The answer to that question is buried in your analytics. Very few businesses by percentage currently have a mobile website. Those that do are ahead of the curve for their effort. Those that don’t will be behind the curve very shortly. We have been watching our client’s analytics very carefully, and the past eighteen months have shown dramatic increases in mobile website use for many of them. There is a fairly clear pattern that B2C sites are well ahead of B2B sites. We have seen some clients go from 4% in total visits just 18 months ago to 20% currently and rising. There are several good reasons this is happening, but it is important to look at your data and figure out if you should make plans to go mobile. If more than 10% of your visitors are mobile, you need to get going. If you have a mobile website, is it working?
A mobile website can be many things to a business, but for the most part, it is a way to deliver your valuable content and message more efficiently on smartphones and tablets. Image use is decreased in design and navigation is made efficient to accommodate the smaller screens. What we routinely see is that mobile website visitors who are not on a mobile website have decreased conversion rates by about 50% and a 25% decrease in page views. If that doesn’t alarm you it should. If 20% of your traffic is buying half as often as the rest and this is a growing segment, I suggest you put pencil to paper and do some math. The world is going mobile, and it is not really a matter of if you need a mobile website, but a matter of when you will need it and how to make it work for you.
That is not to say that full-screen sites are dead! The reality is that web marketing is just changing again and a new element has become important. It will keep happening at blazing speed and those they stay with it will reap large rewards and those that don’t will be in a lot of meetings with yelling and arm waving going on. Your web presence is an evolving entity. It will never be finished. It is a replica of your business personality online. People have come to expect fresh content, modern sites, and great service. A miss on any of these three items and they move to the next provider leaving you with a page on MySpace.com wondering where did everyone go?
Mobile web use is growing and likely will continue to grow. Many of our clients are currently in the process of having a mobile website developed to make sure they are competent in this area of the fastest growing marketing channel in history. At the very least you should have your data looked at to determine if you are in the growing percentages of companies that now need to have a mobile website. I can remember years ago holding out on getting a beeper and a fax machine. Eventually, we had to have these devices to compete. Mobile commerce is going to be far more important than the fax machine. The fax machine is pretty much obsolete already, but can you imagine not using your smartphone for information and communication?