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How Important is a Mobile Website?

The other day I accidently left my phone at home.   Didn’t realize it wasn’t in my pocket till I was 10 minutes from home and already on a tight timeline to get to a Mobile Websitemeeting.    So I proceeded without my phone.  I figured I could surely function without it for two meetings.

My Phone Isn’t That Important or Is It?

Well, in a very short time-span I realized how dependent I am on my phone.    My notes for the meeting were on my phone.  In the middle of the meeting I wanted to refer to an email I had received, didn’t have my phone. There were questions about an agreement and I wanted to log into Dropbox to view the contract, but didn’t have my phone. I needed my secretary to send me some info and thought, I will text her quick, but didn’t have my phone.  When they wanted to schedule a follow-up meeting I didn’t have my calendar on my phone.  Then I wanted to record my mileage but didn’t have the app that lives on my phone.

After one meeting I was struggling.  I knew my second meeting was with a certain company, but couldn’t remember which office location.  They have offices on both sides of town.   I didn’t have my calendar to look the info up and thought oh well, I just give them a call….no phone.

In a little more than an hour, I had needed my phone at least 8 times.  What an eye opening experience.  I never realized how dependent I was on my phone.  It is almost like it is an extension of me and my brain.  I ended up making an extra trip home to pick up the phone before my next meeting.

I bet you have experienced something similar.  Our phones have become very imortant in the way we conduct our business.

The Facts

Consider this…

  • 25% of people can’t remember the last time their phone wasn’t within their reach and 79% report their phone is with them nearly all the time.  Some people even sleep with their phone.
  • Time spent with mobile apps now exceeds desktop web access  I recently reviewed my Facebook Insights and found the 78% of my posts were viewed on mobile devices.

What does this say about our businesses?   We need to make sure our followers can find us on their mobile device.   Earlier we discussed various ways your customers could find you in this post,  Can I Find You?

The Future

In 2016 and beyond, your business website or app will be a powerful tool for connecting, communicating and collaborating.

If you don’t have a responsive web design or a mobile app, you need to consider one.

What is the Difference

You are probably asking yourself, “What is the difference between a mobile or responsive web design and  how do I know which would be best for my business?”

Before you can evaluate the benefits of a mobile website vs. an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and tablets.

Mobile Website

A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet.  This could be 3G or 4G networks or WiFi.  A mobile website is different from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.

Like any website, mobile websites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a phone number) or location-based mapping.

Apps

Instead of running within a browser, Apps are downloaded and installed on your mobile device. Users visit device-specific portals such as  Apple’s App Store in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, similar to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.

Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at first-glance.  A number of factors will determine which is best suited for your needs,  such as target audiences, available budget, intended purpose and required features.

Your Needs

Start thinking about the kind of site you need and in our next post we will discuss the pros and cons of both the Mobile Website and Custom Apps.

Oh, and by the way, a little piece of advice….on your next trip out the door, make sure you have your phone!