March 14, 2012
Optimizing for the mobile world
Making sure you have a total online presence
By: Wayne Croswell
Is your website optimized for mobile devices? What might display nicely on a larger PC screen often doesn’t cut it on a mobile device.
Just when you thought things were settling down on the Internet front, the playing field has changed again. Not long ago all you had to do was to create a website, find a hosting company, make a few changes here and there, and you were “good to go.” Well, times have changed.
A strong online presence is crucial to your business, especially for retailers, and now more than ever.
In addition to the constant upkeep of your website, you currently also have to worry about search engine optimization (SEO). In other words, you must make sure “what’s under the website” is satisfactory to search engine robots so that your site will be found and ranked as high as possible. These robots continuously crawl through websites and log them into databases. They do this crawling so that when someone types a term like “Tire Dealer” into a search engine like Google, a list of appropriate websites to go visit is displayed.
Search engines naturally want the most relevant sites to be listed first. Your objective is to get your company website ranked as high as possible. This way, people searching for your type of business will find you.
There are many tricks of the trade to help you in this quest. My suggestion is simple; leave it to the experts. The tricks of the trade keep changing and what works today may not be beneficial tomorrow.
Mobile searches will surpass PC searches
Now, you might be wondering why times have changed. Did you know that more Internet searches will be performed in 2012 on mobile devices than on PCs?
Stop and think about what that means; it means that more people will be looking for your website on smartphones, Apple iPads and tablets than on PCs. With the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices, this should come as no surprise. Don’t expect this trend to slow down either; I fully anticipate that it will continue to rise.
So what is the big deal if you already have a website, right? Wrong! Is your website optimized for mobile devices? Most likely, it isn’t.
What does it mean to be optimized for a mobile device? The answer is simple; the real estate for a website is much smaller on a mobile device than on a PC screen, and to be optimized for a smaller screen you need to maximize that real estate.
What might display nicely on a PC screen often doesn’t cut it on a mobile device.
The last thing you want a user to experience is a screen that can’t be viewed on their preferred device without a lot of tricky navigation. If your website is not optimized for a mobile device, you can be sure that in a matter of seconds users will leave your site and find a competitor’s site that gives them what they are looking for.
To make matters worse, all mobile devices are not created equal. This means that there are different optimization techniques needed for each type of phone or device that will view your website — such as Apple iPhones, iPads, tablets, Droids and Razors.
Sign up for our Enews and receive the latest news, trends, and product information right in your e-mail inbox.