Why Do I Need a Mobile Website for My Local Business?

You finally have your website tweaked and fine-tuned the way you want it.  It’s attractive, inviting, extremely informative and even search-engine optimized.  But when you call it up on your smartphone or tablet, how does it look?

Websites that aren’t scaled for mobile devices often don’t perform well when accessed on those platforms.  Information may be hard to read or even omitted if it doesn’t fit on the screen.  Buttons and drop down menus may be too difficult to access, or the website may simply take too long to load.  By creating a scalable mobile website, you can eliminate those problems and take advantage of the booming business opportunities available through the rapidly expanding mobile community.

Mobile Searches are on the Rise

Smart phones are growing in popularity, and there are now over 4 billion mobile devices in use around the world.  Many people have completely replaced their personal computers with a smart phone or tablet.  Along with calling and texting, people are increasingly using these devices for mobile banking, online shopping and to search for local businesses.  In fact, mobile searches have increased by five times over the last two years.

According to the latest research, 52% of all local searches are done on a mobile phone, and 9 out of 10 mobile searches end in a purchase.  That’s a pretty good reason to want to ensure that your website is as effective when displayed on a mobile device as on a PC.  What are the major advantages of a mobile website?

Less is More

In order to optimize your website for a mobile device, you must pare away all the excess information and focus on the message.  Mobile users don’t want to read all that tiny text, or have to scroll around on your page to find the information they’re looking for.  Condense the site down to the most important information, and be sure to include your call to action.

Don’t be afraid of white space.  In the case of a mobile site, white space is good.  You’ll need to leave plenty of space between buttons or menus so that a user can access them easily, even with fat fingers.  Keep your site navigation simple and easy to use.

Scalability is Key

Smart phones and tablets come in a wide variety of sizes these days.  If your mobile website is set to just one size and doesn’t scale, it may appear illegible, or run off the edge of the page when accessed on a different sized device.  A good scalable website program will detect the type of device of the accessing user and automatically scale itself to fit the page.

Optimal Loading Speed

Another reason for creating a mobile site is that your original web page may take a very long time to load.  Mobile users already have to deal with poor reception, so you don’t want your site’s large size to be part of the problem.  A mobile website is pared down and designed to load quickly.  Flash and other non-compatible multimedia elements should be left out.  Most marketing specialists agree, consumers will give your site about five seconds to load before moving on, so once again, less is more.

Finally, mobile websites come up higher in local search results performed on mobile devices, giving you an edge over competitors who may not be leveraging the power of mobile marketing.  And most mobile platforms provide free reporting and analytic tools to track the success of your mobile website.  Be sure to integrate your mobile website with your social media pages to boost your profits even more!