Talk to people who run political campaigns and they’ll say, “All politics are local.”
That’s becoming increasingly true on the Internet as well: “All browsing is local.”
The desktop computer is being left behind and in its place is a phalanx of mobile devices: laptops, smartphones and tablets. Further, by the end of 2013, 22 percent of the world’s population had a smartphone and 6 percent owned a tablet. In the United States today, more than half the adults have smartphones.
This shift in computing devices is changing the way we use the Internet. For example, my husband and I were out and about the other day and we tried to pull up some information about one of our favorite restaurants on my smartphone. The site was empty. If we had been new customers, we probably would have gone elsewhere.
Having a user-friendly and functional mobile website can no longer be an “after thought.” Depending on the nature of your business, more people may be viewing your site on a smart phone today than on a “regular” computer. If you use Google analytics for your website, you can easily find out what percentage of your visitors are using mobile devices.
Step one in assuring that your business is mobile friendly is to thoroughly check it out yourself on a couple of different mobile devices. Also, have some friends and family members critique it for you.
There are a variety of ways to get your website mobile ready. If you use WordPress, you’ll find a wide range of plugins that get the job done. And however you decide to do it, make sure the important functions on your website are obvious and easy to use on your mobile site.
There’s no getting around the fact that your site has to translate well to smartphones and tablets, but there’s another option as well. You can have your own app developed. Again, there are many ways to get this done. If your website is built with WordPress, there are plugins available that allow you to create your own app. Of course, there are thousands of developers who can create anything from a very simple app, to one that includes shopping functions.
Before we leave the topic, I want to give you one more observation and a quick tip. First, as my anecdote above illustrated, consumers are now seeking information about nearby businesses when they’re on the move. This is critical to understand if you have a business that can benefit from walk-in traffic.
Now for my tip related to this fact: Be sure that your business location is correct on Google Maps and that review sites like Yelp and local directories have accurate information.
Is your small business mobile ready? Share your experiences.
This article was originally published by Susan Solovic
Published: February 27, 2014