With more people switching to the convenience of mobile devices for Internet searches, it’s important to keep your website visible to on-the-go, as well as stationary users. While this may sound like common sense,  Google added extra incentive. The company recently announced changes in its search engine policies that would boost the rankings of mobile-friendly websites and demote those that did not load compatibly with a smartphone. If you want top search results, even for personal computers, your site needs to be ready to go mobile.

Your marketing campaign budget

What’s a new or small business to do? Designing and maintaining a website may have already incurred an uncomfortable business expense, and keeping it active means someone is putting in extra time for the business. Small businesses generally have a limited amount they can spend on their Internet marketing and much of their campaign effort is do-it-yourself.

Fortunately, there are a number of applications and software programs  available for small businesses that allow them to handle the data stream and customer base easily and automatically update their social networking sites. Many of these offers also include tools that will help them interface with mobile devices.  These tools are all aimed at website owners who do not have any web development or decoding experience.

Determining your site’s compatibility

Many of the readily available tools for interfacing with mobile devices have a minimal cost, while some are offered for free. If you are able to install Google Analytics, you will easily be able to use the graphical interface for the copy-and-paste code blocks.  The tools work by detecting whether or not the visitor is using a regular web browser or a mobile web browser. By assigning a sub-domain to the mobile version of your site, visitors using a mobile device will be redirected, creating a more enriching experience with optimal browsing.

Related: How to Build a Mobile-Friendly Business Site in 10 Minutes or Less

You can also improve your mobile visibility through the “responsive” approach.  Everything, including URL, HTML, and imaging remains the same but the CSS gives different rules based on browser width. With RSS/Adaptive/Dynamic Serving: the URL remains the same, but the server sends different HTML and CSS based on what type of device is requesting the page.

Making compatibility easier

If you’ve discovered through a compatibility test, your website isn’t very mobile-friendly, there are other options for keeping you up to date with the smart phone crowd. You can make a site mobile friendly through third-party software. With third-party software, you’ll be able to construct a new site or customize your site for mobile phone users.

You can also work directly with a developer for site mobility.  Although this is a little more expensive than the do-it-yourself tactic, in the long run, you may find it more cost-effective. Many small business website owners find themselves trapped in buying applications for compatibility with each mobile platform. A good developer uses in-house coding that works smoothly across all platforms, whether the visitor is using iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices.

For low-budget business owners with limited resources, user friendly, content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress are the best option.  WordPress has a responsive design that simplifies content creation and mobile use conversion.

Mobile presence benefits

Mobile Internet use has more than doubled over the past year, with thirty percent of the business traffic using mobile devices.  Mobile phone users check regularly for business locations and directions, hours in service and business offers. Their searches are rapid, never lasting more than a few seconds before checking another Internet site.

Your visibility online as a business is critical to these split second users. They could be the deciding factor in places they wish to go for products or services. Organize your online site so visitors can see your vital information instantly and begin to enjoy the benefits of a mobile community gravitating to your business.

Written by Charles Dearing, a writer and blogger who has worked extensively in online marketing. He currently writes for patientsites.com, delivering articles for businesses and their marketing campaigns based on his experiences.   

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