Both mobile technology and internet technology has advance greatly in the last 10 years and with it mobile browsing use has grown at an alarming rate. Mobile internet use surpasses that of desktops, meaning that more people either are or soon will be viewing your website on a mobile phone than they do on a desktop.
For this reason Google now penalises websites that are not mobile friendly. By mobile friendly I mean you can easily navigate and view the website’s content without the need to pinch and pull your screen.
How do small Irish businesses fair?
When you search for most small Irish businesses on your mobile phone, you are almost certain to have a less than smooth experience. They either have a website that isn’t mobile friendly or they don’t have a website at all. Leaving their customers with no way to find the information they want.
Facebook is not very helpful on this matter. Facebook Pages are great for sharing posts but they don’t offer a good solution for displaying your products or services.
Yes you can place them in your timeline but that is only a temporary solution and they will be pushed further down the page unless you add them again and in doing so you risk bombarding your Facebook fans with repeated messages.
So what if someone want’s to find out information about your business, or contact you? What option do they have?
They can search online directories.
They can search online directories.
This is assuming you have uploaded your info to such directories. Even if you are listed and yo appear in the search results. Are they going to find what they are looking for?
They can visit your social media pages.
Like I mentioned above, social media profiles are never designed with your best interests in mind or those of your customers. Social media is great for building brand awareness and can sometimes be good for strengthening relationships. Although with Facebook restricting the number of your fans that see any of your posts, it should make you reconsider where you focus all your resources.
They can go to your website.
Having a website and one that is mobile friendly is the only way to ensure that your products and services will be seen, that your customers will find the information they are looking for and that your business goals are first and foremost.
When was the last time you searched for your business on a mobile device?
Try searching for your business on both a desktop and mobile and see what you find.
- Does your business appear in the first 3 search results?
- How easy is it to find info about your business?
- How easy is it to find your contact details?
- How easy is it to find and your products or services?
- How easy is it to find and directions to your business?
If you have no luck through Google then try Facebook.
Maybe you have your own website, but how does it look on that small screen. Can you read the text, easily click on links and is your number front and centre.
If you want to have an online presence in today’s times then you need focus on mobile.
Think Mobile First
If you put a focus on how your site will look on a mobile then it’s easier to make it work for desktop too. Approaching from the other direction proves a lot more complicated.
You want a site that loads quickly and is easy to navigate no matter what the device. People don’t have patients to stare at a blank screen waiting for it to load.
Stay clear of animations and gimmicks. For years web designers would strive to find the latest flashy animation to make website’s look trendy. But those days are behind us and information is king. Make sure the focus is on your website’s content and not unnecessary distractions.
Make sure your media can be played on mobile. And not just on your own site but media you share on Twitter and Facebook. This isn’t a problem if you use Youtube embeds, but if you are in doubt, try to view videos and other widgets on your site using an iPhone and if is works your OK.
This is a type of web design that makes your website respond to the devise that it is being viewed on. It displays the same content, but the layout will change so it looks great on all devices.
Allow Fans To Interact
Use share buttons, so your content can easily be passed on to friends and enable commenting on your blog posts.
You don’t need an app
Don’t be talked into investing in a smartphone app. It will cost you money and nobody will use it. A mobile site is all you need. If you already have a website and need additional functionality that you believe requires an app then check out this site: App Vs Website
Display your contact details
Often the only reason people visit your site is to contact you and if you don’t make it easy for them to do so then you might end up missing out on an opportunity.
Mobile is about instant access & quick information. The big challenge of the future is how to deliver the right content that will keep your customers attention and have them coming back.