Planning for Mobile Traffic: 3 Questions Small Business Owners Need to Ask

For most websites, the number of visitors using mobile devices — smart phones, iPads and similar gadgets — is on the rise. That makes it truly important that you take your mobile visitors into account when planning any changes to your website. Doing otherwise is simply a fast way to miss out on sales.

There are three key questions that you need to ask in order to make sure that you're presenting the best experience to anyone visiting your site from a mobile device.

  1. Do you have a mobile version of your site? If you're not sure, the answer is likely no — while most websites can be displayed on mobile devices just as they were originally designed for a computer browser, very few have an actual mobile version. That can be a problem, because what shows up well on a regular computer can appear very differently on a cell phone or a tablet.
  2. What technology is your site built on? You can do some very cool things on website with the right technology. Flash, for instance, can help you turn out a truly beautiful site. But Flash is particularly hard on a mobile browser. If you've got a visitor using an iPhone or an iPad, they simply won't see your site at all. Other approaches to websites can have their own problems, making it truly necessary to consider where you'll need a mobile version of your site separate from the main version.
  3. What do mobile visitors need to do on your site? If someone is accessing your website through his phone, odds are good that he's not trying to read every page on your site. So creating a mobile version that emphasizes those tasks that a visitor actually needs to complete makes sense. Maybe they need to place an order quickly or confirm a price. Making it particularly easy to perform such tasks will win over clients who rely on their mobile devices.

With a growing percentage of all online traffic coming from mobile devices, you don't have any option but to make sure that visitors to your site can read what you have to offer, even on the tiny screens offered by smart phones. They have to be able to interact with your site whether they're on an iPad, on the phone or anywhere else.

When you consider that it's even more likely that a business owner or manager is likely to be out and about when they need information online, it's especially important for B2B companies to make sure that their websites are ready for mobile users. There's a price that goes along with creating a mobile version of any site — in some cases, you almost need two separate sites — but that price can be worth it. Depending on your business, just a handful of customers can make a world of difference and mobile traffic typically represents more than a handful of visitors.

Image by Flickr user Mr T in DC

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