Go Mobile Or Go Extinct

Okay, so maybe the title of this post is a bit over the top, but there is a lot of truth to it.

If you are running a blog or an online business, it is imperative that you are mobile optimized. If your site does not look good, or is not easy to read, on a smart phone, you are losing visitors. There is no longer any serious debate about this.

Modern consumers of digital content are not going to spend time trying to wade through a poorly laid out site, or a site they have to enlarge and scroll through in order to read.

The Situation

The world is increasingly going mobile.​ There are currently 2.7 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. That number will reach 6.1 billion by the end of 2020, according to a recent Ericsson Mobility Report.

ericcson mobile report smartphone subscriptions

​In a study conducted by InMobi, a mobile ad network, within all the countries studied except the US and UK, time spent on mobile media exceeds time spent watching TV.

​Over 60% of Internet access is now done on mobile devices, according to that same study. Perhaps more shocking, of the people surveyed, only 11% said they go online "mostly via desktop". If you run a website, that information cannot be ignored.

People are not only using mobile to get online, they are also using it to make purchasing decisions. The InMobi study states, "61% of mobile users are as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with TV or online advertising."​

While these figures are eye-opening for anyone with an online presence, if you run a brick-and-mortar business, then being mobile optimized is even more important to the future of your business.​

A recent Google report (November 2014​) indicates that 79% of smartphone owners use their device for shopping. Most people even use mobile now while physically in a store. According to another Google study, 82% of mobile shoppers use mobile search to influence their purchasing decisions while in-store.

​94% of people looking for information on a local business rely on their mobile device. They are looking for hours, directions, specials, coupons, and phone numbers. If they can't find this information easily, you've lost them.

Compuware study discovered that 57% of consumers​ will not recommend a business if their mobile site is poorly designed or difficult to navigate. More importantly, 40% of consumers will immediately go to a competitor's site after a bad mobile experience.

To reiterate, if you are not mobile optimized, you are losing customers.

The Solution

Fortunately, the solution is simple: Optimize your online presence for mobile. The better your sites look and the easier they are to navigate, the less chance you will lose visitors.

The first thing you need to do is see if your sites are mobile optimized. If you use a web designer, do not take their word for it. Check for yourself. Be aware that sites can look different with different operating systems. A site that looks great on an iPhone might look horrible on an Android, or vice versa.

If you need to, borrow a friend's tablet or phone so that you can check the look and feel of your site on different devices.

If your site does not look good, there are several easy solutions to correct it.

​One option would be to make your site responsive. This means that the site dynamically responds to the different screen sizes on which it is being viewed. A lot of WordPress themes are responsive. Some layouts that are responsive look great while others do not. The only way to know for sure is to physically check it on a mobile device.

​If your site is not responsive or if that is not an option for you, you can do a mobile redirect. This involves creating a separate mobile site and then redirecting to that site when a mobile visitor is detected. This is easier to set up than it sounds and your web designer can probably handle this for you. If not, you can do a Google search to find someone local or feel free to contact me for help or a referral.

When designing a separate mobile site, you will want to keep the look and feel similar to your regular website. If a person visits your site from a desktop one day and a mobile device another day, you want them to realize they've reached the same place. This is all part of your branding.

You may need to use different solutions for your varying web properties. For example, this website looks good using the responsive theme, but my consulting site, BestMarketingResults, required the creation of a separate mobile site.​

The specific solution used is not as important as the result.

Stay alive! Stay mobile optimized!

The Resources

​There is a lot more information available in the studies mentioned throughout this post. I highly recommend taking a look through them. Not only will you find them eye-opening, but you will also get some other ideas of needs to be done to be better optimized for mobile devices. I am compiling the resources again here for your convenience:

​If you have any questions, comments, or anything to add, please leave a comment below.

Here's to your mobile success!​


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8 Comments

  1. Great article! I only recently found out how high the percentages were with people reading their mobile phones and was really surprised. I tend to use my iPad or MacBook so it’s important to put aside what you do and put yourself in the place of your readers/customers/clients :)

    Reply
    • Thanks and great observation, Ruby. There’s a saying in marketing that “we are not our customers”. We need to make sure the business decisions we make are of interest and help to the end user.

      Reply
  2. Amazing figures in here, Ed. 6.1 billion mobiles by the end of 2020 – wow!

    Anyone who’s a self-hosted WP user, a mobile responsive theme is the only sensible choice.

    Interesting post!

    Reply
    • Absolutely, Shan. I would still check it, though. I have seen some WP themes that are supposedly responsive that look horrible on a smartphone. Better safe than sorry!

      Reply
  3. You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found nearly all folks will have the same opinion with your blog.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kathrin. Yes, the numbers and stats speak for themselves. This was a debatable topic for while, but no so much anymore. If your site is not mobile, you are losing visitors. Glad you did some searching on your own. That’s the best way to gather intel. Never take anyone’s word for it, not even mine! It’s all about due diligence.

      Reply
  4. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and brilliant design and style.

    Reply

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