It wasn't all that long ago that small businesses recognized the need to adapt to the technological realities of the twenty-first century and create extremely functional websites. However, the times have changed yet again, and a good looking web page is simply no longer enough these days. In order for small businesses to fully take advantage of the latest internet revolution these days, they need to be creating small business mobile websites to reach an increasingly mobile customer.
The Rise Of Smart Phones
With the recent advent of such a wide selection of smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other mobile devices, more and more people are using their phones and mobile devices to browse the internet – and particularly to search out local businesses. The statistics are quite compelling…
There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone. But only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush! (Source: Mobile Marketing Association Asia)
We have already passed a major milestone in the rise of mobile device usage…
According to a recent comScore study, people are now spending more time using the internet from a mobile device than from a desktop or laptop computer!
And by the end of the year, there will be more internet searches performed on a mobile device than searches made on a conventional desktop or laptop computer!
This trend towards mobile devices is rapidly becoming big problem for many small businesses who have yet to adapt to – and adopt – these new technologies. The reason, as I'm sure all of you already know, is that most websites just do not look good or function properly on mobile phones. Many websites rely on cool-looking “Flash” technology. But many mobile phones, notably such as the iPhone and iPad, do not even support Flash technology!
Regular Websites Just Don't Cut It Any More
More commonly, the biggest problem is that websites designed to be viewed on a desktop computer will not adjust to fit on a phone's screen. This makes it very difficult for a potential customer to read content and move about the website on the device without a lot of annoying pinching and zooming and scrolling back and forth and up and down.
A website that does not give a user a good experience on a mobile phone can lose a business a lot of money.
In a recent study, a whopping 67% of people said said…
A mobile friendly site makes me more likely to buy a product or use a service.
And another 61% said…
If I don't see what I'm looking for right away on a mobile site I'll quickly move on to another site.
For local businesses, this can be quite problematic as when someone is away from home, they are more likely to stop into to a business after looking it up on a phone or mobile device since they are already on the road. Just think for a second about how much business you have already lost, simply by not providing a way for your customers – and potential new customers – to find the information they are looking for in a mobile format. Nearly 2 of of every 3 people who are looking for a business just like yours on their smartphones are passing you by to go with a competitor, all because your website isn't mobile friendly.
This is a serious wake up call to all small business owners!
And the truly ironic part to all of this is that it really costs very little money to get a beautiful, custom small business mobile website made for your business!
There are a few different solutions to this dilemma. One is to build a “mobile responsive” website. These automatically adjust to render correctly on the screen that they are shown on. So if you're looking at such a website on a desktop/laptop computer, the site looks just like any other normal website. But when you view the same site on a mobile device, the website adjusts itself to fit nearly perfectly to the smaller screen, just like a typical mobile phone app.
Here at Grow Smart Marketing, we build custom responsive websites for many of our clients, and as long as you are working with the latest website code (as we do) you can get a great looking website that still maintains all of the best mobile website features, such as “tap to call”, GPS tracking and more. However, depending on the quality of the coding used, these sites can also be sometimes slower to process on a mobile phone, requiring more bandwidth which can be limited depending on a person's mobile plan.
Small Business Mobile Websites
Small business mobile websites often represent the best solution. These sites are automatically triggered when the server detects that the user is accessing the page from a mobile device. The user's browser is then redirected to a compact, quickly loading mobile site that is optimized for all of the different mobile phones and mobile devices. There is no problem with Flash content that does not work, and people can easily and quickly get access to all of the business's information that they need when on the road.
There are some other particularly useful features that can make business mobile websites much more effective than traditional “responsive” websites. A mobile website can take advantage of certain functionalities of the phone that are usually not available on a computer. For example, one of the most common features is a “tap to talk” button that allows the user to call the business with the push of a button – instead of looking up the number on the screen, trying to memorize it or write it down, and then retyping it on the phone. (How many of us have had to do that before!)
Another great additional feature on a mobile website is real-time navigation. This can be easily added to small business mobile websites where the phone will show a map showing where the business is. More importantly, if the mobile phone has a GPS feature, then the same map can show the precise directions on how to get to the business from where the person currently is.
For a small business trying to compete with a host of nearby competitors, this can give them a distinct competitive advantage. And the statistics bear this out…
- 95% of smartphone users have searched for local business information
- 61% of users call a business after searching
- 59% visit the location
- 90% of these people take some kind of action within 24 hours
With the rapidly increasing use of mobile phones and devices by consumers, businesses who fail to recognize this trend and delay getting a mobile website for their business will certainly see fewer and fewer sales, while their competitors who are rapidly adopting this new technology are steadily gaining market share. Simply put, small business mobile websites are now an absolute necessity for any modern day entrepreneur who hopes to grow and thrive in this new mobile economy.
Where To Go from Here…
If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about the top mobile websites for small businesses and how they can give you a tremendous competitive advantage in growing your business, please don't hesitate to give us a call. Our Grow Smart Mobile Connect Program for mobile website packages are very competitively priced, and we absolutely guarantee that it will make a significant difference in your bottom line or you can cancel your service at any time. Call us at 888-477-6255 to speak with one of our mobile marketing specialists today to get started. Or take a look at our mobile marketing packages for small business at http://growsmartmarketing.com/services-we-offer/web-design.