Nearly 50% of all online searches are now done using mobile devices a number that will only continue to grow in the next decade. These mobile searches are now being done not just on iPhones or iPads they are being done on all shapes and sizes of smartphones and tablets. The bottom line, people love their mobile devices and expect anyone who wants to communicate with them to show up on their smartphones or tablets.
People are searching in cars and on buses, people are searching on top of buildings and on top of mountains. Your potential customers are searching for information to make their lives easier and to spend money. Anywhere there are people with a web signal searching is going on. When your potential customer does a search your business needs to show up in a readable and compelling form that answers the searchers questions.
If you are running a small business or nonprofit your first need is to get seen by customers and donors. A website has the ability to be a dynamic and engaging tool that showcase your products, services and mission for all to see, when done right your website brings new people to your door and now your door includes both smartphones and tablets. There are a number of directions you can go in heeding the call of mobile devices.
- Create an app for IOS, Android and Windows smartphones
- Create a completely separate mobile website
- Create your site using responsive web design
Making Your Decision
Apps are huge right now and I’ve yet to meet a business owner who didn’t at least inquire about building an app. Who wouldn’t want an app in the hands of thousands of people keeping them up to date with information and deals happening in your business. The downside is apps are expensive and need lots of care and maintenance. There is also an unspoken aspect to having an app developed and promoted. What the heck will it offer the user that is of value? Think about it, will people rush to own your app that displays your products and services and nothing else?
The second option is to have a separate mobile website developed, maintained and marketed. At first glance this might be a great option and it’s less expensive than developing and maintaining an app. The downside is that you will have to tend to the mobile website in addition to tending to your main website. Twice as much work right out of the box.
The third option is to have your site created or upgraded to become a responsive website. utilizing responsive web design you will end up with just one property to maintain and market, a property that will look and work great on PCs, Smartphones and Tablets. With a site based on responsive web design your blog, deals and events are all going to shine no matter what mobile device someone is using, one update will be seen on all devices.
Having a responsive website means your customers will add their comments, sharing and reviewing in one place. One website gives you only one place to check for what customers are saying and asking, and only one site to reply to saving time and money. People will be linking and bookmarking one site for everything all centering around one URL. The search engines will know who you are and where you are erasing the confusion coming from multiple sites with the same message.
Lastly responsive web design has lots of room to grow and increase the benefits it offers, as it grows it will continue to offer your users a dynamic and interactive set of tools that you users will appreciate.