As first seen on the Digital Pacific blog
These days, you don’t need to go far to see someone tapping away on their iPhone or HTC. They might be text messaging a friend, or downloading the latest applications from iTunes. But chances are, they’re probably online surfing the web, looking for useful information to pass their time.
In the US, users spend an average of 4.5 hours browsing online on their smartphones each day. Australians aren’t that far behind; currently, 43% of the Australian population owns internet-enabled phones. And, although 28% of smartphone users are now accessing their email via phone more than they do on their PC, searching online has actually become the most popular activity for smartphone users.
What’s even more astounding is that Australians aren’t just browsing on their phones on the go – only 13% claim to surf the web while commuting. Research shows that a surprising 33% of Australians surf the web on their phones from home.
Consequently, many businesses are now modifying their websites to become mobile-friendly. They understand that the way people consume content is changing, and they don’t want to be left behind.
Does your target market use an iPhone?
When we think ‘technology’, we of Gen Y. After all, Gen Y are the ones who know it all when it comes to using computers and new digital devices. They don’t just consume online content, they interact with it and create. So it makes sense that if you are targeting a young audience, you should be making an effort to maximise your business’ online presence as much as possible.
However, because Gen Y are so tech-savvy, it takes far more effort to target a Gen Y audience than just creating a mobile-friendly website. So, for this reason, here are some surprising results: the clear benefits of having a mobile-enabled website are much more suited to businesses who target Gen X and older consumers! Believe it or not, more than 41% of smartphone users are over the age of 40.
What’s more, research from a recent 2010 Nielsen study predicts that by 2012, more than half of Australian mobile phone users will be using smartphones. So don’t be fooled, modifying your website to become mobile-friendly is beneficial no matter what generation your target audience is from.
Common problems with non-mobile-friendly sites
If you have never thought of optimising your website for mobile before, let’s take a look at some of the common complications with non-mobile-friendly sites.
It is important to remember that when iPhone users interact with website content, they use their hands on a touchscreen, not a mouse on a monitor. The different dimensions of an iPhone screen compared to a computer screen means that your site will not display correctly. If your site has several panels, they may appear jumbled up, or they become difficult to see, zoom in, zoom out and navigate.
Depending on your website’s resolution, your text may also be impossible to read. You lose your selling power; the important marketing message that you want customers to read gets lost. By having a mobile-friendly site, you maximise your chances of integral content being easily absorbed.
In addition, many websites use Flash to jazz up the appearance of their sites. Flash does not work on smartphones, and due to its nature, never will. Also, the use of multiple images can slow down your website’s speed. If your site takes too long to load, consumers are bound to become impatient and move onto something else.
Taking the next step to mobile
By modifying your website to become quickly and easily accessed via phone, you are more likely to capture the consumer’s attention AND keep it.
But don’t panic – having a mobile-friendly site does not require a complete overhaul of what you already have. Rather, simply modify your site to suit, and your website will automatically load in the correct format for that specific device the user is using at the time.
It is a relatively quick process and there are several web companies that can help you with these alterations. So get in touch with your web developer today to find out how to make it happen.