Mobile websites are here to stay
60% of New Zealanders now own a smart phone (according to research by TNS). That's well over half the population. So how does this impact your business?
This article will talk about how small & medium sized businesses can adapt to make sure they make the most of this opportunity.
Mobile optimised websites: why they're important
Walk down the street on an average day, and you'll see a myriad of people sporting a smart phone. In fact, research by TNS indicates that the number of New Zealander's with a smart phone has doubled in the last year. Doubled!
That's twice the number of people now able to access the full world wide web on a mobile phone. So, the biggest question most small businesses are asking themselves at the moment is: do we optimise our website for mobile now or wait until later?
Clearly, with 60% of New Zealander's using a smart phone to surf the web, businesses simply cannot afford to sit on the fence.
How mobile optimised websites benefit your customers
People are using mobile phones more and more to browse the web. What's more, how they browse the web is changing as a result.
In the past, people would do online research at a certain time of the day (eg during their lunch break), but now smart phones have made the Internet instantly accessible anywhere and at any time.
You could be sitting on the bus, waiting in a queue at the local Post Shop or sitting at home in front of the TV. The result is that people now tend to hop online on a whim, find the information they want and make purchasing decisions all on a mobile phone. And, they do it all far quicker than they used to.
So, what does that mean for your business? Well, if your website doesn't offer a good experience on a mobile phone, you could be losing out.
Here's a simple example. If you're shopping online, and you happen to be using an iPhone, how frustrating is it when you can't read the product descriptions on the screen because they're too small? Or you're trying to contact a businesses but you have to fill out a teeny, tiny form, zooming in on each and every field as you battle with your phone's keyboard?
What do you do? Well, you'll either fight through it (and bear the frustration to be projected onto the business owner later down the track) or leave promptly and go elsewhere to a website that works on a mobile phone.
The good news is that fully responsive websites are now not only readily available to businesses, they're also very cost effective.
Fully responsive design or mobile website?
There are two approaches to designing websites for mobile devices.
The first is called 'Fully Responsive Design'. With this approach I design your website so that it looks great and functions fully on any device be it a smart phone, tablet or desktop PC.
The second, older, approach is where you design a separate mobile website Usually, this will be a 'lighter' version of your desktop website with far less content.
So, which is better? Fully Responsive Design or Mobile Websites?
Responsive Design is always the best decision for your business as it offers visitors to your website a fantastic experience irrespective of the device they use. And, it also means you only have to create one set of website content rather than two (one for each version of your website).
How does all this affect my business revenues?
Like it or not, the first experience most people have with your company is going to be your website. Do you want them to see a flat, bland, and impersonal electronic brochure? Or rather, an individualized, warm, and interactive experience that gets prospects connected with your company from the very first visit?
More importantly, which experience do you think will generate more sales? After all, the whole point of our eCommerce or publishing website is to generate leads and sales right?
Your prospects are making their purchase decisions during their first visit to your site. That’s because we (human beings) make most purchase decisions emotionally first, and then rationalize the decision second. As a result, when prospective customers land on your website, if you don’t capture them emotionally and give them an amazing, personalized experience, they might just end up at your competitor’s site.
Perhaps it's time for a website design upgrade?
What does this mean to you? It means you have to take a long hard look at your website. If you are like most business owners, your website is two or three years old.
While your last website redesign project might have been painful, it’s probably time to start considering another upgrade. The number of people viewing and interacting with your company’s website via mobile devices, smart phones, and tablets is only going to continue to increase. If your site isn’t usable on these devices, and if the experience is sub-par, there is a great chance that your potential customers are going to look elsewhere for your products and services.
I can help with your next website project
| || |
Author: Laurie Turnbull
SEO & Digital Marketing Specialist based in Auckland NZ
Laurie is an SEO Specialist with a passion for helping small and medium sized business succeed online.
Need help with your SEO?
Give me a shout at Laurie@digitalcontentmarketing.co.nz