It’s Becoming a Mobile World – Are You Ready?
There’s no doubt that mobile browsing is taking over the online world:
- 50% of U.S. cell phone users have smartphones
- 55% of U.S. mobile device owners access the web
- 17% of all adult cell phone users use their phone for most of their online browsing
- 45% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who access the Internet on their phones do most of their surfing on mobile
- 10% of all web browsing is now done on smartphones
If you haven’t thought about how your business looks when accessed on a mobile device, now would be a good time.
3G networks are typically 40% slower than desktop connections and 4G/LTE is 12% slower. The page weight (size) of typical web pages has grown as more images, video and widgets and further slows down page loading times. At the same time, users are getting more and more impatient at waiting for web pages to load.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is being used by those in the know to make their mobile pages load faster. A Google initiative, the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is widening at a fast pace.
Smartphone user bounce rates are 50-80% higher than desktop browsers. Bounce rate is a measure of when someone visits your site and immediately leaves, often before the page is fully loaded. You can check your bounce rate in your Google Analytics.
App or Mobilize?
What’s the difference?
Mobilizing a website means presenting your website content in a manner specifically designed for viewing on a mobile device, such as a smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc.) or a tablet (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.).
There are three common solutions to mobilizing your website:
- Create a special mobile version of your website
- Use a client-side plugin for a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
- Use a server-side plugin for a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
- Use a responsive theme (template) on WordPress, HTML5, Joomla or Drupal
Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. If your website platform is HTML, your only choice is to create a mobile version of your website. It would run on a subdomain of your current site and use an application to differentiate between desktop/laptop users and various kinds of mobile users. This can be a very elegant solution if it is done right.
Client-side plugins for CMSs are a simple, low-cost solution to mobilize your website as it automatically scales your photos and graphic images to the screen size of the device being used to access the information. The drawback is that it loads information for every size device which can dramatically increase load time. Marketing research indicates that a load time of over 4 seconds doubles the bounce rate (ratio of customers who leave before a page even loads).
Server-side plugins for CMSs use the computing power of the server to present website content specific to the mobile device in use without loading content needed by all other devices. This dramatically lowers load time and by extension greatly lowers your bounce rate (increases the time customers spend on your website). If you use WordPress, a great implementation of this type of server-side mobile content presentation is Elegant Theme’s Handheld.
An App is a specific piece of software designed to display content from any source (website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in an organized manner on a smartphone or tablet. Creating an App is the best way to present your online content provided your customers will install the App and use it. It costs more than mobilizing a website, but offers solutions custom designed for the user.
If you decide to have an App created for your business, remember that you need to develop for iOS (Apple Devices), Android (both smartphones and tablets) and Windows phones at the very least to maximize your coverage of the market.
Together, they dominate 89% of the mobile device market.
Blackberry devices, manufactured by Research in Motion (RIM) market share continues to slide.
A Few Tips
There are any number of ways to get a Mobile App for your business. You could hire a programmer and go it alone. You could use a Mobile App service, but my research indicates that they can be VERY expensive. Or you can use a reseller for an App builder that can maximize your return on investment by making sure that the programmer knows what they are doing and that the work is being done for a reasonable price.
The 5 Keys Publishing Schedule
Website/Blog – April 18
Solid SEO Plan – April 25
Email Marketing Campaign – May 2
Social Media Marketing – May 9
Mobile Marketing – May 16
2 Bonuses on May 30 and June 6