Why UK Small Businesses Are Going Mobile

Posted by Matt

mobile-friendly website

According to a survey conducted by YouGov and eBay, around a quarter of UK-based SMEs that do not currently have a mobile online presence, expect to take the plunge by the end of the year, with plans to introduce either a mobile-friendly website or a smart phone app. This is on top of the significant number of UK business owners that already have a strong mobile presence.

The results of the study, which surveyed 307 UK-based small business owners, means that more than half of all UK SMEs with an established online presence will have expanded that presence to cater to mobile users before the end of the year.

Mobile matters

Having a mobile-friendly online presence is clearly becoming increasingly important and it’s already a significant factor for many ecommerce businesses. Those that have a strong mobile strategy have enjoyed an increase in sales as a result, with 45 per cent reporting that they benefited from investing in mobile, and a further eight per cent citing conversion increases of more than 20%.

Google is putting a lot of pressure on webmasters to cater to mobile users. With a continued emphasis on providing people with the best possible Internet experience, they have begun to prioritize websites that have responsive layouts and that load quickly; favouring them above ones that load more slowly or that have excessive redirects when viewed on a mobile device.

Essentially, Google wants to ensure that the experience a user gets when they search for information using their search engine is a positive one from the beginning of the process right through to the end when they land on your website and find what they’re looking for.

How to improve your website for mobile

The best way to ensure Google favours your website and to also keep your prospective customers from going elsewhere is to invest in a fully-responsive, mobile-friendly site. In the meantime, however, there are one or two ways that you can improve your existing site and give it a little ‘mobile boost’ in order to enhance the browsing experience for your customers.

  1. You can begin by streamlining the content and the pages on your website so that your visitors can find the information that they’re looking for in as few clicks as possible.
  2. Restructuring the navigational menu using a hierarchical system will also make a difference as this will get people to where they want to be much more quickly. And with fewer pages to navigate through, your visitors will have less data to download via their mobile connection and they’ll spend less time on the ‘journey’ as opposed to on what’s more important, the pages and content that’s going to encourage them to make a purchase or an enquiry.
  3. Keeping the design of your website simple and avoiding excessive use of videos and high resolution images will also make your site more accessible for those visitors browsing via a slower, mobile Internet connection.
  4. Leave plenty of space around the various elements that make up your pages too, particularly navigation options, so they’re more legible and easier to click for those people using devices with smaller screens. Also, keep backgrounds as clean as possible, and make sure that everything is presented clearly and prominently with enough contrast to ensure that your key messages are easily readable.
  5. Minimize the amount of data entry required on your site. Filling out a form on a non-mobile-friendly website can be incredibly fiddly, so it might be an idea to ditch that 28 field contact form for now and save your visitors from that particular laborious experience.

As the YouGov study has indicated, the mobile revolution is already here. It may be that not every small business is ready to go mobile just yet but if you follow these tips then you’ll at least improve the accessibility of your existing site and perhaps squeeze a bit more life out of it before you do consider a new one.