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Do you really need a mobile website?

by  David Dwyer on  15/09/2015    863 Reads

Mobile Specific Websites | How could a mobile website help your business?

How do most of your customers find you?  Probably online.  When do they find you?  If it’s during the working day, the chances are it will be in their breaks – and they’ll be using their phone or tablet, as employers increasingly discourage people from doing private browsing on company computers.  Or they may be searching for you while they’re waiting for their bus or train; again, they’ll be using a mobile device. 

Over 50% of internet access happens via mobile devices now; indeed in South Korea over 74% prefer to access the internet from a mobile rather than a desktop computer.  Those searchers are increasingly likely to both carry out their research and make the actual purchase from you using a mobile.

Retailers are taking advantage of the trend.  The largest online fashion retailer in India is myntra.com.  They've recently gone "app only" and it’s no longer possible to buy direct from their own website. Instead, you’re directed to download their app and check out through that.

I'm very interested in how this works out.  The move hands myntra greater control on push notifications, encouraging greater engagement with their customers; it also gives them a "first mover" competitive advantage over their competition in having users install their app.  But equally there will be a large segment of their customer base who do not download the app and simply go elsewhere.   

Google differentiates between mobile-friendly sites and sites designed purely for desktop computers or laptops.  Any search on a mobile now will tell if the site you're about to visit is "mobile friendly"; you can then choose to visit those that are friendly or not.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your website will have a poorer Search Engine Ranking Placement compared to sites that are friendly. So you may not appear near the top of the search results on a mobile device, unless the person has specifically searched for your company. 

It’s not just Google that dislikes non-mobile-friendly sites, either.  Customers find them clunky, and bounce rates are much higher.  In a LinkedIn group post on this subject, one respondent noted that the bounce rate had reduced by 11% and average visitor time on the site had increased by 25% since they made the switch to a mobile-specific site.  That’s a huge increase in engagement – and when people want to stay on your site and read about your products or services they’re much more likely to buy from you. 

Essentially, businesses that have no customised mobile presence online are missing a trick, and it’s our mission to encourage our clients to avoid losing out on these opportunities. 

Websites are typically designed to fit one of three formats: PC, tablet and mobile. We adopted the approach of having tablet first (desktop=tablet layout) + mobile layout. We can build a mobile site for you for as little as £395 +VAT. People are often looking for different information when they’re out and about – a clickable link to your phone number, for example, or an interactive map so they can find your premises – which wouldn’t be so relevant on a PC site. 

Because mobile-specific sites can be smaller they load quickly, and they automatically fit the screen on the particular device the reader is using.  They’re designed to be easier to use: for instance, the buttons are big enough to be hit with a finger rather than being pointed at with a mouse or touch-pad. 

With so many good reasons to have a mobile-specific website, isn’t it time you gave us a call to find out how we can tailor one to improve your business?

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.

 

Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos

Inspire Web Development, Inspire Web Services, Mobile Apps, Mobile Websites
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