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Why Your Small Business or Restaurant MUST Have a Mobile Optimized Website

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 151

As the years go by, the Internet is becoming more and more entrenched in our lives. Not only in the way we live day-to-day, but also in the way we conduct business. One of the main trends is the way people are searching for information. Ten years ago, people used their desktop computers to search for information. Today, the rise of smartphones, such as the iPhone, has meant that more and more people are searching for information and surfing the net through their mobile phones. If you own a small business, this is one trend that you MUST acknowledge and adapt to if you expect your business to survive online. If your business does not have a mobile optimised website, you are probably losing customers because of this, as they are trying to view your desktop website on their mobile phones, and this simply does not allow for a good browsing experience.

This article will discuss why your business MUST have a mobile optimised website by first examining the crucial differences between desktop websites and mobile optimised ones, and how your business can take advantage of this. The result will be what can only be described as an unfair advantage over your competitors! Can your business handle an increase in customers? Read on and find out!

Desktop vs Mobile: What's the difference?

Without going into details, a website that looks good on a desktop will not necessarily display the same way on a mobile device. Your business website that you paid hundreds of dollars for may look fantastic on a desktop monitor which may be 20 inches or more across, but how will this look on a smartphone that may only be 4 inches (or less!) across.

What will probably happen is that your entire website will be shrunk in size to fit on the mobile screen. Therefore, all text will generally be quite small. To many, it will look like you're trying to "surf from 35 000 feet". Sure, you could just zoom in, but this means that you continually have to scroll left, right, up and down to find any information. Generally, this will take a LOT longer to do, and there is a good chance that your customer will get frustrated and move on (likely to your competition!).

A mobile optimised website requires no zooming in. Scrolling left and right to read text is kept to a minimum and is generally eliminated altogether. Text is read easily, so information is much easier to find. Customers will DEFINITELY appreciate this!! Once you see the difference, you'll know why it works.

Another aspect is the total size of the website. Most desktop websites are quite large, with large file sizes. Why is this important? Generally, these websites load up quickly on a desktop, but will take a lot longer on a mobile device. This will mean that the customer will spend more time looking at a blank screen waiting for your site to load up. Also, unless they are on an unlimited plan, this constant download will eat up their download limit.

FACT: if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load up, most web users will simply give up and go to the next one!

A mobile optimised website for your business will load up very quickly, generally about 3 seconds, because the overall file sizes are much smaller. Your customers can then quickly find what they're looking for.

Online Mobile Searches - most are actually local!

If you are a restaurant in, say New York, generally you aren't overly concerned about someone in London or Paris doing a search for a restaurant. But you should know that when people use their smartphone to perform a search, they are looking for local answers. This means that your customers are looking for you in your area! Google has even said that nearly 80% of the searches performed on a mobile device were local. To make this even more important is that when surveyed, 71% of people who did a local search on a mobile device took action based on their search within 24 hours!

Here are the statistics:

2009 - 1 BILLION local searches

2010 - over 1.5 billion searches

2011 - nearly 2.4 billion searches are predicted

2012 - 3.5 billion searches are predicted

This means that more and more people are performing local searches on a mobile device. This also means that your small business MUST cater to them, and a mobile-optimized website is the perfect way to do it!

"Flash" isn't so Flash!

Many desktop websites employ Flash programming to make some really great features on a page, such as photo montages. However, with all Apple devices, such as the iPhone, Flash is NOT supported, and therefore will not be displayed. If your entire desktop website is made with Flash, an iPhone user won't see anything! Where will they go? To your competition who probably already has a mobile website.

The Perfect Mobile-Optimized Website

Here's a list of what you should look for in a perfect mobile website:

1) Easy to Read - As previously mentioned, a mobile website will have very little, if any, reason to scroll left and right. All text will be contained within the mobile device's screen and will be big enough to read without needing to zoom in. This will make finding information about your business (such as the menu, special deals, location, etc) easy to find.

2) Automatic redirect - If you already have a desktop website, if the server detects that someone is trying to view your website on a mobile device, it will automatically redirect the user to the mobile version, usually without the user even knowing it. The mobile version will be located in a sub-domain of your main site. For example, if your normal website is, the mobile version could be, and this would automatically be displayed.

3) Useful features - There are a number of useful features on a good mobile website specifically for the mobile user that make it even more beneficial for your business. The most useful is a "Click to Call" button, which is simply a button that is displayed prominently on the mobile site. The user can simple click or tap the button to call your business right away. For a desktop website, the user would have to either memorise your phone number (if they can even find it!), then enter the number manually. A "Click to Call" button makes it easier and they are more likely to call your business

4) Only relevant information displayed - On a desktop website, there will be heaps of information and text that people can read. However, on a mobile website, too much information will be harder to sift through. Therefore, only the information relevant to the mobile user should be displayed. As an example, a mobile user trying to find a good restaurant isn't interested in seeing a website that has all sorts of bells and whistles. Because they need the information quickly, they probably only want to know where the restaurant is, their menu, any specials, and most importantly, how to contact them (click-to-call?). This means the website will be smaller, but more relevant information will displayed.

If your small business has a website, then you MUST also have a mobile optimised version to cater for the rapidly growing population that are now accessing the internet though their mobile phones. The worst thing that will happen is that you'll be getting so many more customers that you'll have to hire more staff to keep up with the demand!

Does your business website need a mobile version? QMobile Design specialises in designing mobile optimised versions of desktop websites for a surprisingly low amount. Grab your smartphone and go to Let us handle all your mobile internet and mobile marketing needs!

Source: EzineArticles
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Mobile Optimized Website


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