What You Don’t Know About Mobile Can Hurt You

This article originally appeared in the March 2013 edition of the Marketing GPS Newsletter. This article was contributed by guest author Jeanne Davant.

What do your clients see when they access your website on their mobile devices?

I recently met with a client who owns a landscaping business. She was dismayed to learn that her beautifully designed website did not display properly in all browsers, and was virtually unreadable and unusable on a smartphone.

Customers increasingly are turning to mobile devices to search for information and make purchases. Consider these statistics:

  • By next year, mobile Internet use is projected to surpass desktop internet use.
  • Almost 90 million Americans will use a tablet by 2014—that’s one in three online consumers.
  • One-half of all local searches currently are performed on mobile devices, and the percentage will grow.

Clients can interact with you via mobile devices in several ways that include visiting your website on their devices, downloading an app you’ve created, receiving text messages directly from your organization and scanning a QR code to access your site or a specific promotion.

What they all have in common is that mobile users expect to get the information they want, when they want it.

What do mobile users really want?

Let’s dive deeper into what happens when clients and potential customers visit your website on mobile devices. After all, people are going to view your website on their smartphones and tablets, even if your site isn’t optimized for the mobile experience.

survey of mobile users by Google provided some fascinating insights into their expectations and experiences on mobile websites. First and foremost, 96% of mobile users say they have encountered sites that clearly were not designed for mobile devices. They expect mobile sites to load quickly, and they don’t like it when a mobile site is difficult to navigate or doesn’t serve up the information they’re seeking. According to the Google study,

  • 61% of users say they will quickly move on to another site, if they don’t find what they’re looking for right away.
  • 52% say a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company
  • 50% say that even if they like a business, they will use it less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly
  • 48% are frustrated and annoyed when they land on a site that is not mobile-friendly
  • 48% say that if a site doesn’t work well on their smartphones, it makes them feel that the company doesn’t care about their business

On the positive side:

  • 61% of users said a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a product or use a service, and
  • 74% say they are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site in the future.

What’s clear from the Google survey is that mobile-friendly sites can turn visitors into customers — and that bad mobile sites not only result in lost sales, but can actually hurt your company’s reputation.

My client now understands that her website needs to work across all platforms. She needs to pay attention to factors such as Flash animation, which doesn’t work well on smartphones; she wants to make sure her customers can easily get in touch with her on their smartphones; and, she’s looking into “responsive design” coding, which resizes content to fit mobile devices.

If you’re wondering how your website performs on mobile devices, you can enter your URL athttp://www.howtogomo/en/d/test-your-site to see how it looks on a smartphone and get suggestions for improving it. Other tools to evaluate your site’s mobility include:

What’s your mobile strategy?

The momentum of Internet consumer use is clearly swinging from desktops to mobile devices. Making your site mobile-friendly is an essential step, but it’s just the beginning.

The growth of mobile presents both a challenge and an opportunity to businesses and associations. It isn’t a luxury to have a mobile strategy anymore; it’s a necessity. That’s why my client is not just looking to improve her website’s mobile performance, but also thinking about how else she can reach her customers through their mobile devices.

A successful mobile approach requires that you develop a mobile plan — one that integrates knowledge about how your clients use mobile devices into your overall marketing strategy and business goals.

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About NSI Partners

A digital marketing company with almost two decades of experience, NSI Partners helps clients achieve robust results in search marketing, social media, and other digital marketing spaces.

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