Have a Mobile friendly Website – Or else..

“eMarketer predicts that by 2016, mobile with represent$87 billion, or about a quarter of all ecommerce sales.” – The New York Times

This is serious business – not having a mobile friendly website could mean that you are not and will not become part of the huge business mentioned in the quote above! The reason that some companies do not have a mobile friendly website is either because they didn’t see the value or do not have the resources to build one or both. However, with the deadline, given by the world’s most widely used search engine, lapsed companies that have procrastinated on building a mobile friendly website could find themselves in trouble. The company’s ranking would drop and they would not be easily ‘searchable’. This search engine issued some ‘mobile optimization guidelines’ and those who are still non-compliant are already feeling the ‘heat’. The search engine is clear in their message. To remain relevant and to rank high in key searches, companies must have a website that is optimized for use in mobile devices.

If research and studies are looked at, business can easily see that the number of users of mobile devices have increased phenomenally and therefore it would seem foolish not to replicate their website for the mobile devices. However, simply replicating the website is not good enough. It must also be user friendly – this means that to claim a mobile friendly website, its content and usage must be optimized from the point of view of a mobile screen. Phone numbers and other information should be readily used and the content must be visible without the user having to zoom in and out of the screen. The guidelines for a mobile friendly website have been laid down and it is up to companies to comply or face being ignored and ‘punished’ by a self-imposed lapse.

Ensuring that your company’s website is ‘adaptive’ is crucial. An adaptive website is one that is designed to function well and fast for mobile devices and companies are creating such legible and functional websites to keep up with the demand of customers and the ‘directive issued’. A mobile friendly website will in particular be free from too much information and only relevant features and data will be visible via the devices. These would be free from unnecessary clutter and allow customers to quickly access relevant information such as the company’s contact numbers, location, products and payment options. Some other companies would need to use a mobile website that has more information but would ascertain the size of the mobile device screen and place the relevant information and images to fit a particular device. These are known as responsive websites.

Both kinds – adaptive and responsive websites are mobile friendly and optimized in their usage. The kind of website would depend on the kind of business your company operates and what would work best for the kind of customers you have, the amount of usage through mobile devices and the kind of engagement you wish to have with your customers. Whatever the kind of mobile friendly website, it must be interactive, pleasing and enable a high conversion rate for your business. Keep in mind the initial expenses and also the fact that for the mobile friendly website to remain relevant, it must be continually updated and would eventually redeem the initial expenses and also reap a lot more profits.

To claim a mobile friendly website, ensure that the navigation, the click buttons and the links therein are easily accessible and are easy to click on. The key features and important message for your company must be immediately visible and without the added effort of scrolling and or zooming in. For a mobile friendly website ensure that unnecessary graphics, flashing messages, audio and other features that could potentially slow down the navigation are completely removed. Ensure that if there is a requirement for the user to fill out a form for any reason it should be simple, clear and brief. Remember that the primary idea of providing access to your company’s website on mobile devices is to reduce customer effort and allow them to use the information while on the go. Nothing on the mobile website must hinder either of these two objectives.  A mobile device is not a computer and hence there aren’t as many options and buttons – keep the mobile website simple and relevant.

Constantly monitor who is accessing your website, which pages they use more often and why they reach your website. Having a hold on this data will allow you to make a more applicable and easily accessible mobile website, where the user is able to immediately access the parts of the website they are more prone towards. Allow your users to be able to find your contact information, buy swiftly, pay smoothly and exit your site with as much ease when they are done.

The volume of traffic on mobile devices has increased significantly and so it is worth every company’s time and effort to create a mobile friendly website. Not only will your customers be happy but you would also be forging ahead of your competition by leaps and bounds, especially given the new directive from the popular search engine.

Any initiative and effort you undertake for your company is for its growth and sustainable revenue and profits and having a mobile friendly website is no different. It is about conducting research and choosing the best approach for your company. It is a tough call since website visitors via the mobile route must be able to see similarity between your website and the one they are accessing on their mobile devices, lest they believe that they accessing an incorrect website. Despite some obvious similarities to be mandatorily present, both the websites would still need to be different. A mobile friendly website will not bombard the user / ‘visitor’ with information and neither will it confuse them with all kinds of graphics, colours and flashes zipping across the page.

It is obvious though that the content on both the website versions must be interesting, engaging and current. No one is interested in ‘yesterday’s news’ – this simply means that at least once every fortnight there must be some new and meaty piece of content that will get the readers enthused and wanting to come back for more. Log on to sites of companies that are similar to your line of work and it would be easier for you to determine whether your website is user friendly both on mobile devices and through the computer. Notice the strengths and weaknesses of the sites you visit and then compare those with your own website on both the modes. Also take feedback from some of your regular users and customers and use the information they provide to improve / change your website. The core aim of your website should be to spread awareness of your company and its products and that is only possible when the people who use it / visit it are able to do so without a problem.

The main aim of having a mobile friendly website is to ensure that the ever busy consumer can get a fair idea of what your company is offering and what it is capable of delivering. A ‘visitor’ may not immediately become a customer after viewing the options on the mobile website, but at least they would be prone to going back to the main website to actually make a purchase, if they find your mobile website engaging and interesting enough. Time for everyone seems to be reducing and yet products, companies and offerings are increasing. People therefore, would be happy to browse through a company’s website on their mobile devices that can be accessed from wherever they are and at whatever time they find it convenient – at least give them the option.  If you are not already there, it is probably time to create a mobile friendly website and increase your reach and garner more customers.

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