February 16, 2013

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Pssst! If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly, You’re Hemorrhaging Customers (And Money)

Our economy is recovering…slowly. Very slowly. And though Wall Street seems to have recovered nicely, many folks on Main Street are still worrying about losing their jobs to cutbacks and their residences to foreclosure. Plus, many Americans remain burdened by consumer credit card debt. In other words, these are still trying times for consumers. Here’s what that means for you as a business owner: You simply can’t make it more difficult for customers to buy your products or services. The fact is that, many local businesses aren’t making things easy when it comes to their websites. As more customers are looking for nearby businesses on their mobile devices (according to Google, 1 in 3 searches are for local information) companies are still running antiquated sites that look like crap (let’s be honest) on smartphones and tablets.

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Are you chasing away customers?

At first blush, this might look like a small problem. It’s not, unfortunately. As the folks at MarketingVOX recently outlined, there are very real financial penalties for having a mobile-unfriendly website. As a growing number of consumers use mobile devices to access the internet, the penalties are becoming stronger. In a recent post, MarketingVOX outlined research from Google showing that:

  • A majority—61 percent—of consumers say that they'll leave a website if it’s not optimized for small touch screens.
  • A whopping 96 percent of consumers say they’ve had bad experiences on websites that were not designed for non-desktop screens.
  • 50 percent of respondents said that even if they liked a business, they’d be less inclined to buy in the future if the business’s website isn’t mobile friendly.

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Those are sobering statistics. Here’s the silver lining: Nearly 75 percent say that they're more likely to return to a mobile-friendly website. So your mission is clear…

Your challenge

What does this really mean for the business owner? Just that maintaining a mobile-friendly website is critical—and getting more so. Look around you: You will notice a steady stream of consumers using the internet on phones, iPads, Nooks, and Kindles. And this is a movement that's hardly slowing. Tablets remain hot sellers, and an increasing number of people do much of their web surfing and social media tasks through mobile devices. According to a joint Google/Ipsos study, after consumers look up a business via mobile, 61% say they make a phone call and 59% say they actually visit the business! The message is clear: If you make a bad impression, if your business's website looks cramped, cluttered, or illegible when viewed on a tablet or smartphone, you have the real risk of driving potential customers towards your competitors!

Allyn Cutts