Top 5 Benefits of Mobile Websites

Increasing numbers of consumers are now accessing their favorite websites on mobile devices rather than on standard desktops or laptops. Smartphone and tablet brands are now household names, and a couple of the best examples are the Android and iPhone.

Business owners across various industries have excellent advertising opportunities with mobile websites. Some consumer studies reveal that a mobile web presence is quickly becoming vital for any type of company to remain competitive. For a business owner, the top benefits of adding a mobile website include higher visitor traffic, added convenience for potential customers and improved chances of getting web-based ads in front of more pairs of eyes.

1. Consumer Demand for Mobile Sites. According to some available data about consumer browsing habits, pulling up a standard desktop-based website on a mobile browser is a deterrent for many site visitors. Websites that have not been optimized for mobile browsing are often difficult to read, scroll through or zoom into. These types of sites have a higher bounce rate of people navigating away from them, and this trend reflects the importance of meeting consumer demand for mobile websites that work seamlessly on small screens.

2. Convenience of Mobile Browsing. People now want the convenience of accessing the web on a mobile browser from any location, such as home, work, libraries, schools, coffee shops or any other place with wireless Internet access. Waiting to get back to a home computer or office desktop just does not suffice for individuals a business but find the same company has no mobile site. In this case, they become notably less likely to investigate further and possibly become new customers.

3. Business to Customer Interaction. Mobile websites are only starting points for a buwho have grown used to pulling up mobile websites on their phones or tablets. Some of them may be interested insiness building a web presence. Social media mobile apps also play a strong role in advertising and promotions to potential customers using mobile browsers. Individuals who “Like” or follow a business’s social media page often do so with the tap of a button on their mobile browsers.

4. Easy Integration of Mobile Social Media. Integrating a business’s social fan pages with a mobile website is a key element in building a steady customer base. More business owners are also discovering the effectiveness of offering price specials or coupon codes through mobile social media. Optimizing social pages for mobile browsing is an essential first step, and this process is now a straightforward thanks to the flexibility of mobile.

5. More Diverse Advertising. Mobile ads are now commonplace in many different apps that people install on their tablets or smartphones. Business owners are discovering the possibilities of targeted advertising to consumers who download apps in specific categories. Integrating ads for related products will cause these mobile users to take mental notes of the company name in the ads, and some may decide to tap the ad window to learn more about the business’s products and services. This type of mobile advertising is highly targeted and can be tailored to individual mobile browsing habits more so than with desktop-based browser advertising.

Mobile websites on iPhone, Android and other platforms are becoming standard elements of building a web presence for all types of businesses. Standard laptop- and desktop-based web browsers are no longer the only options for accessing sites, and more consumers are discovering the convenience of mobile browsing. Company owners who put the time and planning into a mobile website integrated with social media have excellent chances of building a solid customer base over time.

Good business starts by reaching your customers where they are. And in today’s digital marketplace, customers are mobile. Are you? We can help!
Google Search has expanded its use of mobile-friendliness of websites as a ranking signal.

This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in Google Search results.

Users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices.

Will this change affect my desktop traffic? No. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide.

Go mobile today to provide your visitors a good user experience and to make most of your mobile traffic.
What’s the Difference Between a Mobile Website and an App?

Before you can evaluate the benefits of a mobile website vs. an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld device such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and tablets.

A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile typically WiFi or 3G or 4G networks). The obvious characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.

Like any website, mobile websites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a phone number) or location-based mapping.

Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.

Which is Better – an App or a Mobile Website?

When it comes to deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the most appropriate choice really depends on your end goals. If you are developing an interactive game an app is probably going to be your best option. But if your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to the widest possible audience then a mobile website is probably the way to go. In some cases, you may decide you need both a mobile website and a mobile app, but it’s pretty safe to say that it rarely makes sense to build an app without already having a mobile website in place.

Generally speaking, a mobile website should be considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence, whereas an app is useful for developing an application for a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser.

Advantages of a Mobile Website vs. Native Apps

If your goals are primarily related to marketing or public communications, a mobile website is almost always going to make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy. This is because a mobile website has a number of inherent advantages over apps, including broader accessibility, compatibility and cost-effectiveness.

Check Immediacy – Mobile Websites Are Instantly Available

A mobile website is instantly accessible to users via a browser across a range of devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc). Apps on the other hand require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or application can be viewed - a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion.

