Three proven strategies for mobile-friendly websites

Scott Wilson.
Scott Wilson.

Having an engaging, easy-to-navigate website is important – for your company’s image as well as your print sales. But what’s just as important is its mobile-friendliness. Here, Scott Wilson, founder and CEO of Burlington-Ontario-based digital marketing and SEO firm www.rankhigher.ca/ (and one of Canada’s leading speakers on SEO, web sales, Internet marketing and social media ROI) guides you through the basics. He’s a regular guest lecturer for the eMarketing and MBA classes at DeGroote School of Business. Plus, PROFIT magazine ranks him as an essential speaker and resource for the CEOs of some of the fastest growing companies in Canada.

With the convenience of having the world’s information organized, and instantly on demand, combined with the ability to make instant connections, there’s no platform or channel more effective and praised than the mobile device. Consumers are loyal to convenience and simplicity, and can now get anything they want with the tap of a button.

embracingmobile1-inAccording to Google, upwards of 60% of all searches start on a mobile device – even if a laptop or desktop is available for use at the same time! It’s important for businesses to acknowledge this change in consumer behaviour and embrace the trend towards an increase in mobile device usage for searches. We live in a cross-screen world where mobile search is always turned on, and businesses must adapt if they want to survive.

Three proven strategies

Wilson recommends the following three tactics for businesses:

  1. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly website is quintessential to search-engine success. Google rewards websites that deliver helpful, relevant and effortless information to all users. So if your website is not mobile-friendly, you will not be able to rank near the top of a Google search for any competitive keywords.
  2. embracingmobile2-inBuild mobile first. Most web developers build a website on desktop computers with large screens, then design a smaller version to be used on laptops – and finally format a mobile-friendly version for mobile and tablet devices. Since traffic now comes mainly from these mobile or tablet devices, proactive firms like ours (www.rankhigher.ca/) are now building websites from the mobile device up. We also offer a free audit of your existing website. Although it’s the opposite of current trends, it makes perfect sense based on the consumer behaviour data that shows us what the rest of the world is doing. In fact, it’s actually easier to build a great mobile site and then expand it to look good on tablets, laptops and desktops, than the other way around.
  3. Get your SEO right. Earning top rankings in natural organic Google search is still one of the best ways to grow a business in most countries around the world. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) puts your website in the path of prospects at a time when they’re preparing to make a purchasing decision – and if done right, can be your greatest profit generator.

Although being mobile-friendly is important to any business, there are several industries that rely on it more heavily than others. For example, the restaurant industry primarily depends on mobile-friendly websites. In fact, studies have shown that 95% of people who have conducted a mobile search for a restaurant, ended up visiting one that appeared in the search list that very same day! Embracing the mobile world can be overwhelming for many businesses, especially start-ups or small to medium companies. But it’s vital for companies to direct their attention towards Internet marketing and use an integrated approach – as it has proven to be the most effective way to reach your potential customers.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.