Latest figures suggest that more people are searching on smartphones more than every before. Is your business website set up to deal with this?
It’s now more obvious than ever that smart phones have overtaken laptops as the most popular device for getting online. Ofcom have just revealed their latest UK research, which highlights just how rapidly we are changing how we browse the internet.
The 2015 Communications Market Report shows that two thirds of people in Britain now own a smartphone. The average smartphone user now spends nearly two hours every day browsing the internet, accessing social media, banking and shopping online using their smartphone. 33% of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30% who are still using their laptop. This is a clear rise since 2014, when just 22% turned to their phone first, and 40% preferred their laptop. (Communications Market Report 2015)
Smartphones have rapidly become the centre of our digital communication and the effect this has on businesses can’t be underestimated.
The IBM study of online buying behaviour on Black Friday 2014 backed up this point, showing that nearly 60% of all online traffic came from mobile devices. (IBM News Room)
Business websites that are not responsive, and cannot be easily viewed or accessed on smartphones or mobiles suffer accordingly, both in search rankings and visitor numbers.
And this is easy to understand – most of us who have smartphone have had to deal with the frustration of trying to squint at tiny web copy on the small screen, and found ourselves transported to completely the wrong area of the site, when are large blundering fingers fractionally touch the wrong area of the screen.
Having said this, recent evidence suggests that users are no longer dealing with it as 57% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load or is not optimised for their device.
If you have a business that relies on a strong web presence, the implications are clear – get your website mobile optimised, or be prepared to lose traffic.
Unfortunately it seems that many small businesses just haven’t picked up on this shift. Research we carried out earlier this year into Small Business Website Effectiveness showed that 70% were not mobile responsive in any way. This was a startling result especially when taken in the context of OfCom’s findings.
Sadly, it seems all too often, very small businesses see their website as a cheap add-on, rather than as a means of generating quality leads and attracting new customers. Even though all the evidence of customer buying behaviour is telling them different.
Is My Site Mobile Ready?
If you don’t have a smartphone yourself, the easiest way to find out if your site is mobile-friendly is to visit Google’s mobile-friendly testing site. This will give you a clear insight.
Then it’s time to contact your webmaster, or start researching the two most popular options.
How Do I Get a Mobile-friendly Site?
There are a number of ways to get a mobile-friendly site, and your marketing and business goals will determine which is best for you. Here are two to consider:
- Create a dedicated mobile site. This would mean creating a completely new site (but based on your desktop site, of course) that serves only mobile devices.
- Work with Responsive Web Design. This means that you have one site that conforms to the user’s device, whether it’s desktop, tablet or smartphone.
There are pros and cons to both approaches.
With a dedicated mobile site, you are faced with managing, updating and maintaining two separate sites. But this can be a less expensive route if you’re already happy with your current site, and don’t want to change it.
With Responsive Web Design, you’ll only have one site to maintain and search engines prefer a single URL for indexing. But up-front costs will be higher as you revamp your entire web presence, from site architecture to design.
Have You Got A Plan For Your Website?
Key to all of this though, is deciding what you want your site to do. It’s not enough today to have the same simple brochure style site you had in 2003. The digital landscape has changed, and customers have changed as well. So the starting point for any website change has to be the creation of an all round marketing plan.
This is something we stress very heavily to small businesses we train in our InbounON workshops. Without an over-arching plan for your marketing activity, you will waste money, and get few positive results.
Start with the plan, and the focus of where your businesses needs to be promoting itself, then decide how and where you want to change your website.
If you get this right, then lead generation through your mobile optimised site will help your business grow.
It’s Not Too Late
If your business isn’t mobile-ready yet, it’s not too late – there are tools out there to help you, and plenty of online advice.
But don’t delay too long – your customers are already looking for you on their mobiles.
If you want more help with building your own marketing plan contact us. We will give you a free Marketing Health Check, to see how and where you can develop and give you some pointers towards moving forward in the changing digital world.