With new figures showing that mobile phones are now used by 91% of the world's population, with 50% of them using their mobiles as their primary source of internet access, it is clear that every business needs to be confident that it can be found in a mobile search. Throw in the observation made in a recent UK survey that only 47% of mobile users still visit physical stores on a weekly basis – down from 73% three years ago – and the pressure is really on to get it right. What does this involve?
A surprisingly large amount of potential mobile-based business is lost as a result of simple errors. Pages that cannot be accessed by mobile, pages that take ages to load and images or videos that do not display properly can immediately prompt potential customers to go elsewhere. What is more, a badly-designed page can fail to show up at all in searches, as Google penalizes sites not optimized for mobile; this can also affect ranking in desktop or laptop searches. The first thing to do is to work through a site looking out for problems such as these and to do it on more than one type of mobile, as some systems can choke on pages that are fine for others. It is also important to check for potential problems in new pages as they are added, although working from templates will reduce the risk here.
Beyond this, much of what makes a site work well on mobile is the same as what makes it work well generally – from a user perspective. The thing to bear in mind is that this may differ from the perspective of the site owner; for instance, sites often use the supermarket principle that involves making customers parade past lots of other products before they can get to what they want. In principle this increases the likelihood of impulse buys; in practice, because it is so much effort to do by mobile, it often results in customers giving up and shopping elsewhere. Unlike other types of Internet customers, mobile users do not usually pick a store and return later when they have more time to browse it. They either make a purchase there and then, or they go away and never come back. This means it is vital to make things easy for them.
With good, mobile-friendly web design, there is plenty of money to be made. To learn more about how to get it right, call Xcellimark.