Why Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises Need to Have a Mobile Presence
October 3, 2012 2 Comments
The internet is a part of everyday life for billions of people worldwide. Because of that, most small to medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) are already online, using websites, blogs and social media profiles to interact with their customers.
However, many smaller businesses have so far overlooked the importance of creating a specific mobile web presence instead of leaving mobile customers struggling with the main site.
As more people use the internet on mobile phones and tablet computers – and more people use their handsets to buy things online – a mobile web presence is not so much of a luxury, but more of a necessity for SME’s in all kinds of industries. Here’s why:
The Mobile Market is Maturing
The launch of tablet computer systems like Apple’s iPad has brought a new level of maturity to the mobile web market. These devices have bridged the gap between desktop computers and laptops, and the ease of portability with mobile phones.
Modern smartphones have helped to mature mobile technology too, with touchscreen and pinch-to-zoom letting users zoom in on websites and navigate the internet easily, even without a mouse or full-sized keyboard.
But, if you’ve ever used a mobile phone handset to read a website designed for a high-resolution display, you’ll know how difficult it can be. You struggle to scroll past all of the advertising and animations, while keeping the text in view at a readable size.
A mobile-specific site can work alongside your main website, giving mobile visitors a trimmed-down version of your pages that’s easier to navigate.
Mobile Sites Let You Increase Your Online Presence
It’s always a sign that an internet innovation is reaching maturity when it has its own domain name. While dotMobi domain names have been around for mobile devices for some time, there’s now also Telnames, which allow you to create a .tel website aimed specifically at smartphone users.
Again, it’s a way to build a mobile website that works alongside your main web presence, with its own name for mobile users to type into their browsers. Then your visitors can know they are getting a template that works well on lower-resolution screens.
With sites like Telnames that let you build your new mobile site in a matter of minutes, using a wizard, you can get everything set up without a lengthy development process. That way you can be confident that your site will be mobile-compliant, without spending a fortune on consultants.
Mobile Sites Protect Your Mobile Customers from High Bills and Slow Speeds
In practical terms, there are two strong arguments in favor of having a mobile web presence that’s separate from your main website.
First, you need to consider how mobile users access your site. In many cases, they may be using a 3G mobile data connection, rather than a Wi-Fi or broadband link.
By giving these visitors the information they need, without any unnecessary animations, videos or big pictures, you can help your site to load quickly, while keeping their data costs down.
If that’s not persuasive enough, remember that not all mobile devices support things like Java, Flash and other forms of streaming video.
A mobile site that sticks to the basic data types is much more likely to work on more visitors’ mobile browsers – and that in turn makes them more likely to come back in future.
Mobile Gives You a Competitive Edge
Finally, think about the marketing potential of a mobile site – a presence that specifically caters for the local search market, without needing to cram your main website with location keywords.
Many mobile searches are based on location, so if the would-be customer is nearby, you’re in with a good chance of appearing in their results even if your site isn’t well optimized.
And, as many of your competitors probably haven’t been proactive where the mobile web is concerned, there’s a good chance that you’ll gain an advantage over them by taking the initiative.
Building a mobile presence for your website may seem like a daunting task, but it’s an important one if you want to stay competitive in our increasingly technological society. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional, there are still plenty of resources around the web that you can use to build a functional mobile website easily and quickly. As more and more consumers turn to their smartphones and tablets to browse the web and make purchases, it is becoming increasingly important for your business, whether it is small or medium sized, to have an mobile presence.
Are there other benefits of having a mobile site that you consider to be important? What advise do you have for small-to-medium sized enterprises that are beginning to create their mobile presence? Leave your insight in our comments!
Dan Richard writes on behalf of Telnames, a U.K. based service that provides professionals and businesses with a simple, low-cost service to help with online discovery and promotion.