Should You Have a Mobile Website?
Do you know what percentage of your website visitors are coming from a mobile device or smart phone? If you’re like most business owners, you probably have no idea. But you need this information in order to see just how important having a mobile-friendly version of your website is – and for many businesses, the importance of mobile is growing by the day.
Look at this:
This chart represents the growth in visits from mobile devices for a local home services company over the past ~year. Do you think they’re building a mobile-friendly version of their website? You bet they are! In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to find out what percentage of your website visits come from mobile devices, explain what having a mobile-friendly website means and give you some of the benefits of investing in a mobile version of your website.
Using Google Analytics to See How Many Mobile Visits You Get
“If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage (and maximize it)!” If you don’t know what percentage of your website visitors come from mobile devices, it’s difficult to decide whether building a mobile-friendly version of your website is a priority. If you own or operate a small medium sized business, you don’t have the time or the money to execute all the “cool” advertising and marketing ideas thrown across your desk (don’t worry though, most of them are worthless anyway). Your success is about one thing – prioritization.
If you take only one thing away from this blog post, make it this: You need accurate tracking and data analysis to maximize your marketing ROI. Data combined with gut intuition beats gut intuition alone – every single time. So, how can you see how many mobile website visitors you get each month? You can start by using Google Analytics (if you’re not currently using Google Analytics to track your website, contact us to learn more).
Go into Google Analytics and click “Visitors” > “Mobile” > “Mobile Devices”
Review the details and make decisions
This report within Google Analytics provides you with some really powerful information! First, it shows you exactly how many visits you’ve received from mobile devices. Why does this matter? Suppose it is going to cost $500 to $750 to build a mobile-friendly version of your website – should you do it?
If you combine the information in this chart with the value you’ve assigned to a web visit, it’s easy to answer this question (if you haven’t quantified the value of a visit, you need to drop us a line!).
Second, it allows you to compare mobile visit behavior and quality to the rest of your site’s visits. For example, visits from mobile tend to view almost 33% fewer pages than visitors using computers. Mobile visitors also spend 21% less time on your site than your average visitor. Again, why should you care?
If you want to make more money from your website, you need to be constantly testing and improving it. Why are mobile visitors viewing fewer pages and leaving your site early? Could it be that your website is a pain in the butt to use on a mobile device? It might be. Could it be that mobile visitors have different needs or are visiting your site under different circumstances than a visitor on a computer? Sounds reasonable. Could both be true? Absolutely!!
What you need to do is use this information to formulate a few tests. You could also drill down deeper and look at which pages your mobile visitors view vs. visitors using computers. This might give you an indication of visitor intent and/or the circumstances of the visit. Someone viewing your website while they’re stuck in traffic (shame on you if you do this) is expected to have a quicker visit than someone viewing your site from the comfort of their living room!
Can the person stuck in traffic find your phone number in an instant? Do you want them to be able to? Build a mobile-friendly version of your website with a prominent click-to-call button and test this! Review your data to see if contacts via your website from mobile devices increases.
Elements of a Mobile Friendly Website
Before you set out to build a mobile version of your website, you need to consider the circumstances in which someone on a mobile device would be on your website in the first place. For example, if you own a plumbing, heating and air conditioning or roofing company, someone might visit your website on their mobile phone because they’re in an emergency situation. Their basement has flooded and that’s where their home computer is. They hop onto their iPhone and Google, “plumbing companies in Maryland”.
Maybe someone pulls up to their home after a long day at the office and finds a large oak tree laying on top of their roof! They may not want to risk going inside before pulling out their Blackberry and Googling, “roofing company in Potomac MD”. IF they find your website (how easily can your website be found on Google? Are you investing in pay per click ads and extending your ad campaigns to mobile devices??), what will it look like on their phone?
In the screenshot above, we see that the average mobile visitor looks at only 2.09 pages and spends just 1:32 on the site. It would be interesting to see the two most commonly visited pages and then see how easy it is to find and call the phone number. You can accomplish some of this with Google Analytics.
Let’s look at the top pages visited by mobile visitors:
Go to “Advanced Segments” and use the drop-down to select “Mobile Traffic”
Look at “Top Content” from mobile visits
Looking at things this way gives us a bit more insight about the intent of mobile visitors and how we might better serve them. For example, the most popular page is the homepage of the site. The third most popular page is the contact page. This might lead us to question how easy it is to find the company’s phone number on the home page using a mobile device.
Should the mobile version of the website feature an easy to find, click-to-call phone number? Based on what we’ve seen so far and anecdotal evidence, we’d say, “YES!”
The fact that the second most popular page is the “how to clean your water cooler page” (this is a bottled water company’s website) is a little surprising.
Why would someone find themselves on this page while using a mobile device? It could be the way the navigation is structured on the non-mobile friendly website or it could be something altogether different. More thought and analysis is required.
Consider your business and why someone would find themselves on your website using a mobile device. A lot of our current clients are home services businesses – kitchen and bathroom companies, HVAC, plumbing and roofing companies, etc.
Home services companies need to make sure that their phone number is prominent on every page of their mobile site. It should be a click-to-call phone number. If you have a retail showroom – as is the case with many kitchen and bathroom companies – make sure you have a map feature so that people can find your shop when they’re in their car. Showroom or no showroom, it’s also a good idea to feature your business hours, service area and an overview of your services.
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to overload your mobile website with the same content you might have on your main website. All that information is just going to make it harder for your mobile visitors to find what they really need. Similarly, don’t go crazy with images and pictures on your mobile website – unless that is what you’re selling (ex. high-end home builders and architects). Images and pictures slow down page load times and not every mobile visitor is using 3G or WiFi (although you can use Google Analytics to quantify this too).
The Benefits of Having a Mobile Friendly Website
If you have Google Analytics on your website, you’ll see that visits from mobile devices are rapidly increasing. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website today, you need to consider building one – especially if you run a home services business. Some of the benefits of having a mobile website include (but are not limited to):
- More visits
- More leads
- More sales and booked jobs
To learn more about building a mobile-friendly version of your website, contact a mobile website designer at Blue Corona today!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
View more blogs by Ben Landers
“We are very pleased not only with the end result, but with the entire process of working with Blue Corona. The amount of patience, guidance, and knowledge that they displayed throughout the whole process made them a very easy and enjoyable partner to work with. We are thrilled with our new website, mobile site, and content management system. We would recommend Blue Corona for any website development or redesign project. ”
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