The Importance of Optimizing Sites for Mobile Devices

The latest figures from The Communications Commission of Kenya – CCK indicate that of the 29 million mobile phone users in Kenya, about 98.8 percent of them visit the internet via a mobile phone. This is an astounding piece of research. Fact is that if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, the chance of turning away 98 percent of Kenyans who want to read the content of your site is very high. As a web developer, or one who depends on a website for business, be real and read the writing on the wall. Optimize your site for mobile devices or continue losing business.

There are many benefits for ensuring that visitors to your site can be able to easily access and interact with your site. One of the main reasons why you need a mobile-optimized site is because more than 70 percent of shoppers search online for information regarding product / service before making the decision to make a purchase. Many consumers of electronic devices would want to read online reviews of the device to understand its specs before making a decision to purchase. I personally have never bought a phone without reading reviews to know what I am buying. Content is still King.

Truth is that many companies and businesses aren’t investing into optimizing their sites for mobile search. Missed opportunities? If you do your business on-line, how much traffic, leads and business are you losing because your site cannot be viewed by customers who rely on mobile devices to access the Internet? 3 in 4 Kenyans have a mobile phone. Fact is that the mobile device is ubiquitous; it is with everyone, it is easy to use and carry.

The nature of mobile optimization is changing rapidly as we are now moving to responsive site designs that recognizes the browsing platform ( Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc ) and adjusts accordingly. A serious web developer should ensure the site is optimized for smartphones and tablets. For users of the WordPress platform, there are many plug-ins that you can download and install into your blog to make it mobile-friendly. For example the WP Mobile Detector automatically detects if the visitor is using a standard mobile phone or a smart phone and loads a compatible WordPress mobile theme for each. This is a free plug-in.

A keen analysis of Google analytics of any site would show you what percentage of traffic is coming from desktop, social and mobile devices. So, what are you waiting for? Make your website mobile–friendly and you’ll notice a huge spike in traffic from mobile devices.

The ultimate purpose of building a mobile-optimized site is to ensure that the user experience and interactivity aspects are of the highest standard. Which means that there are no site visitors that are turning away just because of a poor site design.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 2

  • We couldn’t agree more!

    It gives you a competitive edge as you’re right so many companies do not invest in mobile sites, even large companies.

    I think it’s important to allow users the choice to pick which page they go on. Do not force users to go to tee mobile site.

  • The growing number of mobile devices with Internet access is not limited to Kenya, as the trend has spread globally. I believe this is the next level in mobile device communication, and getting smaller and smaller devices is the ultimate goal for manufacturers of mobile phones, smartphones, iPods etc. “Small is beautiful” is the name of the game in the mobile communication market, and as you rightly said in your article, marketers, large or small, should not (and can’t afford) to miss this terrific opportunity. The number of small portable devices will probably equal that of desktop devices in the future (this is my personal estimate anyway), so those engaged in Internet marketing should expect that about half of their search engine traffic will come from handheld Internet gadgets in general.

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