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Why is it so important to for small and medium sized businesses to make their website mobile friendly?

We all know that technology is continuously evolving to become bigger and better all the time. That is also the case when it comes to our business’ website.

The way we view and search for the information we require online is as sophisticated as it’s ever been - it’s not just large organisations that need to accommodate this. Small to medium sized businesses need to make sure their web design is carried out on a way that ensures their websites are mobile friendly.

Why is this so important?

  • Over 50% of online searches are carried out on a mobile phone
  • 62% of people use mobiles for shopping online
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, from 21st April 2015 Google will not rank websites which are not mobile friendly in mobile searches, meaning you could loose all your traffic which comes from mobile phone searches

If we all think of our own search behavior, many will agree that numerous searches are carried out via our smart phones as part of everyday life. If we carry out a search and arrive at a website that is not optimised for mobile or tablet display it can make it very hard to read, and for that reason we will probably click away.

What does this mean for businesses? Potential customer lost. It really is that simple.

From an SEO (search engine optimisation) perspective it is also vitally important to ensure all websites are mobile friendly as Google now uses this as a criteria when determining page rankings. Put simply, if the only difference between your website and a competitors is that they are optimised for mobile and you are not, they will rank higher on Google.

Responsive Web Design vs. Dedicated Mobile Websites

There are two ways which a website can be mobile friendly, either through responsive website design or by having a dedicated mobile website or a mobile app. Both options have different benefits and suit different businesses.

Responsive Website 

Benefits

  • Cheaper and less time consuming in the long run as you only have to update one back end system, plus you only have to pay to host one website
  • Provides a seamless user experience
  • Positively adopted by Google for SEO purposes
  • Generally reduces a website’s bounce rate (a website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who arrive on a certain page and click away from the website before navigating to another page within the website)

Drawbacks

  • If you have a website with a huge amount of content it can make a responsive website too complex and slightly slower to load. Therefore a dedicated mobile website with reduced information can be a better option
  • Some more complex functionality which can be incorporated into a dedicated mobile website
  • Slightly higher upfront costs but this evens out after the first year due to reduced hosting costs

Dedicated Mobile Website/Mobile App

Benefits

  • Slightly cheaper upfront costs
  • More functionality options than responsive websites
  • Your App icon (if downloaded) will always be displayed on the screen of the users phone – good for brand visibility and sending notifications
  • Positively adopted by Google for SEO purposes, as are responsive websites
  • Also generally reduces a website’s bounce rate, as with responsive websites
  • Content can be more concise

Drawbacks

  • User experience can be a little less seamless
  • Higher costs and time required for maintenance – two system will have to be updated and paid for

Which type of mobile website is right for my business?

Overall, both types of mobile websites have benefits and drawbacks.

If you have a business website which doesn’t have a huge amount of content, and you want to make life easy, we would recommend a responsive website every time.

Smaller businesses with copious amounts of information or more intricate functionality requirements may be better looking at a dedicated mobile website or an app.

We can work through the options with you and help you choose the route, which is the best all round for your business.

Read here about our mobile website options.

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