The future of websites is now portable! Mobile websites are increasingly important to businesses thanks in part to our ever-advancing technology. Google also prioritizes mobile websites in terms of ranking now. Their previous algorithm update specifically for mobile was released on April 21, 2015, and this algorithm is still in place.

So, if you want to your desktop website to perform better online, you need a mobile one too… or maybe a responsive website will work better instead?

Mobile vs. Responsive

We’ll explain first what the difference is between a mobile website and a responsive one before moving on to the benefits.

Having a website that is responsive means it can respond to users looking for your website on whichever platform they choose. These types of websites have a flexible, fluid layout that will automatically adjust its size and restructure its content according to the device being used.

A mobile website, however, is a website specifically designed to quite literally shrink a regular website as it’s seen on a desktop computer. The site is then fitted into the limited requirements of a mobile device. This requires the user to pinch their fingers in order to zoom in to text they want to read or enter information into, which may result in poor user experience.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money building a whole new website for mobile devices, then you should make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. That way you will see the following benefits for your business, which are not limited to mobile websites. Simply making your website responsive can see good results, too!

Benefit 1: More Traffic

If your website is ecommerce, then a mobile website should be your goal. A report found that all online traffic from mobile devices ranges between 50 to 60%. This may mean that while ecommerce websites are mobile, the stats don’t say how well they load or how good the user experience is. Still, 50% of traffic is nothing to laugh at. Imagine how much more traffic your B2B website could be receiving as well.

Benefit 2: More Sales

While your website can provide your customers with background information as well as helpful content, it is through mobile devices where sales are made. A study has revealed that 50% of mobile users are the ones who are really driving the sales and following through with their purchases. Another study has revealed that 93% of those who used a mobile device to research a product eventually made a purchase.

This is because the devices are enabling customers to become more informed about the products and services they’re being offered. Instead of second-guessing, they can instantly read product reviews and compare branding—all while on their phone or tablet. So if you want to increase your sales through your website, it needs to be mobile or at least mobile-friendly.

Benefit 3: Great SEO Ranking on Search Engines

As we mentioned before, Google has an algorithm in place that ranks mobile websites in addition to sites on desktop computers. Back in 2015 when the algorithm was first introduced, Google began to use mobile-friendliness as a means to provide users with better search engine results. This was because they wanted to make it easy for users to receive “relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

To sum up, a website that is properly optimized for mobile devices will have a better chance of showing up on Google’s front page.

Benefit 4: Easy Access

Mobile websites are very easily accessible depending on a person’s predicament, especially when they don’t have immediate access to a desktop computer. For example, a customer may see a deal while browsing their favourite store that is so good they want to follow through with their purchase right at that moment. However, they’re nowhere near their home computer and the deal is only available online. In this case, a mobile website on the phone makes for easy and immediate access to what the person is looking for, resulting in a very happy customer!

The above example shows how easy access can help people find good deals on brands they trust as well as information when they don’t have much time. If accessing the website was easy enough for them, it becomes more like that they will be a returning customer as well. You need to make sure that the mobile website in question loads fast, however. A slow website on any device results only in driving away much-needed customers.

Benefit 5: Improved Customer Experience

Talking about customers, it’s the overall experience that can make a difference to their day. A recent study found that 52% of users are less likely to follow or engage with a company if their mobile experience was too terrible. That means if you’re serious about getting a mobile website built, it must be simple in its design and it needs to load fast. Having a mobile version of your desktop website can improve the customer’s overall experience so long as it is designed properly.

Benefit 6: A Competitive Edge

There is a good reason why ecommerce businesses are more than happy to get a mobile website built. According to a recent study, mobile retail sales are estimated to account for over 50% of total ecommerce sales by 2021. So if you build a mobile website, there is a good chance you will stand out over your competitors who are still relying on a desktop website. In fact, a survey revealed that only 56% of business have a mobile-friendly website, with slight improvements being made gradually over time.

This means it’s a good idea to check on your competitors’ websites and see if they have a mobile site or at least a mobile-friendly site. That way, you’ll have a better idea of the competitive landscape as well as where you and your company fall.

The Disadvantages of Mobile Websites

There are a few downsides to having a mobile website that are worth mentioning. One is that because the technology of mobile devices continue to be enhanced and then re-released, it is difficult to keep up with the latest templates needed to properly build a mobile website. The other is that vital information that is accessible on a desktop website can be lost if it is shifted to mobile and done improperly. This can result in a user losing what was needed on the desktop website by moving to mobile and not being able to find it, making for a poor and negative experience.

Finally, a brand new mobile website will mean extra costs needed to a whole new body of content, SEO, programming, and even more. Considering the number of devices needed to add this new website to, it adds up to a less than desirable expense and result!

There are great templates or themes in the market with great mobile versions, but you have to make sure that the web developers involved are updating the mobile version on a regular basis.

So, are Mobile Sites Worth It?

Ultimately, it is up to you as the business owner to decide whether having a mobile website is worth the time and money. At the very least, you should have a website and it should be very responsive and easy to use across all computers and mobile devices as well. That way, you can increase sales, build your online credibility and visibility, and boost engagement with your customers.

Rod Pancine

Rod Pancine is the CEO of KIAI Agency Inc. With over 10 years of experience in project management and a Master’s degree in Business, Rod has been our key factor to understand marketing trends, scenarios and audience behaviors, guiding our clients to make the best decisions for their businesses. He’s also a web designer, filmmaker, and music producer.

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