Smartphones aren’t simply convenient communication devices – they have become an integral part of our lives and our culture. Putting this into context, a mobile phone today is in the possession of the average user for 5,840 hours per year. That compares to the 2,920 hours the same user sits in front of a PC and the 1,865 hours she spends watching television. That means news, current product information, sales, and specials have to become part of the digital news flow experience of the portable device. With that in mind, here are my four top reasons why your website should be mobile:
1. Mobile websites are the new storefronts.
A website is not just a necessary space that must be nominally maintained because everyone else has one. Direct visits to a website are still the best and least expensive means to drive business. According to Forrester Research, direct visits and search marketing (organic and paid) are the two biggest drivers of purchases from new customers, accounting for 39 per cent of new customer transactions. Today people use their portable devices to access websites. According to Mashable, 9 in 10 smartphone owners, or 87 percent, use their phones as Internet portals. About 78 per cent of them do so every day. Almost one third of smartphone users see their devices as their primary Internet connection.
2. Mobile websites provide higher rankings for your business.
Google, Yahoo, and Bing have recalculated their algorithms to account for mobile website usage so if you don’t have one, you will be ranked lower in searches than companies that have mobile sites. Currently one in three mobile searches is for a local service or business. This number will increase given that smartphones will grow ever smarter, and consumers will continue to integrate smartphones and other portable devices into their daily experiences, habits, and routines.
3. Websites that beckon consumers to come back again get the most traffic.
Citizens, through social media, have become an integral part of making, reporting, and recording news as it happens. So if you want your company, brand, and product to be interesting, you need to be part of this “news,” not just by commenting on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but through your mobile website. By updating your information at least bi-weekly, and ideally daily, with interesting and relevant images, information, and deals, people have a reason to engage with your site as they engage with other digital platforms.
4. Mobile websites give you immediate access to your buyers.
The very nature of consumer behaviour – we carry our smartphones everywhere – mandates that your business have a mobile presence so you’re accessible anytime and anywhere your customers need or want you. Consumers are individually addressable, regardless of where we are. Customers who carry smartphones with them all the time can make immediate decisions and can take action quickly. Websites designed for desktops or laptops only don’t work well on mobile devices. Asking your users to pinch and zoom to read your content is annoying and adds an extra layer of work most consumers on the go would rather avoid. A mobile-ready site makes finding answers to questions quick, easy and friendly.
Debra Kaye is the author of Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation. She is the innovator behind some of the world’s top brands, a partner at Innovation Consultancy Lucule and former CEO of TBWA\Italy. This post first appeared on ChamberofCommerce.com. Grow your business online with ChamberofCommerce.com, the most trusted online resource for all your business needs.