Guest post: does your company need a mobile website?

I was once at a party and watched a very smart interesting guy walk around the room trying to network with a wine stain on his shirt and a lot of sweat drenching his underarms. It wasn’t a big stain or a lot of sweat but you couldn’t miss it (although he was completely oblivious). Everyone at the party seemed to chat to him for 30 seconds and then urgently discover a need to be somewhere else. They didn’t tell him the real reason. They just left him.

If your business doesn’t have a mobile optimized version of your site, you are that guy. The people you want to connect with won’t say anything to you about why they are ignoring you. They have already moved on. And they will probably never interact with you again. I wish I was exaggerating to make a point, but I’m not.

  • 44% of emails are opened on a mobile device. (Litmus 2013)
  • 79% of smartphone users use their phone to open email, only 78% use it to make phone calls. (Adobe 2013)
  • 44% of customers will never go back to a site if they have a bad visual experience the first time. (Kentico 2013)
  • 30%of customers say they not only won’t bother to come back to an unoptimized site but would go to a competitor instead. (Netbiscuits 2013).

Think about what this means. Something that you have control over – the quality of your mobile experience – could be driving away nearly half of your future traffic. Worse, these are your best potential contacts, the ones who have already made the decision to click on some content you have sent them. If you’re in any kind of technology business, the brand damage associated with appearing to not understand the significance of mobile could be catastrophic to the opinion formed about your brand. If you’re in technology without a mobile site, it isn’t a wine stain, your problem is bad breath, body odour and uncontrolled nasal hair.

So what can you do?

  1. Step One: Email landing pages. At a minimum make sure that any link in any email you use from this day forth will take an interested reader to a single specially created mobilized page with the information they want. It should only be a stopgap solution but it will make a difference.
  2. Step Two: Mobile-optimized site. The next thing will be to get a mobile site built that takes its data from your current desktop site. It takes about four weeks, does not have to be expensive and it doesn’t need to suck up internal resources. This is probably a stopgap too, but it’s a smart move if aren’t ready for a long-term solution just yet.
  3. Step Three: Rebuild your desktop to automatically work on all devices, what is called responsive or adaptive design. This is a larger undertaking but I guarantee you that you are going to be doing this some time in the next three years. A mobile-optimized site buys you time. But you should be starting to think about what a new desktop, tablet and smartphone site should look like right now.

64labs is a mobile and web development agency based in Tampa Florida. If you want to know more about what you could be doing in mobile, email my friend (and the CEO) John Duncan at [email protected]

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