Posted March 16, 2012 by Jason Summerfield
Observe people in any public area these days and there is a good chance you will see someone browsing the web on a smartphone such as iPhone or Android. In fact, one fifth (1/5) of Americans access the mobile web each day, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center report, and that number is on the rise. In 2010 nearly 73 million Americans accessed the web via a mobile browser - an increase of 31% from 2009, according to ComScore.
In order to provide this rapidly growing base of mobile web users with an optimal experience, more and more website owners are pursuing creation of mobile websites to ensure that their site is optimized for smartphone display. If the growing number of mobile web users alone is not reason enough to convince website owners to embrace the mobile web, there are also a number of advantages worth considering.
Mobile websites are specifically designed for handheld devices since nobody enjoys browsing a desktop website on their smartphone! Research on mobile website usability shows that mobile-optimized websites significantly improve user experience and satisfaction, which makes a positive impression when it counts.
Mobile websites are specifically designed for mobile standards and optimal download speed, which means less waiting and more browsing.
A mobile website allows you to immediately engage users with mobile-specific features such as click-to-call, mapping functions. Furthermore, if you are a local business mobile is particularly significant as more and more visitors will find your site through location-aware technology that connects users to your website when they are in immediate geographic proximity.
Actions speak louder than words - a mobile website immediately helps you stand out and presents a positive, contemporary brand identity for your organization. A mobile-optimized website makes a positive statement before you've said anything.
A mobile website can be accessed anywhere, any time. This level of constant connectivity provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect with target audiences in new ways, wherever they may be.
A mobile website puts your organization in a position to stand out among competitors. If your website does not look good on a smartphone users will move on to one that does. A mobile website ensures that you - not your competitors - capture visitor attention while you have it.
For example, here is an article which speaks to Google urging businesses to get on mobile--and the warnings to those who don't: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2011/09/22/44pc-of-holiday-searches-will-happen-via-mobile-google. Key points:
So basically - if you're a business and you care about being effective for the growing number of users who access the Internet on smartphones, you'd better have a mobile site.
Mobile devices are unique in their ability to immediately bridge the gap between online and offline media through the use of QR codes. QR codes can be displayed in print and when scanned with a smartphone can direct users to a specific website URL. QR codes have been used regularly in Japanese and European advertising for years, and are now getting increasing usage in the US. This means that your advertisements, brochures, posters - even billboards - can contain QR codes that will direct users to mobile landing pages that contain much more information and interactivity than can be afforded on the printed page. This integration between print and web via mobile adds a new dimension of communication to any advertising or outreach effort.
A mobile website is generally a much less restrictive means to build a mobile presence compared to app development. For one thing, app development requires the production of different apps for different platforms (e.g. iPhone vs. Android vs. Blackberry), and submission to an app store--making apps much more fragmented and expensive to produce with a longer timeline before they reach target visitors. Most importantly, an app requires users to download the app before it can be accessed.
On the other hand, a mobile website is universal to all contemporary smartphone browsers, making a mobile website more flexible and cost efficient, with fewer barriers between you and your target users. Of course, there are some applications that are better-suited to an app format (interactive games being a primary example), and often it makes sense to have both an app and a mobile website. But for a well-rounded mobile presence a mobile-optimized website is generally a practical and effective first step. Learn more about Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps.
Mobile advertising is growing at a rapid pace and presents many new opportunities for reaching target audiences with unprecedented precision. If your organization advertises on Google AdWords or other PPC networks there is a good chance your ads may also be appearing in mobile listings (depending on your account settings). However, with mobile advertising you will want to ensure that your ads lead to mobile-optimized landing pages, rather than your regular desktop site, for optimal results and maximum ROI. Learn more about Qfuse for PPC and Mobile Ad Campaigns.
The mobile web is no longer a concept - it is a mainstream reality that will impact any organization that aims to communicate with target audiences online. Most leading industry analysts project that within a few short years mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. The responsibility now falls on website owners to take advantage of the unique opportunities mobile offers for connecting with the growing number of visitors who will inevitably access their website on mobile devices.
A mobile website provides improved rankings on mobile-friendly search engines such as Google and Yahoo, and also allows placement in a growing number of mobile and local directories.
The way search engines are integrating mobile-specific sites into their search results is still in its infancy, but Google has come out publicly and said that they encourage all businesses to develop sites optimized for mobile display, and that they will be giving preference to mobile sites in their results for searches that are conducted via mobile (just makes sense that they would want mobile-friendly sites for mobile search). But exactly how much this is a factor today is hard to say.
Mobile microsites and mobile landing pages provide a way to reach customers quicker and with "to the point" messaging. This often cannot be accomplished nearly as well on a desktop site. With a mobile site you will have a customer's complete attention on a much smaller area, so you should focus your message and convey a clean and succinct call to action. Learn more about why the messaging on a mobile site should differ from a desktop site.
To learn more about how Qfuse can work for your organization, simply complete the form below and we'll be happy to follow-up with additional information, including: