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What Your Small Business’s Mobile Website Must Have

October 8th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

What do users want from your small business’s mobile website? Speed is of the essence, according to a new Google study reported by MediaPost. Google found that taking too long to load was a big factor in whether consumers converted to buyers or not. Mobile sites that load in 5 seconds or less have higher conversion rates, the study found.

Consumers know what they’re talking about, since nearly 96 percent of them say they’ve run into problems with sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. In addition to fast load times, consumers also want:

  • Large buttons and text
  • Less content
  • Simple search features
  • Limited need to scroll, enlarge or pinch the screen
  • Quick access to information about your business, including directions, phone numbers, product information, click-to-call and the ability to email you and download apps
  • Simple forms that don’t require scrolling to complete and have a minimal number of fields to fill in

Overall, simplicity is key in designing a user-friendly mobile site. Consumers wanted to be able to find the information they need in just one or two clicks. Search was also crucial, with 78 percent saying an easy-to-find search bar is important. And nearly three-fourths (74 percent) want the option to go to your non-mobile site instead.

Less in demand, but still of interest, nearly half (48 percent) say they want to be able to easily access your business’s social networking page; 41 percent want to be able to view video clips about your business’s products and services.

This might sound like a lot of features to include in your mobile site, but if you think it’s too much trouble, consider this: If you don’t give consumers what they want, they’ll click right over to a competitor that does. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, 79 percent of users will search for one that is; 61 percent will immediately move on to a competing site they know about. Consumers are also five times more likely to give up on a task if your site is not mobile-friendly compared to one that is.

The bad news continues after customers click away, because having a site that’s not mobile-friendly hurts your reputation. More than half of respondents (52 percent) say they’re less likely to do business with a company again after having a bad mobile experience. Nearly half (48 percent) say having a bad mobile experience makes them feel that the company doesn’t care about their business. And 36 percent say visiting such a site is a “waste of time.”

What to do? Waste no time making sure your site is mobile-friendly—or watch customers head to your competiton.

Image by Flickr user Highways Agency (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Small Business, small business, Technology, Web Design | 7 Comments »

  • http://twitter.com/Spike_Mobile Greg Lehman

    Absolutely agree with everything you recommend. People want information that’s relevant and easy to find at their fingertips.

    If you’re business can’t provide that for them, then they’ll go somewhere else. Not having a mobile website is such an easy way to hand customers to your competition.

    Great post!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for your comment – Google found that 57% of people who have a bad mobile experience will go elsewhere.

  • Liz Day

    Excellent post & recommendations. This is one way small business
    CAN compete with & even beat bigger businesses … by offering a
    well-designed, customer-oriented, mobile experience. Failure to do may
    result in not only the loss of customers, but ultimately the loss of
    their business since mobile surfing is beginning to overshadow computer
    surfing.

  • kyle

    anything that you do to keep customers engaged is good business

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely!

  • http://www.webdesign.org/ Vince Wicks

    Well, I believe your are not supposed to have a mobile site any more. Just make it responsive and off you go :)

    • Anonymous

      Touche! Yes, absolutely Vince, but to do responsive right takes time and planning. I always try to share simple, easy things to do here – I’ll have to cover RD soon, though.