobile is where the online action is. That’s where companies like Facebook and Google are focusing their efforts.
But that’s not just for fun. These are hard nosed businesses and they know that the future of the internet is mobile. They know that you and I want services to be available right here, right now and the way we are going to access them is through mobile devices.
So now that you can see the direction of travel, here are five compelling reasons to have a mobile website.
Compelling Reason #1 To Have A Mobile Website – Mobile Use Is Massive (And Growing)
We’re past the tipping point where mobile has now overtaken desktop as the main way of browsing on the web. Having a mobile website is no longer a nice to have. It’s the basic price of entry these days.
In fact, when you consider that almost two thirds (66% vs 39% in 2012) of the UK population have a smartphone and they are using it on average two hours a day to browse the web then that is some serious usage. And these figures are only going to get bigger as time moves on.
The numbers speak for themselves and for this reason alone you can’t afford to get left behind.
Compelling Reason #2 To Have A Mobile Website – Google Favours Mobile Websites
Let’s not beat around the bush. Google favours mobile friendly websites. They specifically told us this back in April 2015. That means that when it ranks websites (yours included) using its algorithm, one of the things it looks at is mobile friendliness.
You can check it yourself using their mobile friendly test tool. Just enter your domain and it will tell you whether or not it passes the test. If it fails then that could mean that your website takes a hit in Google’s ranking.
Compelling Reason #3 To Have A Mobile Website – Get A Competitive Advantage
Recently, we did some research on what makes a website successful. We looked at a number of factors and we compared Best in Class websites with the industry average. One of the striking things we discovered is that around 60% of business websites are not mobile friendly.
This means that now is the time to get a mobile website whilst many of your competitors don’t have one.
Compelling Reason #4 To Have A Mobile Website – Mobile Users Demand A Mobile Experience
Mobile users are different. They consume content differently from desktop or laptop users. The rise of Instagram and Vine should give a strong hint – they prefer visual and video content over written formats.
Obviously this comes partly from the limitations of the smaller screen, but also people are on the move and face more interruptions than if they are sitting comfortably at their desk.
Therefore your mobile version should cater for this, especially in key areas like navigation and forms where simplicity is the order of the day.
Compelling Reason #5 To Have A Mobile Website – Mobile Users Are Buyers
Whilst desktop is still ahead in Ecommerce terms, the trend is on the up when it comes to mobile commerce. Whilst Tablet users tend to spend more than mobile users, one things for certain – they won’t be buying anything unless the site is mobile friendly.
How Do I Build A Mobile Website?
Ok, if you’re convinced about the need to get a mobile website then you’ve got several options to choose from:
- Use a side by side mobile version (Mobile Website Builder)
- Get a Responsive Template
- Get a Responsive Web Design
Let’s look at them in turn.
Side By Side Mobile Website (Mobile Website Builder)
By far and away the cheapest and quickest option, all you need to do is to use a mobile website builder tool to create a side by side version of your website. When you’ve built your site you’ll just need to add a small snippet of code to your website’s html so that mobile devices pick up the mobile version.
The advantage is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a mobile redesign and you can build it yourself. It works with any mobile device too – the website identifies the type of device browsing your site and presents the page optimised for that screen.
You can integrate it with Google maps and your customers can contact you and leave messages.
The downsides are that it is a basic, entry level service. It will give you the basic functionality and basic design but it isn’t a rock solid solution that is going to take things to the next level. For that you’ll need to look at Responsive Design.
These days you can buy what are known as Responsive Themes. Responsive Web Design is a technique that allows websites to be viewed perfectly on any device. It detects what type of device is browsing and the design ‘responds’ accordingly. The beauty of this approach is that only one design is required.
Of course, a new web design comes at a cost and that is the beauty of using a ready made template (theme). You can see what you’re going to get and the cost is not excessive. A ready made template means you know what you’re going to get before you buy it and you also save time because you don’t have to wait for a custom build.
Of course, the downside is that someone else may use the same template as you. As long as it isn’t one of your competitors you shouldn’t have an issue though.
Also, if you’re using a CMS like WordPress or Joomla then you’re in good company. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and these tools are not exotic – there is a lot of support so if you need to get someone to help you then you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Of course, if you’ve got the budget and you want something that is completely customised and built just for you then a full custom website design using Responsive Design is the option for you. This way you’ll have complete control over the whole web design process.
Just be sure to get examples of the designer’s work before hand and try to speak to previous customers too if possible. Finally, be sure to get a fixed quote in writing so you understand the costs in advance.
A mobile website is no longer a nice to have. Mobile use is increasing year on year and the future is mobile.
Google understands this which is why it favours mobile sites in its rankings. However, many of your competitors are not mobile friendly – you can get an advantage over them now.
But Mobile users demand a mobile experience and they are also increasingly switching to their mobile to purchase online.
So do you have a mobile site? If so, which option did you go for? Or if you are you thinking of switching to mobile which is the best option for you? Let us have your comments below.