Although many assume that inbound marketing or precisely search engine optimization (SEO) is all about rankings and getting traffic through search engines, but that really isn’t the case. And as a part of the digital community, I consider it my responsibility to clear this misconception. However it is easier said than done. One of the basic things that a number of people fail to understand is that inbound marketing is actually all about making your client’s experience better.
With the increasing trend of smartphones and tablets it has become imperative for companies and businesses to have a website and digital applications that are user friendly as they would want to earn their client’s satisfaction and outrun their competitors at the same time. However, the problem with most small and medium sized business (SMB) owners is that they hesitate to invest in mobile websites as they feel that the financial/beneficial return of the investment is not guaranteed. I personally think that their fear is justified because investing thousands of dollars on a website that may or may not pay off is indeed quite a gamble; and as marketers, I feel we are responsible for this fear as we have failed to make them realize the importance of a mobile website and how it can pay off in the long run.
Thanks to AD 60 for providing the Mobile statistics data!
Why is a mobile website necessary?
Mobile websites are important for a number of reasons.
- Mobile Traffic is Increasing
Mobile traffic is increasing rapidly – around 1.2 billion people access the web through their mobile phones. This is a huge number of people and ignoring them would definitely give any SMB’s competitors an even bigger advantage over them.
Above is the analytical data of one of my clients’ websites. Around 44.55% of the people visited the site using their mobiles and tablets.
When people visit a mobile website and it does not respond effectively – meaning they have to spend more time in pinching the screen to increase the layout size in comparison to the time they spend while actually being engaged with it – they are surely expected to be disappointed. But if the design is more responsive, people will be able to access it a lot more comfortably and productively. A good mobile website will take them to their desired location in as fewer clicks as possible – or taps – which in turn will positively impact user experience and potential sales.
Here are the analytics of a website that does not have a mobile friendly version available. The conversion rate from mobile devices is more or less around 0.21%, which I believe can increase massively once they will launch their mobile website – currently under development.
- Mobile purchasing is increasing
As a SMB company, all that is required from the internet and your website is coming up with a way that helps you grow your business and get you more sales. According to a research, the percentage of online purchasing using a mobile phone is growing and analysts believe that the will increase tremendously in the years to come.
One of the major reasons why a brands’ target audience might not purchase from a non mobile-friendly website is due to the turbulence they face in choosing their selected item and also due to the difficulty they come across while providing information (or filling up a form). This can otherwise be done very easily on a site designed with effective smartphone compatibility.
- Mobile Commerce is Growing
Whether an SMB revolves around selling a product or providing a service to other businesses and customers online, it needs to have a mobile website because it enables the company to cater to a larger audience instantaneously. Smart phone cover a wider range of demographics and thus it is easier to reach out to a virtually unlimited number of people.
Men at the moment are ahead as compared to females when it comes to making a purchase from smart phones but the numbers on both sides are increasing rapidly. Not having a mobile friendly website for your business simply means that you are disregarding the 23% of potential customers who would be interested in making a purchase from your website using their cell phones.
The statistics mentioned above can help you take important decisions about the investment that needs to be made for mobile websites. If you have a product or a service that revolves around people of 25 to 34 years of age, then you have no choice but to invest on a mobile website as 71% of the people are using cell phones as indicated in the demographic.
In my opinion, the best idea is to look into Google Analytics, create and understand the demographics and then plan your actions accordingly.
- Quality of the customer base
What is more important than the customer itself is the quality of a customer. An individual who earns more than a predefined ‘average’ income is considered as a quality customer. This stereotype is based on the assumption that a quality customer would be willing to spend more than one who has a below ‘average’ income. Statistics suggest that 60% of smartphone users have higher than an average income. Therefore, the lack of a mobile website will also result on the loss of quality customers who will be willing to spend more on mobile purchases.
Get into your Google Analytics and see the average order value for people accessing your site through their mobile at the moment and you will have an idea about how much can it be increased just by providing them a hassle free experience on their cell phones.
