Good local statistics can be hard to find. It is easy to go online and find worldwide reports on internet usage trends. But global trends do not always match local trends, so for small, local businesses, that information may not be useful. Fortunately, the NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) recently put up a “First Look” at recent internet usage trends, broken down by state. The provided information is important for local businesses, especially those who are building a marketing or advertising plan.
Mobile Web Design Is a Necessity
One of the most important stats for businesses to know is that more people in Florida (about 48 percent) use a mobile phone to go online than use a laptop (45 percent) or a desktop computer (6.99 percent). With the high prevalence of mobile users, mobile web design is no longer an optional feature for commercial websites, it is a must. A business’s website that is not mobile-friendly can isolate up to half of their potential customers.
Responsive web design refers to websites that scale down for smaller screens, leaving the content intact but presenting it in a smaller form. Mobile-version websites redirect mobile users to a scaled down, bare-bones version of the main website. Which one a business should use will depend upon the needs of the client.
Sixty-five percent of Floridians use “on-the-go” web services, like Google Maps or Yelp. If these users are directed to a business’s website, they generally want quick contact information, menus, or a list of services offered; they won’t be looking for an in-depth website experience. In that case, business owners may consider a mobile-version website that gives just the basic information consumers need.
On the other hand, 60 percent of mobile users in Florida use their phones to go online at home. These people may well appreciate a full-version, responsive web design. The choice must be weighed carefully.
Top 10 Ways Floridians Use the Internet:
Text/Instant Messaging (85%)
Browsing the Web (85%)
Social Media (71%)
Financial Services (66%)
“On-the-Go” Services (65%)
Watching Videos (64%)
Streaming Music, Radio, and Podcasts (52%)
Researching Health Information (41%)
Mobile Web Design Includes Email Design
With the bulk of online activity going towards email, it makes sense that business emails should be mobile friendly. Customer newsletters, email blasts, and service responses often feature intricate, image-heavy layouts. To be more accessible, all email layouts should be optimized to read and display well on a mobile device.
The internet, and the way people use it, is constantly changing. Businesses must keep up with these evolving trends, or they risk becoming obsolete.
Webmaster For Hire is an internet marketing firm in West Palm Springs, Florida. Since 2001, Elizabeth Varian and her expert team have helped business owners stay on top of ever-changing internet usage trends. Visit webmasterforhire.us to learn more about responsive web design and how to market a business in a mobile world.