A common reaction many B2B business owners have when I recommend they make their website mobile-friendly is Why? My audience is other businesses not consumers. But the fact is businesses and consumers have similar mobile experience requirements. Business owners are on their mobile devices just as much as regular consumers and like consumers, they’re also looking to save time and have quick access to your business’ contact and product information.
Business Owners and Executives Use Mobile Devices Too
Quite extensively in fact, according to a recent report by Forbes. The report, The Connected Executive: Mobilizing the Path to Purchase indicates that:
- 9 out of 10 of executives use smartphones on a day-to-day basis, and
- 70% of executives use smartphones and tablets to look up product or service information upon first learning of an offering.
Although many executives indicated they would prefer to use tablets and smartphones, most vendors are currently not satisfying this need. As a result, only 12% of executives are able to use mobile devices as their primary business platform as indicated by the graph below. Moreover, 51% of executives said that in 3 years they expect their primary business platform to be a smartphone or tablet.
Not Convinced Yet? Here’s More to Consider
Forbes went on to study the lasting impact of mobile websites and apps, and what they found was that:
- 73% of executives confirmed that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.
- 61% said that a bad mobile experience made them more likely to go to a competitor’s site, and
- 35% indicated that even if they liked a brand or product, they are less likely to engage with a vendor without a mobile-friendly site.
Therefore, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it is less likely to appear in mobile search results, and more likely to get passed over by new business especially if your competitors are adopting mobile-friendly designs.
Bottom line? Mobile-friendly design is NOT just for B2C.
As the Forbes report shows, other businesses are judging your company by your mobile website. Furthermore, in addition to the mobile-friendly label that was applied to mobile search results as of November 18th, 2014, Google has recently announced that, effective April 21, 2015, mobile-friendly sites will be getting a boost in Google search pages designed for mobile devices if Google considers the website to be mobile-friendly.
OK I’m Convinced. What Now?
Your first step will involve determining how mobile-friendly your current website is. There are many factors that determine how easy your website is to navigate on a mobile device, some of these factors include:
- Site speed
- Easy navigation
- Finger-friendly calls-to-action
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there that allow you to view your website as it appears on a variety of devices, such as Mobiletest.me. Google has also simplified how Webmasters can determine whether their website is mobile-friendly, with their Mobile-Friendly Test, which focuses on issues such as:
- Links located too close together(which can have users feeling like this)
- Content being wider than a mobile device screen
- Text is too small to read
- Mobile viewport is not set
Additional Factors To Consider
Before dishing out thousands of dollars to get your website up to speed, there are several business factors to consider:
- Check your Google Analytics Stats – What percentage of your users are accessing your website on a mobile or tablet device? If it’s more than 20% of your overall user base, you should strongly consider a change.
- Don’t Overestimate Your Budget – Moving over to mobile doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, and you don’t necessarily need to build a mobile website. Depending on how your current website is structured, you may need only a few tweaks to make your website mobile responsive.
- The Age of Your Site – If your website is over 5 years old and is no longer satisfying all of your current business needs, it may be good idea to upgrade your website to a design that is also mobile friendly. In this way you bring your website up to date as well as making it mobile friendly. This should especially hold true if the amount of changes necessary to make your site mobile friendly would be about the same cost.
- Do You Have WordPress? If your website is hosted on WordPress.com, Google has created a WordPress Mobile Guide to aid webmasters in making their page more mobile-friendly.
Have you recently made your website mobile-friendly or are you considering it? I’d love to hear about your experiences using mobile for B2B!
Editor’s Note: Originally published December 10, 2014, this post was updated and revised March 23, 2015.