Marketing & Growth

Why Your Business Website Needs to Be Mobile-Friendly

By Rieva Lesonsky

Mobile-first state of mind

Are you still running your business with a website that was designed in 2009? If so, it’s time to get with the program—the mobile-friendly program, that its.

Whether your company sells B2B or B2C, your business website needs to be mobile-friendly to compete effectively. It’s not news that consumers have been using mobile devices—especially tablets—to browse and buy online for a couple of years now. More than 87 percent of consumers in a recent Nielsen poll say they use smartphones or tablets to research potential purchases, find local businesses and buy products online. What is new is that more and more B2B buyers are joining the crowd and researching products and services for their companies on mobile devices.

Deloitte’s Small Business Digital Engagement Study

[update] Deloitte’s recently published a study showing that businesses who invest in their digital engagement are more likely to double their growth as compared to business with basic digital engagement. Check out Fundbox small business digital readiness checklist we created based on Deloitte’s recent insights.

Why Invest in Mobile

There are a couple of reasons behind the trend. First, everyone’s busier than ever these days, so it only makes sense that B2B buyers, too, would go online on their smartphones or tablets while commuting, at home or whenever they have a spare minute to get information about upcoming purchase decisions. Second, B2B buyers are getting younger as Millennials move into these roles. Since they came of age using their phones to go online, it’s only natural for Millennials to use mobile devices for work research, too.

More than half of B2B buyers in a recent study from DemandGen frequently use mobile phones and 42 percent frequently use tablets to either get information about possible business purchases or to make purchases. Nearly all buyers (85 percent) say a mobile-optimized website is essential to their choice of vendor.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will: Google is now including mobile-friendliness as a factor in mobile search result rankings. That means if your site’s not mobile-friendly, its rank could go way down.

Optimize for Mobile – Where do I  Start?

When mobile-friendliness first became an issue several years ago, lots of businesses responded by creating separate, mobile-only websites. This approach has become outdated, however, because it not only wastes time spent updating and managing two sites; it also causes search engines to penalize your site in search results.

Responsive design is key. Responsive design sites “respond” to whatever device the user is on, whether that’s a desktop computer, a tablet or a smartphone, as well as to the specific platform being used, to serve up content optimized for that device. Using an experienced website design company or designer may help you compete more effectively.

Want more advice, or not sure if your existing site is mobile-friendly? Take Google’s free mobile-friendly test to find out, and then learn more about building mobile-friendly websites.

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