Do You Really Need to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

  • 14 June 2011
Do You Really Need to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

Do You Really Need to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

Whether you’re in the marketing department of a large nonprofit or a DIY-minded entrepreneur, you have to consider the implications of the mobile computing shift on your online presence. Smartphones are becoming more mainstream by the week, and less trendy but still handy “feature” phones, their less chic little cousins, have nearly saturated the rest of the market.

A news story has recently been making the rounds about the speculation that more smartphones than PC’s will be made in 2011. Journalists and bloggers have been heralding it as a shift in the paradigm, claiming that the desktop is dead.

But how does this tech trend translate into real-world marketing numbers? Do you really need to take this into account when developing your organization’s web site?

The answer is, “of course.”*

*But notice the asterisk. Each brand is unique, and there is no one-size fits all approach to the mobile web. You have to ask yourself some questions to find your own strategy.

Interested in tackling this critical topic? Then read more…

Is your target audience made up of frequent mobile web browsers?

According to a 2011 study by the Nielsen ratings company, 31% of mobile users in the US now surf the web on their phones at least some of the time. In a 2010 study, Nielsen also found that people who browsed the web on their phone at least once a month were largely younger males, and 69% were browsing on smart phones. The average age for these consumers is 36.4, and the average household income is $100,296. They browse the web looking largely for entertainment, the study says.

This is an attractive group to traditional advertisers. But are they your target audience?

Is 6% important?

Those are impressive numbers. Of those who own web-browsing phones, a decent number use them at least once a month. And this is a wealthy and trendy group.

But check out another set of numbers, not brought up by most tech bloggers:

According to the web analytic company StatCounter, as of May 2011, 5.75% of all web traffic is now on mobile phones, with 96.25% of traffic remaining on those old-fashioned desktops. Given all the buzz around mobile, that might be smaller than you were expecting. Logically, it seems that the many people with the ability to browse the web on their phone only use that ability selectively. So how large, exactly, is 6% from a marketing perspective?

Is that a large enough number to re-design your web site to be more mobile friendly, or to compel your organization to pay a company to develop an app for your cause?

Stay Tuned for Part 2
6% is a small number, but it’s one that is clearly growing. And the small group of people who that number describes are definitely attractive as potential supporters and customers.

Take a moment to think about whether reaching this audience is a priority for your business. Next week, we’ll be back with part two of this series, with details on how to best fit your message to that tiny mobile screen.

And, as always, we’re here. If you need any help on making this decision or on making a mobile-friendly site, feel free to contact us at WebServes.

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