As the interactive capabilities of mobile devices continue to increase, so does the importance of creating a mobile version of your website.

Here's a screenshot of Best Rank's own mobile home page.

Mobile share of total web traffic has skyrocketed over the last few years. In fact, according to Royal Pingdom, mobile share of web traffic increased by over 162% worldwide between 2010 and 2012. It is expected that by 2014, mobile Internet use will surpass desktop Internet use worldwide. In some countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, web traffic from mobile devices has already overtaken web traffic from desktop computers and laptops.

So what does this data mean for businesses and marketers? For starters, it suggests that there are some major benefits to creating, optimizing, and marketing a mobile version of your standard website in order to capitalize on the anticipated mobile web traffic explosion.

Below we will examine five immediate benefits of creating a mobile version of your website for your business.

1. Improved User Experience

Ever try to view a standard website on your mobile device? Not only do you have to constantly resize the screen in order to see text and images, but the load times can be excruciatingly slow. Mobile websites, however, are designed specifically for the different screen size and shape, greatly enhancing the browsing experience for users on various mobile devices. Notice how our mobile home page (above) is much simpler than our desktop site. This way, users can find what they’re looking for easily.

2. Easier Navigation

Building on improved user experience, a mobile-specific website also makes site navigation on a smartphone or tablet much easier. The key to mobile website navigation is simplicity—cutting down on the navigation options that exist on your standard site is a major benefit of having a mobile site. Limited navigation options will direct users to the most important areas of your mobile site—for instance, “Contact Us” or “Buy Now.” In the event that users desire additional information about your business, your mobile site can direct visitors to your more robust standard site.    

3. Improved Mobile Search Rankings

From an online marketing standpoint, creating a mobile version of your existing website will improve your search engine rankings when people search on mobile devices. The major search engines give preference to mobile-friendly sites in their mobile search results, so creating a version of your site that is optimized for mobile web browsing is absolutely necessary if you want to outrank your competition. On the backend, the same search engine optimization principles apply, but with a few minor adjustments.  For example, keywords are still very important, but with keyword searches done on mobile devices generally being much shorter than on desktop computers, mobile optimization techniques should focus on one- to two-word searches, rather than long-tail keyword phrases.

4. Lower Bounce Rates

With 74% of users saying they will bounce if a mobile website takes over five seconds to load, it is easy to see why having a fast-loading mobile version of your website can be extremely beneficial for your business. Faster download speeds of mobile-specific websites can lead to more visitor interaction with your content and calls to action. A mobile-friendly site creates an atmosphere that encourages users to browse through multiple pages of your site on their device.

5. Increased Mobile Conversions

All of the immediate benefits mentioned above are exponentially more beneficial if they lead to some type of user action. While your standard website may exist to provide background information to visitors in addition to leading to a conversion, a mobile site is designed specifically to drive users to action. This action may be a contact form completion, coupon download, actual online purchase, or an in-store visit. With a properly optimized mobile version of your website accessible to potential customers, the opportunity exists to capitalize on in-store mobile searches, or those conducted directly at the point of sale. In these instances, users can access coupons and utilize QR codes, further increasing the chances of a conversion.

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