In a world where 66% of smartphone users use their phones to get local shopping information (Pew Internet, Sep 2013), small businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile anymore.
Users searching for local business information on mobile also want it found as easily as possible — businesses need to make their phone number, address and other contact information available on home pages designed to be mobile-friendly.
Demand Exists But Supply is Scarce
VendAsta’s data shows that over 40% of businesses currently don’t display phone numbers on their website home page. Even more businesses (nearly 60%) don’t have their address on it.
Users want this information, and they want to have a good experience when browsing websites on their smartphones. Google’s own data indicates that 72% of users demand mobile-friendly websites.
Seems simple: either have a responsive website or a separate mobile version. Apparently putting theory into practice is more difficult. A recent survey of over 1,800 SMBs across the US and UK revealed that only 6% of SMBs have a mobile-friendly website, and 45% have no website at all (Marketing Land, Feb. 2014).
A Local Search Disaster
Last year, Google updated its search algorithm “to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.”
When a business’s website is not mobile-friendly, the 66% of its users who are on smartphones won’t have a good experience — inevitably leading to poor rankings for that website in local search results.
A couple weeks ago, we also reported on local business listings — another aspect that is incredibly important for local search. Local businesses are struggling to keep their information accurate on multiple listing websites, which further affects their rank negatively in local search.
Lack of Simple Solutions Catered to SMBs
Our salespeople have encountered many SMBs that struggle with their website, mobile and otherwise. Many of them have paid a large one-time fee to have someone design their website, only to find that the cost of maintaining it and making changes is prohibitive. Or, in some worse cases, they can no longer contact the designers who built the site, meaning they are stuck with static, out-of-date HTML pages that are complicated beyond the SMB’s ability to maintain on their own.
Furthermore, the entire process of maintaining a domain, hosting services and keeping the website up-to-date is more than most local businesses have the time or ability to handle.
It is out of these requirements that Presence Builder was born. It’s a simple solution that our partners can use to create fully functional and search-optimized mobile websites (or responsive sites) within minutes for their SMB clients. It’s also something an SMB can use to expand their website with additional pages and keep their information up-to-date without writing a single line of code.
In just a couple weeks, VendAsta will be releasing our report analyzing data of over 100,000 SMBs. Sign up to be the first to receive it.