esd’s mobile site went live this week, compressing our big, beautiful website onto 3 x 2 inch mobile display. While the advantages of mobile are obvious for retail businesses, why would a b2b site like esd try to distill its essential information onto the small screen? For good reason – that’s where the customers are.
the essential location for retail
For retailers, a mobile website is mandatory. Customers are on the street, looking for your product, and a mobile app or website adaptation delivers the nearest location quickly and easily. Otherwise, the user finds your desktop site, portrayed in tiny squiggles on the mobile screen, and rigorous zooming and scrolling is required to navigate and search for information. In the purchasing dynamic, that’s an intolerable obstacle to the decision.
to b2b or not to be, no question
But a mobile version is equally important for b2b, non-profit and other environments where the decision is not as immediate. Google reports that mobile searches have increased by 500 percent over the past two years, and click-through rates – the number of searchers who click on your site when they find it in search – is 8 percent higher for mobile searches. People are talking about your business, thinking about you and looking for information whether they are at home, in the office, on the golf course or at dinner. If you can provide them with mobile-friendly display, you make your resources easier to use. You engage and support participation.
focus on the important stuff
Our analytics show that users visit the esd site to view our work, read our blog, contact us and find out who we are. esd’s mobile site responds to the research with a very basic menu leading to the material our visitor is most likely to need on the road.
a “greatest hits” version of the full website
That’s the point with mobile sites – you aren’t going to want to read or do everything a robust, fully-capable desktop website can offer. Mobile and desk computer are different environments, with different user needs. That’s why our first step in a mobile “conversion” is to examine the desktop site’s analytics, determine which pages receive the most traffic and identify which features and applications are most useful to the mobile user. The mobile site becomes a “best of” music album – all the hits, but you miss some of those favorite b-side songs you get in the complete collection.
seo knows we are mobile
There’s one more advantage to establishing a mobile version of your site. Increasing evidence shows a direct correlation between mobile sites and seo effectiveness. Knowing that mobile platforms are increasingly dominant in the webiverse, search engines use different programs in the apps they provide for mobile platforms. The mobile search apps detect mobile sites and rank them higher in results. Your customer’s search engine knows you have a mobile site, and will rank you higher than your competitor that does not have a mobile version deployed.
your customers know the difference
The difference is obvious anytime your customer goes surfing on their mobile phone. Some sites are configured for mobile, some are not. You can guess which ones have the highest “bounce rate” (percentage of users viewing only one page) – Vegas.com measured, and found that their mobile site reduced bounce rate by 22 percent. Most of your customers are surfing on the road: make sure your site welcomes them with information and navigation that meets them where they are.