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The Internet has changed the way we go about our daily lives. From checking our email, staying in touch with family and friends, shopping for groceries or watching TV, it can all be accessed online. What’s even more incredible is we can do all of this from a mobile device. We’re no longer restricted to a fixed Internet connection.

In 2008, Mary Meeker, an analyst at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers predicted that mobile Internet access would overtake that of fixed access by 2014 and by gosh she was right! The boom of mobile phone shipments overtook those of TVs and Desktop Computers in 2010 and now in 2014 there are an estimated 83.1 million mobile handsets and tablet devices in the UK alone and this number is growing every day. A staggering 93% of UK adults own a mobile phone. Just take a look at these statistics:

  • In 2014 – 38 million adults (76%) accessed the Internet every day, 21 million more than in 2006.
  • Internet access via a mobile device more than doubled from 24% to 58%.
  • In 2014 – 74% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008.
  • In Q1 20014 – 57% of UK adults use their mobile for Internet access.
  • 44% of UK households own a tablet device
  • Over 99% of UK premises (residential and commercial) has access to a 3G outdoor coverage.
  • Overall customer satisfaction of mobile phone services at the end of Q1 2014 was 93%.

So what does this mean for business?

Mobile marketing is important and that’s a fact. More people are using smaller, hand held portable devices to access the Internet than ever before and more often. Now, I’m not saying that the Desktop or Laptop is defunct yet. In fact, Add To Cart conversion rates for ecommerce websites using smartphones (4.5%) are almost half that of desktop computers (8.52%). However, Tablet Devices, Kindle Fire and iPad top the conversion charts at almost 9%.

mobile conversion rates

So, if you’re a business and you’re not thinking about mobile marketing, you should be! If not, you’re missing out on a vital marketing channel that will not only grow in size, but may eventually push traditional devices such as laptops further under the sofa as confidence in mobile security grows.

So what do you need to think about with mobile marketing?

Well firstly, size really DOES matter. “I knew it” I hear you mutter. Well it does, and it matters in more ways than one.

Screen Size

When it comes to serving website content to your visitors we need to consider the different screen sizes used by all these mobile devices, and remember, there are two sizes per device as Landscape and Portrait orientations are available on many modern devices.

Screen sizes vary immensely from one device to another from the Samsung Brightside’s 3.1” touch screen with 240 x 320 resolution, the iPad 3 with its 9.7” touch screen and 1024 x 768 resolution, to the Acer Iconia Tab’s 10.1” touch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution and the dozens of other devices in between. All of which will present your content slightly differently than each other.

But don’t get daunted; it isn’t as drastic as you may think. As new devices emerge so do new technologies and as such HTML5 was born, or rather evolved from HTML4, and allows a responsive design to be adopted, which in essence resizes your content dependent upon the viewer device screen resolution. These types of sites are called Responsive websites and are a must for any business.

mobile devices

File Size

very asset used on your website be it an image or a video to even the programming code itself should be optimized for mobile download. Even though mobile Internet speeds are increasing and may well overtake that of your home connection with the introduction of 4G, the important issue to remember is bandwidth. If your user isn’t connected to a Wi-Fi connection on their device they will be streaming content via their monthly data allowance. To give you an idea of data consumption, a simple website may use less than 1MB, but a five-minute YouTube video could use up to 15MB.

Fix Mobile Usability Issues

When it comes to doing business online, Google are the kings. With almost 90% market share of all UK searches it’s imperative that your website appears when your customers are looking for your products or services. Google are using ‘Mobile Friendliness’ as part of their ranking algorithms. Just take a look in your webmaster tools account and look for the message sent by Google if you don’t have a mobile friendly website.

Google systems test various pages from your website, (if you have added your website to webmaster tools) finds problematic pages and generates a report explaining what the issues are and how you can fix them. This would indicate that mobile friendly websites could be given precedence in the search results if your website is mobile friendly. After all, Google want to give their users the best experience they can, and so should you!

Summary

When you visit a website and have to zoom in and out and pan around the screen in order to read the content it gets very frustrating. Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and the chances are your conversion rates will increase. Make it hard at your own detriment. There’s a 61% chance that a visitor will leave your website and move on to a competitor site. When a user has a positive experience they are 67% more likely to make a purchase or enquire about a service.

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