It's absolutely amazing how fast the internet has changed. This has created significant changes in how local businesses run; how they gather customers, how they communicate and how they manage their daily operations.
It also provides significant opportunities for those businesses that stay current with their marketing practices. Remember, you must stay in front of your customers..wherever they are. Now and into the future, your customers are mobile and a mobile website is necessary.
Your Customers Are Rapidly Moving to Mobile Devices
The days of reaching your customers with newspaper ads and flyers is over. Sure, there will always be a place for 'older' forms of marketing, but your customers dictate where you need to reach them. Those businesses that don't throw their bait into a new lake will certainly have trouble keeping up. Many will fold up their cards and go home.
Just look at the numbers:
- According to Google, 40% of mobile search now has a local intent
- Between 2009-2010, mobile advertising spending has increased 75% while newspaper advertising spending has decreased 7%
- 83% of adults are mobile phone users
Mobile Websites Are Needed
Have you ever used a mobile device and reached a non-mobile website. It's like a maze in the palm of your hand. You have to scroll back and forth, up and down…and frankly, I just close down the site. Regular websites are not designed to be viewed on these small devices.
Those who uses mobile devices expect a different experience than those using a desktop computer. Many mobile device users are on the go and want the vital information for your business.
- An easy way to call you
- Your location
- A map
- What you do
- Coupons or deals
- Possibly a way to buy from you
So give them what they want and don't make it hard for them.
Mobile Optimized Website vs. Mobile Website
There are two ways that you can move forward to create a mobile website. You can create a mobile site off of your existing regular website or you can have a complete mobile website developed in addition to your regular website.
Mobile optimization will work in certain circumstances. If you have a site that is mostly article or blog driven then it may be more easily converted to an optimized site. These are typically cheaper and work well in certain situations.
A fully developed mobile site is usually a sure bet if you have a more developed regular website. Since websites are not meant to be viewed on smaller screens, developing a mobile site is often good for many businesses. It is more expensive to develop a mobile site than to optimize an existing website, but in my opinion, well worth it.
Those involved in business should not be hiding their head in the sand. Instead, use this opportunity to reach more customers…on their turf. Mobile is here to stay and you'll need to either catch the wave or be swept under it.