You have probably heard by now that more than half of all web traffic originates from mobile devices. You might even know that experts think nearly two-thirds of us will be accessing the internet primarily through phones and tablets in the next few years and that Google factors mobile compatibility into its search algorithm.
Many of the business owners and executives we work with are aware of these facts but don’t really incorporate them into their online marketing strategies. They do the bare minimum to make their websites mobile-compatible but don’t really go any farther.
That can be a big mistake in an increasingly mobile-dependent world. It’s always a good idea to give your customers more of what they want. If they are using mobile devices to find you, then doesn’t it make sense to provide a better mobile online experience?
We think so. To help you determine whether your business website is mobile-compatible or mobile-friendly let’s look at three different levels of implementation…
The First Step: A Responsive Business Website
A responsive business website is one that changes shape and appearance depending on a visitor’s screen size and browser type. Someone using a laptop computer sees one version of the site, for instance, while a different person on an iPhone would see another.
In many ways, this represents the most basic (and common) way to achieve mobile compatibility. It’s a good idea and an important step, but if you upgraded to a responsive website, we don’t want you to think that means you are finished.
Step Two: A Website Optimized for Mobile Viewing
After installing a responsive web design, smart marketers look for ways to optimize their content for mobile viewing. This might mean changing image sizes and resolutions, replacing unusual fonts, and ensuring that plug-ins are coded correctly for mobile operating systems.
These are small steps that don’t necessarily affect the displayable website noticeably, but they can speed up delivery and take away on-screen errors. In other words, they are the secret ingredients that improve things for mobile customers.
Step Three: True Mobile-Friendly Functionality
The final level of mobile adaptability involves changing the interactivity of the business website. For example, a marketer might include click-to-call buttons, bigger (and more finger-friendly) navigation tabs, or forms that rely on drop-down menus instead of typed responses.
Once again, these aren’t huge alterations that require a lot of work or expensive programming. In some ways, they can almost seem invisible. And yet, they make it far easier for mobile customers to use the site. That, in turn, encourages them to hang around and become leads or customers.
Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business?
The three different tiers we’ve laid out here aren’t the result of a detailed study, and there is certainly some overlap between them. The point isn’t to make firm designations, though, but to get you thinking about the experience you’re providing for your customers.
If your web analytics tell you that the majority of your website visitors are using mobile devices, then you should be spending time thinking about what you can do to win that business and set yourself apart from the competition. Opting for responsive web design is a good first step, but you can go farther.
Need Web Design Advice That Works for Your Business?
If you want to get past generic pieces of web design advice and online marketing best practices – and start working on the challenges and opportunities facing your business – we are here to help.
At The Marcom Group, we know from experience that clients are best served when they can call one phone number for anything–which is why we own all of our own hosting equipment and have on-site staff ready to handle everything from design and development, to management and marketing, to the ongoing security maintenance and hosting of your website.