OBX SCORE: Is your small business website mobile friendly?

By on May 18, 2018

Each month The Outer Banks Voice showcases information from the Outer Banks Chapter of SCORE, an organization of retired executives who coach start-ups and new businesses, helping them establish a sound footing for their new ventures.

As the summer season approaches, there is not a better time to think about attracting visitors to your small business. One valuable marketing approach is to make sure your website is mobile friendly.

According to a 2017 study by the marketing agency Nectafy, 88 percent of consumers that conduct such a local business search on their mobile device will call or go that business within 24 hours.

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Google changed the website game in April 2015 by giving better search results page ranking to mobile-friendly websites, citing more searches on mobile devices versus desktop computers. If you’re unsure if your website is mobile friendly or not, you can run this quick test to determine that.

Trying to navigate through and view a website that doesn’t present well on a mobile device frustrates users and can create miss opportunities for your business. If your website is not yet mobile friendly, you’re probably wondering about your options for making it so.

Here are three ways you can turn your website into one that will play well with mobile devices:

Develop a mobile version of your desktop website.

By using a conversion platform, your website developer can create a separate version of your website that will appear when someone views your site on a mobile device.

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This is a relatively quick way to make your website mobile friendly, but it has some drawbacks; you’ll need to maintain and update content on two separate websites and visitors on mobile devices may get frustrated because your website’s mobile version will likely not have the breadth of information that your desktop site has.

Use a mobile plugin for your site.

Popular website content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla have plugins you can install to make your website mobile friendly without creating a version separate from your desktop website. For more information about how you might make your existing site mobile friendly using plugins, visit Google’s Mobile Guide, which provides links to software available for various website platforms.

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Recreate your website using a responsive web design.

Responsive design takes a mobile-first approach and provides a solution that gives you one website with design and features that adapt to screens of various sizes (smartphones, tablets, etc.). From the start, it takes into account how design, content, features, and functionality must be incorporated to ensure a positive user experience regardless of whether your website is accessed from a mobile device or desktop computer.

Typically, the separate mobile version of a desktop site and the plugin options are viewed as temporary fixes while responsive design is considered a more permanent solution.

Each solution has some pros and cons, so consider talking with a website design professional to determine what makes sense for you in the short- and long-term.

Not sure where to turn? Contact SCORE Outer Banks for guidance and resources to help you with all aspects of starting and growing your small business. Simply email mentor@scoreobx.org or call 252-256-9717.

See what people are saying:

  • abraham

    Mobile friendly websites are must, specially in the next ten years a user spend even more time reaching for good and services with their cellphones. You also have to consider emerging economies around the world and it’s population being able to afford cellphones. Even google has started to what they call Mobile first indexing, so having a mobile friendly web page from the start will save you headaches in the long run.

    Saturday, May 19 @ 7:31 pm
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