I typically wander through the web on any given day opening discussions on LinkedIn and other social media. Recently Google came to Mobile, AL to discuss the benefits of a mobile website in a GoMo initiative. I attended, and was curious what other local business owners had thought of it. I posed the question to one of my LinkedIn groups and got a great response back that I wanted to share:
Gary, I saw all the advance hoopla by Sullivan St. Clair (I believe now going by the name of Red Square) about this, but I didn’t go in for a “free” consultation once I read you had to give them a credit card number to participate.
My website seems to come up just fine as is on mobile devices, so I’m wondering what the real advantage is. Will be interested in the responses.
My Response follows:
Most websites will come up just fine on a mobile device, what’s important is how they’re viewed. The primary benefit to having a website or landing pages optimized for mobile is they provide an improved user experience by design.
With a standard website, the contents are shrunk down considerably in order to display as much of the content as possible. A user then has to zoom manually or double tap the screen to scale up/zoom a particular section. Once zoomed, they’re forced to scroll around. Mobile sites are designed for those handheld devices and tablets and automatically adjust to fit the screen. This keeps you in line with best-practices for online marketing and digital sales funnels, where you want to minimize the clicks and actions of a prospect in order to keep them engaged in the buying process.
Load time – Mobile optimized sites load faster, as the markup is streamlined for optimal download/load speed on a device that doesn’t have the same computing power as a current-gen pc/mac system. (at least not yet). The difference is only a few seconds, but when it comes to browsing online, most people don’t even like wasting a few seconds and they’ll back up to try a different website.
Enagegement/Targeted Content – This is a big one, because it allows you to offer mobile-specific features that including things like mapping functions and click-to-call. A great option for local businesses is how mobile devices are movin to location-aware technology. As this technology grows into the mainstream, mobile phones will be able to connect to a mobile optimized website when a user is in the immediate geographic proximity to your business.
When you combine a well-developed mobile website with offline media including QR codes, you can bridge the gap between on and offline marketing, effectively staying engaged with your clients. Imagine having a simple SMS marketing flag on a table, or a QR code, that sends a customer in your location to a mobile landing page on their smartphone. Through that page they can easily opt-in to receive future special offers.
The mobile web is no longer a concept – it’s a mainstream reality that will impact any organization that aims to communicate with target audiences online. Most leading industry analysts project that within a few short years, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. The responsibility now falls on website owners to take advantage of the unique opportunities mobile offers for connecting with the growing number of visitors who will inevitably access their website on mobile devices.
Morgan Stanley released an exhaustive report last year citing the tremendous growth and the future of the mobile web, stating that based on current focus and adoption, the mobile web will be more widely used than desktop internet use by 2015.
Check out the full article from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/04/13/mobile-web-stats/