Mobile internet has taken the world by storm. In this year’s “State of the Internet” report, Morgan Stanley predicted that mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage by 2014. Across the globe, mobile is becoming popular as many choose to skip traditional computers in favor of more affordable handheld devises. And the affordability of these devises means that a staggering number of people are now connected to the tools and resources available online.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
Several immediate problems present themselves with this shift in the way people access the internet. First and foremost, there is the issue of display. Is your website even navigable on mobile? Does it take too long to load or require significant horizontal scrolling? Secondly, the limited screen size for handheld devices means that there are limited ads. This adds yet another road block in the world of user-driven content – How to get them to see you? Companies like YouTube, Facebook, and Google are continually coming up with a myriad of creative options for advertising on mobile sites, search, and apps. Choosing the methods that will best serve your business can be dizzying.
You Better Catch Up Quick!
To keep up with emerging trends can be a never-ending battle. But this is one that you can’t afford to ignore. Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re not losing business to mobile browsing:
- Check your site on a variety of mobile devices. Google has a way for you to check your site on a mobile device: HowToGoMo.com. You can also ask to borrow a variety of phones from friends and family.
- Review your analytics. What percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile? You can also use this data to see what pages mobile users are visiting most, and what they are clicking on.
- Consider redesigning your site to be mobile-friendly. Even if your site displays properly, are the links too close together to click? Is it easy to navigate with your thumb? Mobile friendly sites should make navigation and conversions fast and easy.
- Build a mobile site. Are a significant portion of your visitors accessing your site via mobile internet? A mobile website is specifically designed for small screens. It can be designed to complement your desktop site but with abbreviated navigation and content.
- Build a mobile app. Mobile applications are an entirely different animal from websites. An application does something specific for the user. They can be anything from games, to calorie counters, to financial tracking. While users may or may not pay for the app, a well-planned application can build brand recognition, attract new customers, and provide additional advertising revenue.
The Time Is Now
Mobile internet is not another technology trend that will fade when the next big thing comes around. It is the future of information sharing. Once we’ve lost the cords, why would we ever go back? Your customers are mobile. Your company should be too.