by Arun Sinha

What Is a Mobile Website?

A mobile website is one that has been optimized for viewing on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

Mobile websites differ from regular sites in several ways. Sites that are mobile friendly offer a better user experience to smartphone owners, which leads to longer engagement times and greater customer satisfaction.

To better appreciate the difference between desktop and mobile sites, let's look at a typical website built for the terrestrial era.

Mobile Websites vs. Desktop Websites

Most websites are designed to be viewed on a desktop or laptop. The fonts, layouts and photo dimensions are geared to the sizes of conventional monitors. Access Communications' site, for example, looks and works fine on a regular screen, as you see below:

access communications home page

But here's what the site looks like on a mobile phone screen:

Access Communications on Mobile Phone

It's decidedly user-unfriendly in a mobile context. The font is too tiny; you can't even tell what the site is about. If you feel motivated enough to want to read the text, you have to pinch and zoom to enlarge the font. But when you enlarge it to a size that doesn't give you eyestrain, most of the text goes off the screen, as shown below:

Access Communications Enlarged Text on Mobile Phone

So you swipe it horizontally and vertically until, bit by bit, you've read everything on the page.

If you tap a link and land on a new page, you have to do this all over again.

It's no wonder most users bail out when they see a site like this on their mobile phones.

How a Mobile Website Is Different

A mobile friendly website, on the other hand, invites perusal and interaction. It provides just the key information that someone on the go might need. Its navigation is clear. Its text can be read comfortably, and its links and icons are better suited to tapping than clicking. Here's our mobile site's home page:

Access Communications Mobile Website

As you can see, much easier to use.

Why You Need a Mobile Friendly Website

By the second quarter of 2012, about 55% of mobile phone users in the United States had smartphones. Google and Ipsos estimate that 94% of smartphone users look up local information on their phones, and 90% have taken action as a result. By the end of 2012, there will be 116 million smartphone users in the United States.

The numbers are big and the trend is upward. By 2013, more consumers will be looking up websites on smartphones than on computers. Sooner or later, your customer or prospect will want to interact with your site on a smartphone. If the site doesn’t meet their needs, they'll go elsewhere.

This is why you need a mobile website.

Arun Sinha is president of Access Communications, a digital marketing, content creation and web development company in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. Visit http://www.accessc.com for more information on copy writing, websites, and Internet marketing.

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