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Why YouNeed A Mobile Solution
First an Important Update!
-An Affirmation

Although it is probably obvious, I would like to first assure you that this post has been written by a real person. But these days according to this article in the New York times I shared earlier this week - you can’t be so sure.

From now on it may be a good idea to clarify this up front so that people know if they are reading something written by an algorithm (software program) or a real person. Otherwise you may be wandering from now on who or what actually wrote the article.

Don’t Need A Mobile Solution? Think Again!

If you are one of the many companies that do not have a mobile solution or maybe even think that you don’t need one-Think again!

As the technological capabilities of mobile devices continue to increase and mobile’s share of total web traffic skyrockets seriously considering creating a mobile version of your website is already past due and most likely costing you money.

For no other reason if you haven’t heard that Google has laid to rest any speculation over their intentions concerning mobile search. On February 26th Google announced "Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results."

Google isn’t going to be penalizing websites that fail to be mobile-friendly but if you have mobile friendly website you will benefit from a lift in ranking over the ones who do not.

If you already have a mobile solution and want to check its mobile friendliness through Google’s eyes they offer a site where you can find out here with their Mobile-Friendly Test.

If you don’t have a mobile solution or a mobile friendly site and this hasn’t raised an eyebrow read on.

Mobile Is Here and the Time to do Something is Upon us

We all know that mobile is playing an increasingly important role in online marketing today just ask the 90% of people who say that mobile devices are a central part of everyday life. There is no part of most of our lives today that is not touched in some way by mobile.

Almost half of all mobile phone users in the United States use their mobile devices to perform product research, including local searches and some sources report that now 80% of local searches on mobile searches phones end in a purchase.

Globally 40% of the world’s population is online. Close to one in three people in developing countries are online and by simple economics many people in developing countries are and will be using a mobile smart phone as an all in one device for their telephone and internet for the utility it offers. Many people in developing countries do not have the luxury of being able to afford a variety of devices.

Here are some more statistics from GlobalWebIndex

Why B2B needs to go mobile

In a recent article at eMarketer they stated that “Business-to-business (B2B) content marketers may need an intro to mobile based on a January, 2015 polling by Regalix which found that mobile played a minimal role in their marketing efforts. Among B2B marketing executives worldwide, just one-third used mobile to distribute content. This trailed every other channel by a long a long shot.”

B2C marketers are generally the early adopters of new technology that B2B eventually adopts. Not to mention that to keep your website fully optimized in Google’s eyes, which should be reason enough, there is just no denying the mountain of data out there that should be convincing on its own.

Also, if potential clients see that you have no mobile solution they might assume that your business is not up with times and using the latest technologies and possibly move on to look for one that is.

New Opportunities

Social media and the global web provided B2B marketers with new ways to penetrate markets that might not otherwise be as effective, efficient or available like location based services (LBS), and using other channels.

Motally states that “80% percent of mobile websites get traffic from at least three regions outside of their own and 72% of mobile applications (“Apps”) are used in four or more regions.”

This means that mobile can open up new avenues to engage with prospects wherever they may be to grow new markets that can drive more revenue to B2B businesses that generally are not restricted to specific regions.

According to the IDG Global Mobile Survey, For senior executives, smartphones are a critical business tool. The majority of senior executives (92%) own a smartphone used for business and 77% percent of executives use their mobile device to research a product or service for their business.

Due to the mobility of professionals today they need to access information, email and to communicate with their office and clients from wherever they happen to be and whenever it is convenient to do so. Mobile devices provide the means to do this.

If you remember one thing and that is Mobile is here to stay and is growing exponentially. Just between August 2013 and August 2014, mobile web usage grew by 67 percent. So if you don’t “Go Mobile” you will undoubtedly soon be on the outside looking in.

Which Mobile Solution is Best?

Once you decide to go with a mobile solution possibly the biggest decision you'll make is deciding on the mobile solution that is best for you. Google supports: responsive, adaptive (dynamic serving) or a separate mobile website solution (separate URLs).

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Google prefers responsive design but supports all three options as long as long as you have them optimized properly.

Responsive web design: Serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently (i.e., “respond”) based on the screen size. Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.

Dynamic serving: Uses the same URL regardless of device, but generates a different version of HTML for different device types based on what the server knows about the user’s browser.

Separate URLs: Serves different code to each device, and on separate URLs. This configuration tries to detect the users’ device, then redirects to the appropriate page using HTTP redirects] along with the Vary HTTP header.

Google does not favor any particular URL format as long as the page(s) and all page assets are accessible to all Googlebot user-agents.

There are varying opinions on which one performs best and then there are hybrids so choosing which one is best for you can be difficult. And as with anything they all have their advantages and drawbacks. There are varying opinions depending on who you talk to so it is best to seek the advice of professionals (plural) who can advise you on the best solution for you based on your type of business, costs and what exactly what your individual goals may be.

And Just when you thought you might be finished There's-

Mobile Optimized E-mail

Yet another factor to consider when we think about mobile is email. According to some key findings in a report by Movable Ink 66% of emails were opened on a smartphone or tablet-Smartphone 47.22%, Desktop 34.26%, and Tablet 18.51%.

If your emails are not optimized for mobile it will make it difficult for recipients to take action and it will most likely have negative consequences on your email campaigns.

In Conclusion- Something to Ponder

All combined, you can see how important having a mobile solution is for your business and the consequences that not having one can bring which includes the negative effects it can have on all of your marketing campaigns.

1. I would like to leave you with this statement below by Samir Sawant , Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; System Design and Management Program* and-

2. Some visual content with this infographic published in a news release at PR Newswire by SCORE a resource partner with the Small Business Administration that provides free business mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the United States. .

*Samir, “The mobile device has emerged as a powerful sales channel and marketing medium, which these businesses must strategize and plan for. Companies need to be equipped with a framework within which they can develop marketing initiatives through mobile technologies. The world is reaching a point where developing a viable mobile strategy is an imperative for small and large businesses to enable their long term growth and sustenance.”

-What are your thoughts?

Infographic (View Full Size)

* The image Preflight Check for Mobile Optimization Courtesy of Salesforce Pardot