What role do mobile device users play in today’s internet? Here’s what Google had to say in late 2014:
“Today’s consumers are ready to connect with your business on screens of all types and sizes. That’s a huge new opportunity, but only if your website is designed to give customers what they need on smaller smartphone screens as well as tablets and desktops.“
It’s hard to imagine a more direct statement from the internet’s most important player. But Google is not the only one to identify the opportunity presented by mobile device users.
Kiss Metrics, a leading internet marketing firms, tells readers that “Mobile shopping is huge. And if you’re not doing something about it right now, you’re going to miss the bus.” They point out that “78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase.”.
Taking advantage of this opportunity is essential. To avoid ‘missing the bus’ that KISS refers to, websites must give mobile visitors a reason to click through.
The first step is presenting a website that is attractive, and easily navigated by mobile device users. There are two ways to accomplish this:
Responsive coding: a compromise
The first method of making websites appear on mobile devices is to employ responsive design. Responsive design recognizes that each mobile device has its own set of unique viewing requirements. Responsive design attempts to find a design middle point that works for mobile and desktop viewing.
Unfortunately, the results are often disappointing for mobile viewers. The original design was created for a desktop. The images and page formats were created to work on a large screen. The design simply does not translate effectively on a smaller screen.
Another common complain of responsive design is page load time. When a web page adjusts to a screen screen it was not originally designed for, it can take a lot of time. Mobile users, in particular, tend to be rushing, and slow load pages often lead to an exit from the site.
A mobile version: the better answer
The other method is to create a separate version of the main website for mobile devices. In this case, the elements are positioned to be viewed by mobile devices. Different pages just for mobile can be created as well.
Here is an overview of the key reasons to offer a mobile version of the main site:
- Mobile users see pages build just for their device
- Site owners can create separate pages just for mobile devices
- Mobile device users can view the desktop version if they prefer
- Pages load 5x faster than a desktop version
The drawback with a mobile version is the added expense. This has to be weighed against the benefit of enhanced visitor experience, and likely sales conversions.
For more information on the benefits of having a mobile version of your website, contact WebFour.