If you don't think a mobile optimized website for your business is a must-have, your company might be stuck in the last decade.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports that, as of January 2014, 90 percent of American adults own cell phones, 58 percent have smartphones, and 63 percent use their phones to go online. In fact, 34 percent rely mostly on their cell phones instead of any other device to access the Internet.
In other words, if your company website cannot be browsed on a mobile device, then more than one-third of your market can't find you online.
If that's not motivation enough to establish a mobile presence, here are seven more arguments to consider:
1. Your customers can probably find your competition on their mobile devices. Adobe reports that more than half of all businesses have a mobile-enhanced site or mobile app. Consumers making quick comparison-shopping decisions rely on easily accessible mobile-enhanced sites. If you're not on mobile, you're not even in the running against your competitors who are.
2. Customers searching for store hours and locations rely most on mobile. Pew Research reported in 2012 that 86 percent of adult smart phone owners used their device to access just-in-time information, such as a restaurant or other business's hours or reviews. And more current research shows that 74 percent use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. If quick information like hours of operation, contact information, and directions to your physical store can't be found on a mobile-enhanced site, you're missing out on business.
3. Users turn away from unfriendly user experiences online. Even if customers can open your traditional website on a mobile device, it might not look right if it's not mobile-optimized. The website you invested so much in to make a great first impression on a computer screen leaves mobile visitors with a bad first impression. Not only are customers likely to bounce to your competitor's mobile-enhanced site, but they'll tell a friend how bad yours is: It's estimated that customers tell twice as many people about bad experiences than positive ones.
4. Ease-of-use leads to more sales. Adobe reported that businesses with a mobile-optimized site were three times more likely to have a higher mobile conversion rate than businesses without one. It's a no-brainer: higher conversion rates means more sales. In fact, about one-fourth of Adobe's survey respondents rated mobile-optimized sites as highly effective for conversion.
5. Search engines like mobile sites, they really do. Google search puts a priority on user experience, so businesses with mobile-enhanced sites are ranked higher. Plus, Google, Bing, and Yahoo all rank mobile-enhanced sites. So having a mobile-enhanced site will optimize your presence with the search engines.
6. Updating to mobile can be cost effective. Company leaders often worry that updating an existing website to a mobile-optimized site is difficult or costly. Not always true. Wordpress, for example, offers a built-in, easily activated mobile component. And you don't have to enhance all of your content for mobile. Think about the information your audience wants to access quickly from a phone. Focus on just-in-time information such as hours of operation, contact information, and directions.
7. It's not difficult to stand out. Fewer than half of all mobile-enhanced sites provide unique content, which makes it easy for your site to stand out in your market. Test your pages, tailor your content, and consider your mobile-enhanced site an investment in your brand.
Because the internet has forever changed the way we approach purchasing decisions, every management team already knows they need a web presence. And now, a mobile-optimized site is just as crucial.