Check Compatibility – Mobile Websites Are Compatible Across Devices

A single mobile website can reach users across many different types of mobile devices, whereas native apps require a separate version to be developed for each type of device. Furthermore, mobile website URLs are easily integrated within other mobile technologies such as SMS, QR Codes and near field communication (NFC).

Check Upgradability – Mobile Websites Can Be Updated Instantly

A mobile website is much more dynamic than an app in terms of pure flexibility to update content. If you want to change the design or content of a mobile website you simply publish the edit once and the changes are immediately visible; updating an app on the other hand requires the updates to be pushed to users, which then must be downloaded in order to update the app on each type of device.

Check Findability – Mobile Websites Can Be Found Easily

Mobile websites are much easier for users to find because their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories, making it easy for qualified visitors to find you. Most importantly, visitors to your regular website can be automatically sent to your mobile site when they are on a handheld (using device-detection). In contrast, the visibility of apps are largely restricted to manufacturer app stores.

Check Shareability – Mobile Websites Can be Shared Easily by Publishers, and Between Users

Mobile website URLs are easily shared between users via a simple link (e.g. within an email or text message, Facebook or Twitter post). Publishers can easily direct users to a mobile website from a blog or website, or even in print. An app simply cannot be shared in this fashion.

Check Reach – Mobile Websites Have Broader Reach

Because a mobile website is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared among users, as well as search engines, it has far greater reach capability than a native app.

Check LifeCycle – Mobile Websites Can’t be Deleted

The average shelf-life of an app is pretty short, less than 30 days according to some research, so unless your app is something truly unique and/or useful (ideally, both), it’s questionable how long it will last on a user’s device. Mobile websites on the other hand are always available for users to return to them.

Check A Mobile Website Can be an App!

Just like a standard website, mobile websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps. A mobile web application can be a practical alternative to native app development.

Check Time and Cost - Mobile Websites are Easier and Less Expensive

Last but certainly not least, mobile website development is considerably more time and cost-effective than development of a native app, especially if you need to have a presence on different platforms (requiring development of multiple apps).

Check Support and Sustainability

The investment considerations of app vs website don’t end with the initial launch; properly supporting and developing an app (upgrades, testing, compatibility issues and ongoing development) is more much more expensive and involved than supporting a website over time.
What is the difference between a mobile website and a desktop website?

What a Mobile Website Isn’t

Perhaps the most frequent misconception we hear about mobile websites is that they are just smaller versions of their regular or “desktop” websites. (The desktop website being the one you are used to using on your laptop or home desktop computer where you use a mouse to navigate around a larger page with a large video monitor.)
 
Now, get out your mobile device and try to surf via your smartphone to any number of websites – maybe even your own. If what you see is a teeny-tiny, illegible version of your regular website.
 
If you have to use your fingers to expand what you see on the screen, you are merely viewing a desktop website over your smartphone. This is not a mobile website.

What is a Mobile Website?

In contrast to the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny text and cumbersome graphics and navigation experience that you have with a desktop website on your smartphone, a mobile website is specifically designed and scaled to function beautifully on tiny smartphone screens.
 
Because smartphone users are interested in critical decision making information right now when they are using their phones to find out about your store or business, a mobile website does away with the bells and whistles and gets down to brass tacks immediately—using fonts and graphics that are larger and easier to navigate and read in a smaller format. Some features that set mobile website designs apart from desktop websites include:

Quick, up-front menu navigation buttons with easy-to-read print

Click-to-call feature for your telephone number (so customers can just touch the number with their thumb to dial without having to press in all the numbers). GPS/directions features that enable users to quickly and easily find your shop, also without having to type anything in.
 
One-touch contact information so that customers can just click to add your contact information right into their contacts. All other menus, graphics, coupons, etc. are streamlined for fast, easy loading over cellular networks.

Why a Mobile Website is Important for Businesses Now:

The patience threshold of mobile device users is shrinking daily, but it was never more than a few seconds to begin with. The vast majority of smartphone and mobile device users will abandon a non-mobile optimized website in favor of a mobile-optimized website in milliseconds.
 
This is true even if they are already a customer and like your products! That means that if your website is not a mobile website… how many potential customers and sales are you losing to the competition?
More people are surfing the web for product and service information from their mobile devices than from their desktop computers than ever before. Businesses cannot ignore the mobile revolution any longer.