Mobile optimisation – the forgotten art in digital marketing?

With social media still the buzzword du jour among digital marketers, there appears to be one area of digital marketing that has been badly neglected: mobile optimisation.

Mobile optimisation simply refers to the conversion of a ‘desktop’ website into a format that can be read easily on any mobile device. It eliminates the need for zooming on phones; gives easy access to contact information; and easy navigation to minimise hitting the wrong link. With so much online activity now taking place through mobile, one would think a mobile-optimised website would be the first digital-related decision a company would make. But that’s certainly not the case.

A recent report by the marketing agency Add People has revealed that almost 80pc of Irish SMEs have websites that are not optimised for mobile browsing. The findings are deeply worrying considering analysts at Morgan Stanley predict that by 2015 more people will be browsing the internet via mobile devices than on a PC or laptop.

Reiterating the significance of a well-optimised mobile website, a study from Google entitled What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, found that 67% of respondents were more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly website, whilst 50% of respondents said that even if they liked a business they would use it less often if its website wasn’t mobile-friendly. Google also found that almost half of web users feel frustrated when they visit a site that’s not mobile-friendly and that the same number of users feel like a company doesn’t care about their business if a site doesn’t function well on their smartphone.

On foot of this, Google has publicly stated that a mobile-friendly website will rank higher in users’ mobile searches and fully endorses responsive web design as a best practice solution. As a result, it’s imperative that Irish companies implement mobile optimisation as soon as possible to better engage with mobile browsers: in order to retain customers and boost their Google mobile search ranking.

With so much web activity now taking place through mobile, it should be a given that every company has a fully functional, mobile-optimised site. Indeed, we may one day get to the point where every company starts with a mobile-centred website and then develops a ‘desktop’ version as a mere afterthought. But we’re a long way from there for now…

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