The last five to ten years have seen tremendous technological change in the world of computing. Where personal and business computing and Internet surfing had previously been done only on a desktop computer with a large monitor, people today access content on the Internet through multiple devices – smart phones, tablets, iPads, laptops. They bank, shop, make dinner reservations and more. Essentially, they want service on demand wherever they go and through whatever means they have available at the moment. The same holds true for the cleaning and restoration industry where disaster often means the only way for a home or business owner to search for help is on a mobile device. Accessibility to content is a factor you cannot ignore as you design or improve your website.
This variety of mobile devices means the range of screen sizes for viewing content is much more variable. According to Google, at least half of all Internet searches are now made from a mobile device. If your website does not function properly on a mobile device—if a user cannot easily view your content—you stand to miss business opportunities. Since potential clients looking for damage restoration services may have only their mobile device to access the Internet and find emergency cleanup help, if your website does not display well or easily on their device, they’ll move on to a different company whose website they can view. By optimizing your website for mobile devices, you improve your ability to gain market share because anyone will be able to view your website, no matter what platform they use.
Web designers use different ways to make your website accessible across platforms. One way is through responsive website design by which your web content automatically adapts to fit any screen. The other way is through dynamic serving, which simply means your website has two versions: one that is optimized for PC use and the other for mobile use. Technically, only one of these options is needed, but you can better serve your potential customers by implementing both. Remember, Google’s search algorithm now heavily weighs mobile-friendliness when ranking mobile sites. To stay relevant in searches and maximize cross-platform functionality, your website must be optimized for mobile devices.
A few statistics emphasize the need for a mobile-optimized website. Mobile data usage has increased 89% within the last 4-5 years, even where a computer network is available (Nielsen 2013). This means that users prefer the convenience of mobile web browsing, even when the option to use a larger screen (on a PC or laptop) is available. Many Internet users (45%) are goal-oriented. They know what they’re searching for, and are ready to make a decision. In such pivotal moments, your website must ready to perform. A majority (55%) of website conversion that turns passive site traffic into actual leads (for example from a phone call or email inquiry) happen within the first hour that a user visits your site.
Visitors will not wait around for content that doesn’t display properly or easily. If a visitor is ready to commit in that all-important first hour, your site must be ready to facilitate their follow-through. A website optimized for mobile use is critical to success in most businesses, but especially so in the cleaning and restoration industry, where the first visit to your website will probably be done on a mobile device. Learn how to Kill It Online with Sonny Ahuja (www.SonnyAhuja.com).