Google's internal search data has shown that mobile searches have quadrupled since 2010. Do you have a mobile website for your business? If not, you're missing out on a huge marketing opportunity.
Why is having a mobile website so important? Check out these facts and statistics, which come straight from Google:
* We use our phones everywhere. In fact, 33 percent of smart phone users use their smart phone while watching TV and 22 percent use them while reading the newspaper (are you using your smart phone right now?)
* People love their smart phones. A survey found that one in three smart phone users would give up chocolate just to keep using their phones. Chocolate. If that doesn't prove people love their smart phones, nothing will.
* People use their smart phones to find local businesses just like yours. Ninety five percent of smart phone users will use their phone to search for local information and 88 percent will take action within a day, whether it's to call or visit a business (it could be your business -- or it could be your competitor's business, depending on who has a mobile-friendly website).
* Did you know that 71 percent of smart phone users who see an ad on TV, in the newspaper or online will do a mobile search? Or that 74 percent of smart phone users make a purchase based on a mobile search?
Yet, 79 percent of top advertisers don't have a mobile- optimized website.
* One of the most popular activities for smart phone users is shopping, with 79 percent using their smart phones to help with shopping, whether it's to get coupons, check to see if a product is in stock or read reviews.
Think people prefer apps to compare prices or get reviews? Think again; surveys by Adobe and eMarketer have shown that 81 percent of users prefer mobile websites to compare prices, 79 percent prefer mobile websites to get product reviews and 64 percent prefer mobile websites to purchase products.
In statistics reported this year by insightexpress, mobile users are four times more likely to purchase something than regular Internet users.
You may have a regular website for your business already, but websites that load well on a PC or Mac do not load well on a smart phone. It takes much longer for a normal website to load on a smart phone, and most consumers expect your website to load just as fast on their phone as it does on their PC.
Not only that, but because smart phones have a much smaller screen than a PC, people often have to zoom in just to read your website's content. A survey by Compuware found that 57 percent of mobile users said they would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site and 40 percent said they went to a competitor's website after having a bad mobile experience.
Just how big is the smart phone user market? According to comScore Inc., there are currently over 90 million smart phone owners in the U.S. alone, and that number is growing daily.
Not only that, but in September 2011, two-thirds of smart phone users shopped on their phones, including comparing products and prices, searching for coupons, and finding local retail stores.
It couldn't be clearer: your business needs a mobile website if you want to keep up with your competitors and the ever-growing demands of the smart phone consumer.
Joshua Rigley is an Internet marketing consultant. He may be contacted at email@example.com