hand holding an iphoneIs your site optimized for mobile audiences yet? If not, sorry to say, you’re way behind the curve. Nearly half of the American population owns smartphones, while almost a third carries tablets. And this number is only going to grow as the mobile trend takes over. More and more businesses are realizing this shift and adapting their strategies, but where does your own business stand?

Without a site optimized for mobile, your business may be missing out on a crucial segment of your target audience. As more consumers rely on their mobile devices for email, product research, and everyday use, it’s vital that your website does all it can to facilitate user experience. Without a favorable initial impression, a visitor’s first visit may be its last. If this isn’t enough to convince you to adopt a mobile site, take a look at the following:

1. Boost User Experience

Have you ever seen your site through a mobile screen? Navigating an un-optimized site can be incredibly frustrating, driving users away from your pages. Therefore, focusing on mobile design is crucial to creating an overall positive user experience. There are a number of ways to achieve a mobile friendly site, whether through plug-ins in your current CMS or focusing on responsive web design. Your choice depends on your budget and time; but don’t skimp on a beautifully designed mobile website.

2. Growth in Mobile Traffic

As more and more users rely on their smartphones and tablets for everyday use, traffic begins to shift away from desktop to mobile. By the end of 2012, mobile traffic accounted for nearly half of all Web traffic. Of course, as ownership of mobile devices continues to rise, so will the growth of mobile traffic. Consumers are increasingly relying on their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, play games, and engage in social sharing.

3. Consumer Research

Mobile devices allow for widespread accessibility; the ability to access information from nearly anywhere. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this behavior has manifested in product research, price comparisons, and purchase decisions. Take the example of the hungry individual, looking for the best Chinese restaurant nearby. Or the shopper at the grocery store, choosing between the endless options available. Mobile sites allow businesses to place themselves within the process of consumer research, as it allows information to be easily and readily accessible. If users have to search to find your business or product, they may be forced to find the next best alternative.

4. Behavior of Mobile Users

Let’s examine the behavior behind mobile activity; how does the average individual use their mobile devices? The advantages of mobile devices lie in, well, its mobility – users are able to access information from nearly any location. No longer tied to a desk or office, mobile users conduct their browsing from the couch, the road, and even the store. You’ll want to ensure that your mobile site is ready for any occasion, whether users search for pricing details or more information about your brand.

5. eCommerce on Mobile

Not only are mobile users conducting their research online, they’re also using their mobile devices to make purchases directly. In 2012, around $25 billion of purchases were made on mobile devices, and the number is projected to grow every year. As more and more consumers shift towards their smartphones and tablets, it’s vital that businesses place themselves in a position to facilitate traffic and conversions.

Image Credit: guardian.co.uk