A mobile website is a browser-based HTML website just like a regular site you view from your desktop or laptop. The difference is that it’s designed to be used on a smartphone or a tablet. That means touch screen graphics, simpler layouts, and it’s coded for use on those specific devices for easier downloading.
It might be quicker to list the reasons why you DON’T need a mobile website than to tell you why you do. But I’ll try to hit the highlights here.
Not to play the blame game, but I think it started with the advent of the microwave oven. We’re a society of “if-I-can’t-have-it-now-I-don’t-want-it” consumers. A mobile website is specifically created to download quickly to a mobile device. A regular desktop website takes longer to download as pages must be translated to the new format. Having a mobile site is like having a Fast Pass to every ride in the Magic Kingdom.
Money Well Spent
The benefits from having a mobile site far outweigh the costs which are pretty minimal. If you’re just starting out, ask your web designer to make your website responsive. That means it will format itself to whatever device your site is downloading to. If you already have a site, creating a mobile version from your existing design is a fairly simple task for your agency or designer.
Fun with QR Codes
A nifty way to integrate your advertising is to use QR codes. QR codes can be added to any print or outdoor ad. When savvy mobile users scan the ads with their phone, they are immediately taken to your mobile website. Many companies use these to get consumers to complete surveys, enter sweepstakes, or download coupons. However, the last thing you want is to add a QR code to an ad that sends users to a site not optimized for mobile viewing. It’s just bad form.
Features you can give your mobile site are touch-screen calling and mapping functions, which are particularly nice for the local business. You can also provide links to your site through business search engine apps like Yelp, YP, Citysearch, and Google Places.
Survival of the Fittest
To change is human. Not adapting to change is unforgivable. If you don’t cater to new trends you will be left in the dust by your competitors. If you’re technologically challenged, don’t worry. A good ad agency doesn’t just come up with clever billboard copy, they advise you on what you need to do next to keep your momentum going.
When half of your customers are using a mobile device to reach you, can you afford to risk them clicking over to your competitor’s mobile site?