A new study reveals that most small business websites are not mobile friendly, which is big problem considering mobile has quickly become one of the most popular channels for consumers to search for local businesses while on the go.
The study, which was commissioned by software developer Serif, polled 400 self-employed professionals and small business owners. The findings reveal that 74 percent have not designed a version of their website for viewing on smartphones, while 86 percent have not designed a site for tablets.
However, the most surprising piece of data revealed that only one in ten small businesses believe it is necessary to have a mobile-ready version of their website, and even more shockingly, more than 40 percent are not even aware of how their site appears on a smartphone or tablet.
"It's essential for organizations to have a website if they want to create the right impression, engage with customers and boost business," says Gary Bates, Managing Director at Serif. "A branded website adds perceived professionalism, which makes it one of the most effective marketing tools, and a matching mobile-ready version adds even more credibility - essential for keeping existing customers and attracting new ones. But, many do not recognize the need to create versions compatible with different devices."
Additional data shows that 41 percent of small businesses would ignore optimizing their website for viewing on mobile devices if they thought it would be too difficult or expensive to implement. However, even more surprisingly, 40 percent of small businesses don't even have a traditional website yet, according to separate poll by Serif.
While hiring a Web designer can be expensive, Bates suggests that SMBs find affordable alternatives, such as WebPlus X6. This drag and drop solution from Serif is easy to use, doesn't require users to learn code and offers interactive features including forms, photo galleries, podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, forums, RSS feeds and online booking.
"The program allows those with regular office computer skills to quickly and easily create professional-looking websites - whether designed from scratch or by using a template - that can be viewed on devices from regular computers and laptops to smartphones and tablets," says Bates.
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