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Mobile Website Design: What It Is and Why You Need It

Your company needs a website. In today’s world, a business without a website is missing out on one of the most important marketing tools available. The web has become the number one resource for people to find what they are looking for. In fact, if people see that you don’t have a website, it’s likely they will simply assume that you are not a credible business. Chances are pretty good that this is not news to you. Your company probably has a website and it has for quite some time. But are you aware of the importance it is for your site to be mobile as well?

The Mobile Website Revolution

The world of personal computing is rapidly changing. Desktop and even laptop computers are becoming less and less relevant as smartphones and tablets rise to the top. Anywhere you go in public, there is a pretty good chance that you can easily find someone focused in on their phone. Take a look at these stats from the Mobile Marketing Association to get a better picture of just how prevalent mobile devices have become.

  • 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7.
  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour.
  • There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone, but only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.
  • The growth of the iPhone was 10 times faster than the growth of America Online.
  • In some countries, there are more mobile subscriptions than there are people.
  • It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message.

With so many people having mobile devices, it can be expected that they are using them as well. In 2013, Cisco reported that mobile traffic grew by 81% in 2013 alone. And this year, it is estimated that mobile will overtake desktop internet use. It’s clear that the world is going mobile and unless your business is going with it you’ll be left in the dust.

What Is Mobile Website Design?

A typical website is designed to view properly on a larger screen, like a desktop monitor or a laptop. When viewing that same website on a small smartphone screen or tablet, it is no longer optimized for viewing and issues with the ability to use the site occur. Often, full websites viewed on a mobile device will eliminate the ability to view it in its entirety. Images will be cut off, text will be left unreadable, and links will be missing. Also affected is the navigation of a site. It can be very difficult or impossible to scroll across a page on a smaller screen. Mobile website design is the creation of a website that is specifically made to view correctly on a mobile device. Your website can detect that a viewer is on a mobile device, and will redirect them to your mobile website, which will automatically appear when they point their browser to your web address.

Link to Mobile Website Preview

Typically, a mobile website will be a version of your site that contains fewer graphics, but still provides your important content. The sites use a single column layout that condenses everything for the mobile user. They are basically a simple version of your website. That does not mean they are always easier to design. In fact, because of the limitations of mobile hardware and the variety of mobile device brands and types they can be just as difficult to build as your main site, and remain just as important. It is of key importance that a balance is found to satisfy the needs of the mobile user while eliminating some incompatible full website features.

Why You Need a Mobile Website

Studies have shown that if your website takes more than three seconds to load, 57% of viewers will simply move on to another site. If your website is not mobile friendly, 40% of mobile users will leave immediately. If you have an e-commerce page, 30% of your purchases will be abandoned if your shopping cart is not mobile optimized. Combine that with the massive growth in mobile web usage and you can see how much it can affect a business that does not have a mobile site.

Another consideration is that in 2013, Google changed their search ranking algorithm, named Hummingbird, and made it clear that mobile is the way of the future. Websites that are not optimized for use on mobile devices will have a difficult time rising in the search rankings under the new algorithm.

While it’s clear that your business can suffer without a mobile site, there are also some important advantages that you certainly don’t want to miss out on. Nielsen provides the following.

  • Seventy percent of mobile searches lead to action within one hour, three times higher than the rate for desktop searches.
  • 30% have used their phone to decide whether to visit a business in the past 30 days.
  • Mobile users that find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop.
  • A mobile optimized site is able to generate almost twice the average per user traffic than sites without optimization.
  • 51% of website visitors are more likely to do business with a company that has a mobile site.
  • Your users will have a better experience and will be much more likely to return to your site in the future providing increased brand engagement.

What Should My Mobile Website Focus On?

Aside from the main design features touched on earlier, designing a mobile website must take into consideration the way mobile users interact with their devices. A typical interaction with a website on a mobile device needs to be quick and easy for the user. Oftentimes the user is not just sitting at their desk with time to spare, but are in between meetings or browsing during their lunch. Your site should be designed to provide information that is broken into segments that can be quickly and easily understood.

Surveys have shown that mobile users typically do business with a business based on impulse. It is also shown in some statistics that mobile users spend more money when using a mobile device than a desktop. Because of this, your mobile site should be intuitive and make the path to buy a product or connect with your business simple. Because mobile users are more likely to make decisions on the run and need the information so quickly, your website should align with those needs as well. Any call to actions (CTA’s) should be designed in a way that places them right up front. Whatever it is you want your viewers to do needs to jump out at them.

Hire a Professional Mobile Website Designer

Even if you have designed websites, or even mobile websites before, it is always a good idea to hire a professional. The obvious reason is because they do it every day and can keep up with the ever-changing world of website development. Just as you are probably better off hiring an electrician to rewire your home, you are probably better off hiring a web developer to build your mobile website. Some of the largest benefits include reduced development time and expenses, increased quality, reduced errors, increased information security, and many others.

The internet has changed the way we live and can be a phenomenal tool for your business to grow. Using it correctly can turn a small local shop into a worldwide corporation. With that increased opportunity, also comes the increased need to remain on the cutting edge. It is more important than ever before to provide the best experience for your customers. It’s clear that in today’s marketplace, your business needs a website. And, your business needs to make it mobile.

Contact us for a free consultation and we would be glad to answer any questions and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.