- Mobiles make decision making easy
No intelligent buyer will buy from a website randomly. There is a decision making process that leads them to make a purchase, which is known as the ‘buying process’. Here is a quick infographic of the consumer buying process:
Sometimes this may be very spontaneous; while in other instances it might take a user having to log onto a website multiple times, read reviews, compare the product with alternatives and then finally decide if they should be buying it or not.
The process of researching information and alternatives is way easier on a mobile phone since one just needs connect via simple applications with all the relevant information available in just a matter of a few seconds. Another interesting statistic is that 46% of people browse and research the product online even when they are in stores. Therefore having a mobile-friendly website is important for an SMB company to facilitate potential customers in making decisions favorable in their case.
What Businesses should be Doing at This Point?
I tried to come up with a few reasons emphasizing upon the importance of having a mobile website for your business. However, my advice here is not to make a decision on my call, but to dedicate your time to analyze your Google Analytics data first and see where it leads you!
How to go Mobile Friendly
There are 3 different ways that any SMB can use to go mobile; responsive design, dynamic serving and mobile URLs.
- Responsive Design
This is by far the most powerful approach in which the website has the ability to display the same content by detecting the device, screen size and adjusting the layout accordingly. The URL will be the same for all devices ensuring happy users, happy engines and an even happier SMB!
- Dynamic Serving
Similar to responsive design features, the URL will be the same for desktops and mobiles. However, the web page content being displayed on a desktop will be completely different than the one on the mobile version. With the help of dynamic serving, the server detects a device before returning content. In the case of a desktop, it displays content being specified for desktop versions and if the device is a mobile, it will only show the content being designed for mobile usage.
- Mobile URLs
This is the oldest approach in the mobile website industry. There will be separate URLs for desktops and mobile devices; both experiences will be entirely different. This end up being a lot more technical as there are a lot of things that you need to consider when it comes to SEO.
And finally the most important question! Regardless of the approach that you opt for, how will it pay off?
You have a mobile traffic already
Just check into your Google Analytics account and change the traffic overview from “All Traffic” to “Mobile traffic” and you will see how much traffic you are getting each day from the mobile devices. In case the analytics indicate the presence of mobile traffic already, a mobile website will provide them a better user experience eventually leading to a better rate of conversions for the business.
If you have already invested in a website, you might have to invest a little more on SEO to get more targeted audience traffic. In the case of a mobile website, you already have traffic and you can increase the conversion rate and generate more revenue just by providing better user experience.
How to get more visitors to your mobile site
According to Google, the mobile user experience is a factor in determining Google ranking or results for smart phone searches. Therefore, providing a better user experience may result in a boost in your organic rankings on Google search results for mobiles enabling your website to bring in more mobile visitors and conversions.
Pay attention to these pointers in case you’re interested in further increasing you mobile traffic through a mobile website.
- Page load time for mobile devices matters
The time a page takes to fully load is one of the ranking signals used by Google to rank a website. The system is pretty much the same in case of mobile devices and websites. According to a study, Google wants mobile pages to be loaded within a second or less. At the moment, an average mobile website takes 7 seconds to load. If your page takes longer to load, then you need to fix it as quickly as possible. The quicker the mobile website page loads, its’ organic rankings will be even better allowing more qualified visitors to return to your website.
- Optimize according to the Mobile-User Intent
If you’re mobile website will be optimized according to the user’s intent, the chances of user to customer conversion will be higher. At the same time, this will also help you get better search engine rankings for mobiles. In the case of mobile shoppers, half of them tend to make a purchase within an hour so it is very important for your mobile website to display only the information that matters to the user’s intent instead of offering irrelevant options to them.
- Consider Conversational and Voice search
While using voice search options, mobile users might not use keywords along with locations ; they may possibly just ask questions – for example, “Where is the nearest pizza house?” If you can include physical locations and incorporate them with conversational search terms in content strategies, you will have an edge in gaining better rankings and more targeted audience that can convert into leads.
To sum it up, there could possibly be many more ways for an SMB company to increase web traffic to its mobile website but it all bottles down to how mobile-friendly is the website.
How are you serving your mobile visitors? Comment and let us know how you are treating them.