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Why your website needs to support mobile devices

Not so very long ago Blackberries were the gadget for keeping business executives productive and working on the hoof. Now there are numerous sophisticated little pocket rockets that get your entire workplace on the move.

“The Blackberry was a life-changing business tool, but the iPad takes it to the next level,” said Rothschild Executive Chairman Trevor Rowe. Irrespective of whether your preference is iPad, iPhone, Android or super-mini laptop, the stats show that mobile devices are the business when it comes to Internet usage…

According to Gartner, sales of mobile devices rose a further 6% in 2011, with smartphones showing the strongest growth, and sales via mobile devices 250% up year on year in March 2012. LinkedIn reports massive mobile growth in the business-orientated network, with mobile views up 400% year-on-year. And StatCounter says that in January 2012, 8.49% of website hits, pages or views came from a handheld mobile device.

Since mobile is increasing, it’s hardly surprising that marketers are allocating greater proportions of their budgets to it.

Around one third of companies surveyed for Econsultancy’s Marketing Budgets 2012, intended ‘to invest in mobile commerce (34%), mobile advertising (31%) and mobile optimised emails (31%). Yet worryingly, ‘despite the widespread adoption of mobile… the vast majority of companies are not designing their websites or marketing emails specifically for mobile devices.’

Traditional websites are typically designed to be viewed on a large computer screen, so to capitalise on the uptake in mobile usage, and provide the very best possible user experience, your website needs to be able to cope with smaller displays, zooming in and out, touch-screen navigation and both portrait and landscape orientation screens. Also bear in mind that not all mobile devices support Flash and Javascript, so at the very least you need a site that functions without these.

5 good to go reasons for making your site mobile-friendly:

1. A mobile-friendly site increases overall traffic by 13%*

2. 61% of user who have a bad experience (such as difficult navigation) won’t be back*

3. Improves your rankings in mobile search results – according to blog.utalkmarketing.com/mobile/why-do-i-need-a- mobile website, ‘Google gives more value to mobile websites in search results in mobile devices.’ Since it’s still relatively early days, ‘this presents you with a key opportunity to be ranked higher than your competitors for your keywords if they currently don’t have a mobile site, or will enable you to compete with them if they do.’

4. Many devices share GPS data so that Google can deliver location-sensitive results. To show up high when relevant searches are made, your business location needs to be registered correctly on Google Maps, and your website correctly linked to your free ‘Google Places’ entry. Gartner reports that approximately 96 million mobile searches performed in 2009 were by those looking for ‘location-based’ service. Research from eMarketer reveals that 87% of mobile users searching local content are on GPS enabled devices. (www.technorati.com)

5. Reporting and analytic tools make it easy to track how a mobile-friendly site helps make your business more profitable. Integrate social media too and your business will be even more ‘upwardly mobile!’

Go for it!

Mobile-friendly versions of your site will help you extend your reach, ensure mobile users enjoy a positive experience and lift you higher in the mobile search rankings.

The smart move? B2B marketers should talk to AdStorm for customised mobile sites, mobile-friendly versions of your existing site and cost-effective ways to tap into the mobile revolution.

*www.vidahost.com

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AdStorm Limited | Charter House | Sandford Street | Lichfield | WS13 6QA | T: 08456 444 567 | E: [email protected]