“When Google sneezes, the Internet catches a cold.”
*paraphrasing Klemens von Mettenich
That’s how we know this is finally the year of mobile. Not when smartphone penetration reached 50% in spring of 2013, not when mobile design became part of every developer’s skill-set, not when searches being performed on mobile surpassed desktop searches in 2015. No. It was when Google became mobile-centric, during the last few months of 2016, that the Internet became mobile-centric.
Everyone knew this was inevitable, but there are many, many, who thought they had more time. A 2015 survey showed that only 33% of small- and medium-size businesses are mobile-friendly. Our customers are searching on their phones, and 53% of those searches have a local intent.
If our websites happen to be in that unenviable position of not being mobile-friendly, what can we do to play catch up? Stating the obvious, we have to make sure our websites are mobile-friendly. Here are four options, with the most difficult first.
- Create additional sites for each mobile device that we can think of. I don’t know what that number is, but it makes my head hurt. If someone suggests that as an option, they’re trying to fund a kid’s college education or their own retirement.
- Next on level of difficulty is going in to your CSS code and changing input widths. That’s probably more than most people are capable of and, even those who can probably don’t want to.
- One quick option is to use a site like DudaMobile, bMobilized, or MobiSiteGalore that does it quickly. Usually, we have a chance to choose which menu items we want on the first screen, colors, etc. Some even have click-to-call buttons and other mobile communication options. This is a great option for small sites, and most have a free option with upgrades available.
- Most website hosting services (GoDaddy, Joomla, BlueHost, etc) have plugins to create mobile-friendly pages. Again, simple to implement.
None of these options guarantee that our sites will load faster, which is a huge concern.
Then, yes, we have to market and advertise on mobile. Because, and I can’t stress this enough, mobile is where our customers are!
*“When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold.” Klemens von Metternich