But most businesses are not yet smartphone-friendly. Is yours?
How do you feel when you open a company’s website on your smartphone and it’s not optimized? Maybe you scroll around enough to see part of the restaurant’s menu or the shop’s selection of running shoes, but you eventually give up, don’t you?
And someone just lost a sale.
Mobile-friendly sites garner more sales, according to a recent study by Web.com. 60 percent of the companies surveyed have a website, but only 14 percent of small business owners host sites that are built specifically for mobile.
And of those 14 percent, 84 percent have seen an increase in new business activity.
Convert Your Site? That Might Work…
The quickest way to take your website or blog mobile is to convert it for smartphones – if you or your designer are using tools that do this automatically.
- Using Blogger.com? Select a mobile template on your blog’s design page.
- For WordPress-based websites, plugins like the highly-rated DudaMobile Website Builder can do a quick conversion.
- Joomla website developers can choose extensions. Mobile Joomla! is one of the most popular.
How well a converted website works on smartphones depends on the design and content of the original site. Simple conversion works best with smaller websites that employ limited graphics, short text content and text-based navigation.
Bottom line: If your current website doesn’t look too bad on a mobile device as is, a quick conversion will probably make it look great. You can evaluate your current site from your desktop with Google’s GoMo mobile simulator.
Mobile Excellence by Design – Think Small for Success
Most business websites are designed to display on large screens, so simply converting a massive, graphics-laden website won’t do the trick. You’ll need to enlist your web team to create a mobile alternative that’s fine-tuned for a wide range of devices.
Developing for a smartphone audience means thinking small in many ways. For example:
- Limit images. Scale images to 320×240 pixels for fast loading and aesthetic excellence.
- Control text content. Mobile users won’t scroll through lengthy content, so excerpt key information from your website content. Make every word count.
- Reduce site scope. Limit page count to the essentials; this will simplify navigation, control development costs and please limited attention spans.
- Simplify navigation. Skip fancy graphical navigation links. Use simple text navigation and make it easily responsive to taps.
- Make contact information prominent. Place it high on the appropriate page(s).
- Forget Flash. Android and Apple devices don’t support Flash.
- Use a Mobile URL. M-dot extensions (m.mysite.com) are a must. Google finds these when mobile users search.
- Take the mobile test. Launch your site on as many smartphones as possible. Enlist staff and friends for testing. Get feedback and make changes.
Get on The Phone — or Get Left Behind
You can see why businesses are converting to mobile so slowly – it’s complicated. If all else fails and your budget allows it, hire a dedicated smartphone designer.
The internet is miniaturizing at a blistering pace. If your message isn’t optimized for smartphones, you will lose sales – and some business prestige.
Stock images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net