Go Phone-Friendly: Why You Should Create a Mobile Version of Your Website

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Create a Mobile Friendly Website

Making your website mobile phone friendly becomes increasingly important for your business as the number of cellphone and smartphone users grows exponentially.

A 2011 report on smartphone adoption by Pew Research reports that 83% of Americans own cell phones, with one third owning smartphones. (Smartphones are defined as iPhones and Blackberry devices, as well as phones running the Android, Windows or Palm operating systems.) With 87% of smartphone owners accessing the Internet on their handheld (68% do so on a typical day), publishers and brands have to be sure that their online presence includes a mobile website option that is phone-friendly.

Here’s a look at some of statistics from the Pew Report:

  • 58% of 25-43 year olds own a smartphone
  • 29% of 18-24 year olds own a smartphone
  • 25% of smartphone owners use it as their primary way to go online
  • 59% of adults with a household income above $75,000 own smartphones
  • 48% of adults with a college degree have a smartphone
  • 44% of African-Americans and Latinos are smartphone users

(Pew Research report statistics summary by CrowdScience.com)

Mobile Marketing and Sales Skyrocketing

According to a report on Internet trends by respected venture capitalist, Mary Meeker (reported at Forbes.com):

Global mobile traffic now represents roughly 13% of Internet traffic.

Just three years ago, in 2009, that statistic was at a measly 1%. It edged up to 4% in 2010, and it hit 13% in November 2012, according to StatCounter Global Stats. The reason: more people are buying things through their mobile phones, using them in the store to validate coupons, or social networking, or using GPS-enabled apps. Shopping is the big driving force, though. On Black Friday 2012, the day after Thanksgiving that marks that frenzied start to the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., 24% of all online shopping took place on mobiles and tablet devices, up from 6% in 2010. In India, mobile Internet traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic as of May 2012.

(5 Eye-Opening Stats That Show The World Is Going Mobile, 12/04/2012)

Making Your Website Mobile Phone Friendly: Create a Mobile Version of Your Website

As the user base of smartphones grows, businesses must adapt. If your website doesn’t load properly on a smartphone, you’re leaving a gigantic demographic behind. Even people who have computers often use the internet on their phones instead for on-the-go usage.

Going Phone Friendly is Easy

Don’t hesitate. Create a mobile version of your website! Yes, it does take a bit of development effort. But it’s not as hard as it looks.

First step:  You can easily tell your user’s browser to adapt its page width to whatever width the device is, using the meta viewport tag. That means that whether someone’s looking at the screen from a computer, an iPhone, iPad or an Android, they’ll all see a web page that fits exactly according to their screen.

With some additional development effort, you can create a completely different web interface for phones. This is slightly more complex, but you’ll create a much more seamless user experience. iPhone sites are generally much smaller than typical websites and therefore easier to design.

If you have a WordPress website, you can use a plugin to create a mobile version of your website.

It’s worth talking with your webmaster or your local web designer or programmer to get an estimate of time and cost to create a mobile version of your website.

Mobile Marketing is Profitable

It’s incredibly frustrating to load a web page on a phone and not be able to see it properly. Chances are, if that happens, your prospective customer clicks away from your site and you lose that customer for good.

If they load the site and get a typical, non-phone friendly website, they’ll usually still browse the website. They’re not afraid to scroll a little more or zoom in and out. That said, however, a web “unfriendly” site doesn’t make a very positive impression.

On the other hand, if you take action, making your website mobile phone friendly, you’ll  create a great impression on phone users. They’ll feel like you “get them” and cater to them. They’ll be much more inclined to do business with you by phone — or when they get home to their computers.

Smartphone Users: Forward Thinkers Tend to be Buyers

Whether or not you create a phone-friendly site does depend a bit on your market.

If your business caters ONLY to 60-somethings who are about to retire, as a demographic, they’re likely less inclined to be using smartphones. In that case, you don’t need to create a mobile version of your website.

However, in most markets, the people you want on your website are people who are comfortable using the web. People who are comfortable online are also more comfortable pulling out their credit cards to make online purchases. They move through more pages and see more ads. In short, early adopters of smartphone and tablet technology [iPads] are definitely an audience worth catering to with a phone-friendly website.

The bottom line is this: Smartphones are becoming more and more prevalent all over the world. Give your business a leg up by creating a smartphone-friendly mobile version of your website. It’s not that difficult – in fact, just a few lines of code could make a huge difference to your “Ka-Ching”.

Need Help with Making Your Website Mobile Phone Friendly?Mobile Marketing Blueprint Report

1. Start with reading these articles by my colleague and web developer, Daryl Lozupone at his site, Renegade Tech Consulting:

2. Get a copy of my report, Go Mobile: Mobile Content Marketing Blueprint.

 
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