After reading this post, whether you decide to optimize your website for mobile use or not is ultimately up to you. I’m sure there are some perfectly good reasons not to optimize your site. I mean some people simply aren’t interested in more web traffic, higher CTR’s, happy visitors, and new business. However, for those of you whom these ideas entice, I would suggest that you begin to create your mobile website as soon as possible because for every second you aren’t going mobile, your competitors are. Keep reading to learn a little more about why going mobile might be a good idea for your business.
1. Mobile Internet is a Rapidly Expanding Market
The mobile internet market is expanding, and rapidly. OK now get ready because I’m about to throw some statistics your way.
- As of Jan. 2011, there are 83 million mobile web users in the US.
- Smartphone shipments surpassed feature phone shipments in Q2 of 2011.
- There was a 35% Y/Y growth in 3G subscribers from 2010 to 2011.
- For most websites, mobile traffic grew by 50%-100% this year.
- Mobile web use more than doubled in 2010 with 110% annual growth.
If all goes as projected, these trends will continue to grow. It is been proposed that by 2015, mobile web will have its inevitable take over of the desktop computer. To put this all into perspective, the rate at which the smartphone trend is rising is equal to if not higher than that of the initial emergence of AM radio, television, and the internet. These are without a doubt some of the most influential technologies produced in the past century. However, apart from these other technologies, the smartphone is still in its infancy, this is only the beginning.
2. Fundamental Design Differences Between Mobile and Stationary Websites
A mobile website and a regular stationary website are profoundly different in terms of their design. A website that works perfectly fine on a desktop computer may not work as intended, or at all on a mobile phone. For instance, websites made with Flash will not work at all on an iPhone. Most mobile users have specific reasons for going to that website, a mobile site needs to cater to the specific interests of the mobile customer. Screen size and connection speed are another two things that you need to keep in mind for your mobile site. Regular websites may be way to big for the small mobile screen and slower connection speeds may cause them to load extremely slowly. When it comes to mobile websites, your site needs to be formatted for easy navigation on the small screen with as little text entry as possible and touch friendly links.
3. Mobile Sites Have Higher Web Traffic and Higher a CTR’s
Abandonment rates for websites that do not have a mobile website or at least a mobile optimized landing page are way over 75%, meaning people will leave the website after about 2-5 seconds. People do not want do not want to visit a site on their phone if it is not optimized specifically for their phone. Not only will a mobile website boost your mobile traffic but it will boost your overall traffic. Most businesses see a 12%-15% spike in new traffic within 2-4 weeks after launching their mobile site. Perhaps this is related to the click through rates for mobile sites. While typical stationary websites only generate about a 2% click through rate, CTR from mobile search is 3 times higher. If a possible consumer or client likes your mobile site they are more likely to visit your site from a desktop computer as well. Correspondingly, 61% of visitors will not return back to a site on the phone or on a computer if they find your mobile website to be difficult to navigate through.
4. Google has a Separate Index for Mobile Websites
Google has two separate indexes, one for traditional content and one for mobile content. Your Google mobile SEO results are likely to be much different than SEO results that stem from a Google search performed on a laptop of desktop. Although growing rapidly, Google’s mobile index is fairly empty when compared to the standard Google index. Meaning, mobile websites have less competition than websites that are accessed from a PC. This is a great way for you to reach clients that normally may not find your business through a traditional Google search. However, right now, mobile search is at the height of its popularity. In an October 2011 study on internet trends, KPCB found that since 2007, mobile search has grown 4X. The opportunity to take advantage of this less populated index will not last long; now is the time to optimize.
5. Email Marketing
If your business currently implements or plans on using any sort of email marketing campaign in the future, your website must be optimized for mobile use. As more and more people across the U.S. are purchasing smartphones, mobile e-mail is growing in popularity. As of last November, ComScore found that 43.5 million people in the U.S. use their mobile phones to check their e-email on a daily basis. If the people that you target in your email marketing campaign check their e-mail on their phones and are taken to a sight that is not optimized for mobile use they are most likely to leave the site. You don’t want to waste your money on an e-mail marketing campaign that most people won’t even bother to look at.