The days when we needed desktops and laptops to surf the internet are totally behind us. Internet, today has moved from just being accessed from the desks to being with us anywhere and everywhere we go. Mobile Phones with internet access today has become the most basic amenity of any household. This has also give rise to the term “Internet on you fingertips” or “Internet on the go”. The internet on mobile has also moved on from GPRS to GPRS edge to 3G to 4G. In some countries users today have access to the 4G LTE(Long Term Evolution). Some of the top trends of the year like the Instagram and Dropbox are popular just becomes of the smartphone devices, thus increasing the importance of mobile friendly websites for brands!
If you own a website that best fits in a PC browser then it is very difficult for users try and access your site because of the screen size of the mobile and also because of the loading time your website takes. On many smartphones a normal website could be accessed but chances are that the website might look real crappy and ensure that user logs out right away! Thus, a mobile friendly websites a must for business owners and brands.
1. Missing Out On Prospective Clients
In today’s scenario, many small and medium businesses have a website for promoting their products or services. But, what is the use of a website which is not in the reach of millions of users? Take a scenario, suppose there are two restaurant owners A and B. Both of them have their websites, the only exception being ‘A’ also has a mobile-optimized website but ‘B’ does not. Thus, when a mobile user searches for a restaurant nearby, he would be getting the details of the ‘A’ restaurant and ‘B’ loses out just because it did not have a mobile friendly website. According to a survey, 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. Google claims it to be 80%!
2. Sheer Growth of Mobile Users
According to a research, mobile Internet usage is growing 30% every year. In May 2012 alone, 10.11 percent of Website hits/pageviews come from a handheld mobile devices. The below graph shows a comparison of web usage through PC Vs Mobile. In Jan 2009, just a handful of users, apprx. 0.1% of Internet usage worldwide was through mobile devices. But in just 3 years the figure has risen to 10.11% worldwide.
The same statistics when compared in India alone the figure has risen from 0.2% in Jan 2009 to a staggering 48% in May 2012.
3. Increase in Moblie-only Web Users
Many mobile Web users are mobile-only, i.e. they do not, or very rarely also use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. In many developing nations the majority of Web users are mobile-only.
- Egypt: 70%
- India: 59%
- South Africa: 57%
While in developed nations this percentage is less but still is significant
- US: 25%
- UK: 22%
- Russia: 19%
4. Local Mobile
Most of the mobile users use mobile internet to search for local information like a shop address or phone number, for restaurants, etc. About 60% call or visit the location after searching for them through mobile devices and the average time to take an action after searching on mobile is about 1 hour. This is huge. Thus, if you are a local business and do not have mobile optimized site then you are surely losing big bucks!
5. Google’s way of indexing mobile content is different
Yes, when it comes to mobile content, Google indexes the content in a totally different manner. Dues to this, ranking higher on google becomes much easier as Google does not have much data yet. Thus, if you get your mobile websites now you have a great chance of ranking higher in google when your competitors come around!
6. Websites are better than Apps
Many might argue, why not just have apps for mobile users. But, according to a survey users prefer websites to their counterparts apps by 4:1 thus making mobile websites ever more important. Many users do not even know what apps are and how to use apps. but they surely know to surf the web in search of information!
7. Google’s Recommendation!
Even Google is out with an initiative to make business owners aware of mobile friendly websites. Google launched GoMo that aims to help businesses go mobile. Google also created website HowToGoMo to provide information on the topic and even includes a feature that lets you see how your site looks on mobile devices.
So What Next?
So, by now, if you have decided to go mobile! then you really have three options
- Go for a Responsive Website, which would work on any device, desktop, laptop or tablets! (Highly Recommended)
- Go for Separate Mobile sites
- Go for Separate Mobile Apps(Not recommended)
In a future article, I would be dwelling more into what is best, a responsive web design or a separate mobile website? Till then, let us know in comments as to what you think of this topic. We would love to hear your views on this!