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Are Your Prospects Scrolling You By?

Smart-phones and tablets are estimated to reach 10 billion devices by 2016. It’s no secret that the mobile share of internet usage will continue to grow.

Many companies haven't kept up with this trend now making browsing of their website difficult for mobile visitors. Many site owners have videos that won’t play, components that won’t load and forms that can’t be filled in or lead to nowhere. These problems come from using desktop supported technologies in websites no longer used by the browsers used in the smart-phones and tablets of today.  So what additional things should be considered if upgrading to accommodate a mobile visitor?

Mobile devices have smaller screens. They often have no physical keyboard and fingers are commonly used as a pointing device instead of moving a mouse around on a much larger screen. Mobile networks can be considerably slower compared to Wi-Fi so load times and performance of websites has to be taken into consideration. So what can be lost by not having a mobile optimized website? This is just a short list of things to consider.

1. Bad experiences

Customers research online before buying. Comparing your products and services from a poorly optimized site could get you scratched off the list and cause someone not to revisit. Remember, fantastic website design on a desktop can still make for a bad experience when browsing from a smart-phone. Devices with smaller screens lacking keyboards call for different navigation controls. Scroll bars can be small to click and drag especially when horizontal and vertical ones are needed. This can be extremely disorienting and make for a frustrating experience. Customers often leave sites like this simply because they could not find the content that they were looking for fast enough. Additionally, we have grown accustomed to clicking on links and buttons. With mobile sufficient space must be given between clickable items. If not the wrong item could be hit leading to even more frustration.

2. Lost sales

Even though consumers have multiple devices they still expect to receive a similar experience when visiting your site from all of them. Someone may start to do research on your company on their laptop switching screens to their smart-phone as they leave their home. A friend emails them a link to your site and since they were mobile when they received it, they attempt to view from their smart-phone. Websites that work well only on desktop screens will continue to lose their effectiveness. Getting visitors to your website can be challenging, but problems navigating once there will cause them to leave. Additionally, those of us that pay for online advertising need to remember you pay for clicks from mobile devices as well. What percentage of those clicks do you think will convert into something meaningful if your site does not display properly on their phone?

3. Lost Connections

Consumers are expecting to get periodic updates about the things they’re interested in. Internet use has moved away from a standalone experience in front of a desktop and has become a social experience done while commuting, in restaurants, while shopping, etc. This presents a massive opportunity for businesses to connect and stay connected to their audience. Any negative experience with the virtual side of your company can affect your brand causing visitors to disconnect from the physical side as well.

4. Low conversion rates

Where there are consumers, advertisers will be as well. Advertising budgets will allocate more dollars toward mobile ad spending as this trend continues. However, spending money on mobile ads for websites not optimized for it will undoubtedly not convert well. Attention should be given to getting your site “mobilized” before enticing a mobile audience to view it.

It’s clear that not optimizing websites for mobile device usage could have a long-term negative effect at a time when their usage is increasing. Businesses need to adapt to this change in consumer behavior or run the risk of falling significantly behind their competitors.

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