A mobile / responsive design website is now an absolute necessity for doing business. Whether your company is a brick and mortar or an e-commerce operation, it must have a reachable and functional mobile presence in order to accommodate the worldwide trend of mobile search and surf.
Here’s the proof of why mobile web sites are crucial to every company: in September of 2012, desktop search declined for the first time since it’s been measured. In Facebook’s IPO prospectus, the social media giant officially disclosed for the first time that 90 percent of their 1+ billion users accessed their network on a mobile device. Of Twitter’s 500+ million registered users, over 55 percent interact with the social platform via mobile. In an average month, Amazon fetches 49.6 million unique mobile visitors.
But it’s not just websites that fare well, Walmart sees about 16 million mobile visitors per month, while Target has a monthly mobile traffic flow of about 10 million and Best Buy clocks-in 7+ million mobile visits a month, according to comScore report.
Desktop and Local Search
The obvious reason for the decline in desktop search is due to mobile ubiquity. As the figures above make clear, consumer trends are decidedly on-the-go. Communication via social networks, downloaded apps, texting, email and voice can all be done on a smartphone or tablet. And because of this undeniable trend, one Wall Street analyst believes that Google might “disappear” in about five years as people speak to search increasingly more than type.
Several companies have a subdomain set up specifically for mobile phones. So, for example, when users type www.ESPN.com into a smartphone, the ESPN site actually figures out that they are visiting the site from a mobile device and redirects them to a subdomain. The user experience from the phone is different than the user experience at a computer. —Inc.com
Regardless of Big G’s staying-power, you’ve probably noticed that when you enter a search query, be it on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, the top results now contain local businesses. That’s because Bing and Google have set their search return properties to assume each query has local intent. Chances are, if you search for coffee or movie times, you want nearby locations.
Meanwhile, sales of mobile-oriented devices are just as staggering as mobile traffic. At the end of 2012, tech giant Apple had sold 85 million iPhones and had also sold nearly 35 million iPads. But these millions of sales do not include other brands such as Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Motorola and Sony. What all this means is mobile advertising will only increase and having a mobile web site is unavoidable.
Essentials for a Mobile / Responsive Design Friendly Website
The biggest obstacle to design mobile website is that it has to have certain elements in order to be both consistent with its desktop counterpart and fully functional. Visitors will simply click or tap away if a mobile site does not meet these core requirements.
Designing a mobile-friendly / responsive website requires certain key features that must be prevalent to keep visitors from leaving and more importantly, to have visitors engage:
- Consistency in look and feel. Chances are excellent if a visitor lands on a mobile website and engage in some way, they will look at the full site. If the two don’t match, it undermines trust and looks unprofessional.
- CTAs or Calls-to-Action. Just like a desktop landing page or a full business website, there has to be at least one CTA. Including wording such as “Tap to Call” or “Click to Call” are important.
- Image optimization and code optimization. It’s crucial to have images appear their best on a mobile-friendly website. In addition, it must be coded correctly to interact with a different type of software.
- Ease of navigation, including large buttons. A disadvantage that many mobile properties have is size. Visitors prefer large buttons and demand the site be easy to navigate. Scrolling from top to bottom works best.
Even businesses with responsive design websites can benefit from a responsive website because it’s customized precisely to work smartphones and tablets on their firmware. Therefore, it doesn’t have to “adapt” and all features function as normal, just as they would on their desktop counterpart.
If your business needs a mobile website designed to reach more customers and complement your full site, then contact us for a free consultation. We can explain the many benefits of having a website for mobile and design one that’s fully functional while mimicking your full site.