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SMBs falling behind in website mobile optimisation

Almost 80 percent of local businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly website, despite the fact that more than half of the population owning a smartphone, according to a recent Google survey.

With 65 per cent of smartphone owners using their device to access the web on a daily basis, 61 percent said they were unlikely to return to a site they had difficulty accessing from their phone, according to a study conducted by Google and Ipsos Media CT. 

The data showed that small businesses who make an effort to be found on mobile benefit significantly, with 86 percent of users sourcing local information on their phone and almost 90 percent taking direct action as a result.

By developing mobile-friendly websites with smartphones in mind, businesses will reap the rewards – as demonstrated by Australian online travel site, Webjet. Webjet’s online sales via smartphones have increased on a monthly basis of around 27 percent since October 2010, with travellers even booking international flights to Bali and Thailand via the mobile site.

Google’s findings reveal that consumers are creating opportunities for advertisers to strengthen their campaigns with mobile ads as more and more mobile users admitted to ‘multi-tasking’. Watching television, reading newspapers and magazines while using a smartphone is a growing trend. Furthermore, 57 percent of participants said they searched their mobile device after seeing a commercial.

Google ‘s head of mobile advertising Jason Pellegrino suggests that businesses use both online and offline forms of advertising.

“Businesses should complement their online and offline ad campaigns with mobile ads to reach their target audience on all screens their audience is looking at”

Pellegrino believes businesses need to keep up with consumers or risk falling behind: “The mobile revolution isn’t ‘coming’, its already happened. Mobile is no longer optional”.