What effects will smart phones have on websites in 2012 and beyond?
All the data coming out of the researchers suggests that the trend towards smart phone/tablet usage and away from desktop/laptops is taking hold. E-Consultancy are reporting that 57% of US professionals say that they will use a smart phone or tablet device as their primary source of internet usage (vs a PC). They are also predicting a rise in the proportion of online spend that is dedicated to Mobile, today in 2011 it is 15%, in 2015 it is predicted to be 64%.
What does this mean for our warm and snuggly websites?
Maybe not that much. As is the way with things, they tend to evolve rather than spontaneously transform (albeit at a speedy pace in the digital world). The same E-Consultancy data appears to show that the focus of mobile spend is around 3 areas – the mobile web, mobile search and social networking.
Some more examination of these phenomena reveals that they are all in fact evolutions and in some cases the same animals as those faithful ‘old’ websites that we know and love so well.
What does this mean for my business?
The vast majority of updated websites will be compatible with Smart Phones, HTML5 based websites are entirely supported.
Moving forward, it is worth considering creating a mobile version of the existing site, this means presenting the content in a way that is ‘mobile friendly’, i.e. short, concise with a focus on contact information. This need not be an expensive addition to your brief – correctly put together it would be an extension of the existing website system.
Again, if you are engaging an SEO or Web Marketing agency, Mobile search will be partially covered by the traditional SEO work that is taking place.
Moving forward, if the website system has been designed in a manner in which it supports both platforms as mentioned above, the job of specifically optimising for mobile platforms should be a natural extension to the SEO campaign work and mean only a minor increase in budget.
The Social Networks have been quick to capitalise on the Mobile Web and have extended their systems intelligently to support mobile platforms. They have designed new front-ends, optimised for the mobile experience that leverage the same application and database systems that power their PC and laptop interfaces.
In order to be successful here, businesses need to engage in a progressive Social Network marketing campaign that is integrated with the SEO (the Social Networks will make the technology work). By doing this, businesses will be able to leverage their website and SEO plays to improve the outputs of their social endeavours. It’s all about good old-fashioned strategy and correctly done it results in more potential customers engaging the website via online channels – from the mobile, PC and the of course the real world also 🙂