Business Opinion, Life of an IT Manager, Tech Corner

Why your website needs to be mobile-optimised

According to a recent survey from internet payments system provider WorldPay, Britons now do 25% of their spending online. This is largely due to over half of Britons being in possession of an app-enabled mobile phone, which allows them to make the most of location-based deals and shop when out and about. According to WorldPay’s survey, one in six Britons will make a purchase on a smartphone. For a fast-paced, always-on environment, online and mobile shopping has further facilitated the impulse purchase and made the shopping experience more accessible to rural users.

The increased functionality of modern smartphones has changed the way we shop offline too – while many Britons don’t buy using smartphones, they do use them for browsing, price comparison and stock checking while out and about, so often a smartphone will help facilitate a more informed offline purchase. (Plus, the rise of handy mobile banking apps means shoppers can check their budgets more easily and get to purchase faster, with a survey by the Pew Research Centre finding 21% of mobile phone users using mobile banking and 90% of those checking their balance regularly before making online purchases.)

With this is mind, it is even more important for companies who have an online presence to optimise it for mobile browsing. While it shouldn’t be seen as a higher priority revenue stream than offline or traditional PC browser-based purchasing, it is a new way to help customers educate themselves further about your products and help facilitate a purchase.

So, what’s the best way to optimise your site for mobile? It’s as simple as getting inside the mind of a mobile user – they want the information they need in as few steps as possible, delivered in a format that handle slower mobile phones. To drive users to your site from their mobile web browser try these tips:

  • First off, test your site on a smartphone screen to see how it appears to your users
  • Shorten keywords and key phrases that you use to appear higher in mobile searches, and remember that Google’s predictive search term function is more popular with on-the-go mobile searchers
  • Remember that a smaller mobile screen means fewer search results will fit on the main page
  • Remember that a web page’s fold will appear earlier on a mobile’s screen than a PC screen – make sure your site has all the key information above the fold
  • If you already have a dedicated mobile site, make sure it auto-redirects when users view your site from a mobile

Is your site mobile-optimised? What challenges did you face, and have you seen an increase in traffic as a result?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and keep an eye out for BT Business Direct’s own mobile site, launching soon…

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One Response to “Why your website needs to be mobile-optimised”

  1. On 24th May 2012 at 2:17 pm Chris Lambert responded with... #

    Having a mobile site for your business can help greatly.

    A look at Facebook will show you the business you could be missing out on.

    Facebook makes a lot of money from the adverts on it’s PC Browser pages. I’m sure that everyone has clicked an advert link or 6 in their time visiting the site. Maybe without even realising it!

    Now if you look at the Mobile page and indeed the App you’ll notice the lack of adverts. This is a massive hole in Facebook’s marketing plan. The more people are connected via social media on the move the more the need for adverts.

    If you can tap into the mobile market you can tap into location based advertising.

    For Example: If your a big retail chain and you have a shop that is under preforming then a location base advert offering a discount could quite easily drive more people through your door, thus converting to more sales and more money in the till.

    Of course the outlay on this can be quite large and put Small Businesses off. But the need for a Mobile Site is still an important factor non the less.

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