In 2013, Google anticipates that mobile internet traffic will exceed traditional desktop traffic for the first time in history. With web usage on tablets and smartphones on the rise, nonprofits without an established mobile web site may be left in the dark. If your organization doesn’t already have a presence on on this emerging platform, consider these 5 reasons why mobile websites for nonprofits are crucial.
1. Stay Competitive
As it continues to become the fastest growing form of communication in history, the mobile web is still a relatively new frontier for marketing online. If your organization isn’t already on board, you could already be losing ground against the competition.
Just like traditional desktop websites, mobile websites will still need to be optimized to show up on mobile search engines. When it comes to staying competitive on the emerging mobile web, the sooner you can launch your organization’s new mobile website, the better chance you’ll have at competiting for top rankings.
2. Utilize QR Codes
QR Codes seem to be popping up everywhere in the nonprofit sector. These easy to generate, scannable barcodes allow businesses and organization to easily direct mobile users to their website. Any mobile user who has downloaded a free QR code app can easily scan any code with there mobile device in a matter of minutes. If you have considered adding QR codes to your organization’s flyers, posters or other printed promotional material, you should make sure those scannable codes are always pointing at a website optimized for the mobile web.
3. Location, Location, Location
With 61% of smartphone users regularly making searches directed at local businesses and organizations, mobile websites are crucial for capturing capturing the ever-increasing volume of local search traffic from mobile devices. Forget about the old-fashioned Yellow Pages or other business directories. Smart phones give local searchers instant access to your organization in real time, 24 hours a day. Without a website optimized for mobile, organizations will direct this emerging traffic source to an old desktop page that may be difficult to browse using a mobile device.
4. Immediate Interaction with Your Audience
According to Google, 85% of Americans are never less than three feet away from their cell phone. With an audience closely connected to mobile devices at all times, a mobile website will offer immediate interaction with your organization at all times. A mobile-friendly web interface means that tablet and smartphone users will have instant, easy-to-use access to your page.
Most current desktop-based websites are awkward or difficult to use on a mobile device. While users can still access your current site on their mobile device, the experience might be not-so user friendly. Studies show that mobile users will seek mobile-friendly websites over those that only offer a desktop-browser version.
5. Mobile Websites for Nonprofits are Cost Effective
If you want go mobile and still save some money, creating a mobile site is the most cost-effective way for making your organization mobile. While “apps” are the hot topic in the world of mobile, developing a fully-functional applications for smartphones and tablets may not be the right choice for every organization. Mobile websites will generally offer similar functionality except for a few specific functions. For budget-conscious nonprofits, mobile websites can be easily created for a fraction of the cost of a mobile app.
If your current desktop site is based on an open-source platform like Joomla, Drupal or especially WordPress, creating a mobile site may be a very-simple process. These platforms offer easy-to-use and simple-to-activate mobile plugins that will easily convert your existing website into a mobile friendly website.
[quote type=”center”] Mobile will ultimately be the way you provision most of your services. The way I like to put it is, the answer should always be mobile first.
Eric Schmidt – Executive Chairman, Google[/quote]