Rainier Fuclan / Mobile / January 15th, 2013

People Are Mobile; Your Website Should Be, Too

Mobile Search

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mobile Site User Experience Is Important

There are 4 billion mobile devices in use worldwide, 1.08 billion of which are smartphones. This means that 27 percent of mobile consumers have the potential to search and access your business’ website from a smartphone. Have you ever gone to a website on your smartphone only to see a zoomed out version of a desktop website? It’s frustrating and a bad experience for anyone trying to get any information on the go.

To illustrate, here are some examples of business that have mobile versions of their websites:


Amazon and Coca-Cola are huge brands, so it’s expected they have mobile versions of their sites. These mobile sites give the users the full experience in a friendly, compact form. But being a big business doesn’t always mean they are on top of the technology trends. Take a look at Pepsi’s website; the desktop and mobile versions are the same:

Pepsi's "Mobile" Site
That’s how it looks on my iPhone. It looks like they’re trying to mimic the Windows 8 live tiles. They probably assumed that it would scale down gracefully on mobile devices, but as you see here, it’s a jumbled mess that is almost impossible to decipher.

Mobile Sites Increase Potential Leads

With so many smartphones and tablets in use, mobile sites are becoming a valuable lead generator for businesses. Since people on the go are often searching for exactly what they want, mobile sites offer increased potential conversions for customers comparing businesses or looking up how to purchase that product.

I started to see this with one of our client’s mobile and desktop site while I was viewing their Google Analytics:

Desktop Site

Google Analytics for Desktop Site for client
Mobile Site

Google Analytics for Mobile site
As soon as we launched their mobile site on Oct. 10 we started to see some traction on it. After a three month period we took the data from their mobile site and compared it to a three month period on their desktop site to see the effects of a mobile version. In those three months, we found that there were 500 additional visitors to their mobile site, visitors that would have previously been shuffled to their desktop site before launch. That’s a 14.85 percent increase in traffic from mobile.Conversions on a mobile site can differ from desktop sites based on how people are coming to your site. On a desktop, maybe they want to check out times for a movie they will see later. On a mobile site, they’re more than likely trying to find directions to that theater. Businesses may have two different navigation flows for their customers to take based on their device, and they need to take that into account so they can optimize conversions.

From user experience to adapting to the technology evolution, mobile will soon become the dominant means for people to connect with online content. It’s imperative that you stay ahead of the curve and start catering to mobile users. Building your website with responsive web design allows you to build a desktop site that will conform exactly to the screen size on which it is viewed, meaning you may not need an additional mobile site. This will also alleviate cannibalization of links/authority from the desktop site and m.domain.com subdomain.

It’s all about giving your consumers a great experience and providing information in a relative setting that will draw more people to your site and products.

Photo Credit: Johan Larsson via Compfight cc

  • Geoff

    Excellent post. Responsive web design provides a great way to give users on all devices and platforms a good experience.