It wasn’t that long ago that the Internet was viewed only by computers, either a desktop or a laptop. Fast forward to today and we have a multitude of devices to access the Internet. We still have desktops and laptops, but you can now add smart phones, tablets and even the revolutionary Chrome book to the list.
This advance in technology brings forward two questions. First, are you, or more importantly, are your customers able to view and navigate through your website as it was intended? Second, how important is it for your website to be ‘mobile friendly’?
The term ‘mobile friendly’ refers to the ability for users to navigate through your web site efficiently. Navigating through a website on a desktop or laptop is very different than how one would navigate through that same site on a mobile device.
Do you know if your web site is mobile friendly? Simply use a smartphone and check out your site. What you’ll find is an identical copy of your web site resized to the smaller screen. Does your site work? Yes! Is that the best way to display your web site on a mobile device? No! Does it say to your clients that you are up-to-date with technology? No!
What really needs to be done to make your website ‘mobile friendly’ is to enhance the navigation of your site. We do this by simplifying the web graphics and page layout. By doing so, you make your site more accessible on a smaller device, and increase the chance that visitors will stay on your site rather than passing on to more ‘mobile friendly’ competitors.
There are two ways of updating existing web sites: adaptive design and responsive design. Both approaches have to do with the programming of your website.
Using the adaptive approach, it means adding in programming for the web request to detect what device is being used to access your site, and to display a version of your website that best suits that device. For a mobile device, this means a different format for the navigation, fewer graphics and buttons. The result will be a website that displays and navigates MORE efficiently on a mobile device than displaying it the way it views on a standard computer.
If you’re not sure how important it is to have a ‘mobile friendly’ version of your web site, consider the following statistics:
- The majority of today’s users experience media on a variety of screens: computer, smartphone, tablet and TV.
- Smartphones are the most common starting place for online activities.
- 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether it’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV.
- 47% of our daily media interactions are conducted on a smartphone (38%) or a tablet (9%).
* taken from Google’s: The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior.
Don’t think you need to have a ‘mobile friendly’ website? Look at a website that is ‘mobile friendly’ and compare to one that is a standard version, and the differences are obvious. Seeing is believing!
If you’re still not convinced, then look at the statistics on visitors viewing your site. If you are a client of OfficeSmarts, you already have a Google Analytics account and this has been installed on your website. This software tracks, collects, measures, reports and analyzes quantitative data to assist you in optimizing your website and marketing initiatives (read more on our blog at http://www.officesmarts.ca/google-analytics-gives-you-more-than-just-a-traffic-report/). For this scenario, you can use your Analytics to determine how many visitors are using a mobile device to view your site. Even if that number is small, rest assured that mobile use is simply going up and up and up.