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You're losing business without a mobile website

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By Andrew Ballard
Growth Strategies
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
  • Andrew Ballard

    Andrew Ballard

It doesn't matter whether your company is targeting a consumer, a business or both segments, if your website is not mobile enabled, you're leaving money on the table — based on your industry — possibly a lot of money.
As of last month, reported by MarketingCharts, 94.5 percent of small and midsize business' websites are not mobile optimized. If you're not yet convinced, maybe a few additional stats will inspire you to mobilize your online presence and content.
Personal computer sales have been declining for some time. During the first quarter of 2013, sales for the PC market were at an all-time low, declining 13.9 percent in just the past three months. So what is precipitating this collapse in PC commerce? Not surprisingly, it is smartphone and tablet sales, with recent increases of 36 percent and 28 percent respectively.
As of February 2013, 133.7 million people in the U.S. own a smartphone, which equates to a 57 percent mobile market penetration (source: comScore MobiLens). As expected, the smartphone share of the mobile market will continue to grow at an exponential rate.
Fully 53 percent of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day (Source: Mobile Marketing Association survey) and ad spending trends in the U.S for mobile marketing are expected to grow 269 percent by 2016 (source: emarketer). Combined, these two statistics make obvious why it is so important that you mobile enable your website.
Websites that are not mobile enabled deliver an inferior user experience, in terms of navigation, touch (versus click) and conversation rates. Mobile-enabled websites maintain the same brand presentation and are formatted for a smaller screen, making them easier to read and navigate.
With the development of compliance standards, there is no need to develop multiple versions of your site to be mobile and tablet accessible. In addition, mobile-enabled websites created through most of the popular conversion apps are compatible with all of the major mobile smartphone platforms, including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows.
There are several apps available that can quickly mobile-enable your website. These apps are priced from free (with advertising embedded), to the most popular paid applications ranging from $5 to $10 per month. Converting your website to mobile requires no programming skills and usually only takes about 15 minutes.
If you have video streaming from your website, you'll want to convert your video content to play on mobile devises as well. Similar to making your website mobile enabled, there are several applications that allow you to optimize video for mobile devices. If you are serving your website video(s) from You Tube, that platform also has a simple conversion process.
Our adept technology director, Dan Byrd, shares with our clients, "Search engines are now ranking sites higher that cater to a better user experience (in terms of search algorithms). Internet browsing through mobile devices, along with longer page visits, translates to higher search indexing."
This is the case because mobile searches are on the rise, while PC searches are on the decline. So, from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, mobilizing your website makes good sense.
If your website is not mobile friendly, you're losing sales opportunities. My suggestion, stop leaving money on the table by putting your businesses in the 5.5 percent that have mobilized their Web presence.
Andrew Ballard is the president of Marketing Solutions, a local agency specializing in growth strategies. For more information, call 425-337-1100 or go to www.mktg-solutions.com.
Story tags » SCBJ BusinessSCBJ ColumnistsSCBJ Marketing

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