Mobile-friendly Web sites still an SMB rarity (survey)

Mobile-friendly Web sites still an SMB rarity (survey)

Summary: Most small businesses believe mobile marketing will factor heavily in business growth over the next five years but few have moved to optimize their Web presence for mobile devices.

TOPICS: SMBs, Mobility, Wi-Fi

Although a majority of small businesses buy into the idea that mobile marketing should claim more of their technology investment dollars, few have spent money to ensure that their Web sites are appealing to browsers and visitors using smartphones.

That's according to a recent survey conducted in April by Group exploring mobile marketing trends. The poll, which reached 500 small-business owners, found that 69 percent of the respondents consider mobile marketing to be critical for growth during the next five years.

So far, so good.

But only 26 percent of those surveyed had invested time and money in ensuring that their Web site was optimized for visitors navigating to their site via a mobile device. An even smaller number, only 14 percent have a unique Web site built with mobile consumers in mind. Of those small-business owners that do have a special mobile site, 84 percent report that mobile marketing activities inspired an increase in traffic to their Web site, according to the survey data.

Noted CEO and Chairman David Brown:

"With more and more consumers specifically searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, it is imperative that small businesses invest in a mobile presence. Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses trying to attract local customers by instantly introducing a potential customer to their business' products and services in a mobile-enhanced way."

Even small businesses that haven't invested in a Web site would do well to think about their presence in mobile search engines and on the mobile Web. That's because smartphones are increasingly replacing the notion of local "yellow pages" directories. So, small businesses that might have gotten away with skipping the Web because they were focused only on local clientele probably don't have that luxury when it comes to interacting with customers who happen to be mobile.

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Topics: SMBs, Mobility, Wi-Fi

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  • 90%...

    I would say, where I live, 90% of small local businesses don't have a web site of any kind!
  • Agencies and Mobile

    Not only do small businesses need to look at mobile as a strategy, they need to look at mobile as a PRIMARY strategy. There was a recent report from Google that 95% of smartphone users report having used their mobile device to search for a local business, and 90% of those users acted within 24 hours. It is also crucial that marketing firms and agencies adopt mobile as a first-tier objective. Users decide within the first 4 seconds whether or not to stay on a mobile site so building an effective one and accepting that the mobile experience is not a second-class browsing option anymore will make or break businesses.
  • Maybe In The Future

    I agree! I think mobile marketing will be a great tool in the near future. But right now, a lot of brick & mortar business owners don???t even own a website to start with. And the ones that do don???t understand basic SEO, or how important it is to maintain fresh content.

    Most small business owners who???ve experienced some level of success in their local area are satisfied w/ a simple Yellow Page listing, or newspaper ad. The older generation is stuck in their ways. They don???t believe in all of that new ???Internet Stuff.??? But you can???t really blame them for their old school mentality when they???ve been in business for the past 40 years, doing the same thing.

    Besides that, people are too afraid to take new financial chances during these hard times.
  • The phones don't care!

    Phones these days can use most websites in a desktop resolution anyway, and support all the modern browser features such as flash (sorry, iPhone users). I don't really care if a site is optimized for mobile or not, I can still use it on a mobile device most of the time. Sure, some bigger font, and easier navigation would be nice, but it's just that. It's nice, not totally necessary.
  • Mobile Marketing: Phones don't care

    So correct, phones do not care whether you can actually read anything on that small screen. They also do not care that the navigation links are totally inaccessible via a 'fat finger' touch screen.

    Moral to the story, if your potential clients are mobile = go mobile or go home!

    As for people who believe their normal (computer) web sites are just fine for phones 'that do not care' = show me your marketing results as compared to those do take the effort and do get get the business. You are doomed to fail!

    Ignoring the needs of mobile users and at the same time trying to keep up with the 'Jone's' is what I call stupid mobile marketing ;)
    Jeroen Steeman