Guest Post: Is Your Business Mobile Friendly?

Written by  Craig Robinson

The look and function of the Internet has changed dramatically within the last decade, and since it initially rose to prominence in the mid 1990s, there have been massive advances that we can't even really comprehend because they've happened so quickly. From slow, noisy dial-up to DSL and cable. From white, bulky desktops to sleek towers and flat-screen monitors. And from old, hefty cell phones that couldn't do anything but call people to hand-held computers that call, text, shoot, record and connect. It's all moving so quickly. Just when most people were finally getting cool, compact laptops, smartphones and tablets came alone. Are you part of this trend of mobile computing?

Mobile is where the market has turned today, and this encompasses both hardware and software. It's not only the devices but also the look and function of the websites these devices access. If your business isn't mobile-friendly, you're losing out on customers.

Why Mobile Computing Is So Popular

The Technology Is There

The main reason the world is going mobile is because the world can go mobile. The automobile used to be a novelty item when it first came along. As the technology improved and more cars were available, more people had one. But when they became efficient, fast, comfortable, safe machines that were available in abundance, everyone had a car. The same holds true with mobile devices. We're not talking about the Nokia flip phones here. The smartphones and tablets of today offer high-speed Internet, gorgeous graphics, a lot of storage, the ability to shoot photos and videos, and much more. The better the devices come, the more popular they will become.

Speed, Ease and Entertainment

Over three quarters of the world's population use mobile technology in some capacity. The numbers are utterly amazing, especially as they pertain to a site like Facebook and its mobile audience. Qwaya has a great infographic explaining this mobile trend in more detail. Social users can quickly log on, check their page, Like and share various elements, and they can use and navigate social features at a much faster and efficient pace. The same holds true with people who use mobile devices to shop. Amazon, eBay, and many other large corporations, as well as countless businesses previously using desktop sites, have now added mobile sites to their arsenal.

These mobile sites are speedier and easier because of the various elements contained on the page. Easy scroll features; one-touch capabilities for Liking, sharing, shopping, etc; QR codes; photo sliders and video playback features; and the list goes on and on. The software has been impeccably designed to work incredibly well with today's hardware. It's a one-two punch – it's as Sinatra said about love and marriage: You can't have one without the other.

The Market Competition

Another reason mobile computing is so popular is because of the competition out there. All throughout history, no greater advancements in civilization have been made than when the free market is hard at work. When Apple competes with Microsoft, the public ends up the winner. Just like when Ford competed with Chevy, the end result was better cars. So as the technology gets better, it also becomes more affordable. These are just more factors which lend to the mobile market's popularity.

The Importance of Being Mobile Friendly

When you're designing a website, or redesigning an existing site, it's obviously important to make sure that it works on all devices. Most ecommerce sites today see a larger and larger portion of their sales generated through mobile, so taking care of these customers are increasingly important.

On your regular website, you can include a lot of information that is not part of the actual conversion funnel – large images, product descriptions, longer articles about the product, reviews and so on. On a mobile device, this may become distractions rather than helpful information. People are willing to make purchases on your mobile site, but their patience are often shorter compared to using the traditional website. If it takes too long for the page to load or it's hard to find where you actually make the purchase, it's easy to lose the customer.

The key is to see the different versions of the website as different entities and to measure the results individually.

Mobile sales through other channels

You have read about how utterly popular the mobile market is today. Being mobile friendly obviously helps you cater to that market. But your mobile customers often come through other channels – specifically social-media sites such as Facebook.

Let's say that you're using Facebook for business and are really trying to promote your brand. You can benefit by catering directly to Facebook mobile in many ways. You can participate in a more direct, personal type of marketing campaign. You can exploit various hashtags, pinned posts, mobile-specific ads, etc, in order to play to the market. You can also select from a wide range of high-quality material to increase your Likes, shares, and ultimately your brand's recognition.

But that's only dealing with the mobile version of Facebook. The same holds true for every social network you're a part of, and even your main business website. Going mobile allows you to cater to a market that's growing in size and strength every single day. You can easily run contests and promotions, develop QR codes, brand yourself on multiple platforms, and create a user-friendly experience that visitors can quickly navigate.

With billions of people already using mobile devices to access the Internet, it's clear that the mobile trend isn't going to slow down any time soon. Catering to this market as a business will help you compete, grow and expand.

Author's bio: Craig Robinson, a social media enthusiast and online writer for Qwaya, a technology company specializing in Facebook marketing.

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