Digital Publishers Not Prepared for Mobile

In a world where mobile Internet is growing rapidly, many websites still aren’t prepared with an acceptable mobile site

There are a few online components that can protect the future of legacy publishers.

Beyond the audience development opportunities of social media, search engine optimization, and link building, there is the ability to utilize new, popular platforms.

This of course includes mobile devices, like digital e-readers, tablets, and smartphones.

However, simply having the opportunity to utilize this technology doesn’t mean publishers are. With so many directions digital publishing can take, optimizing for mobile isn’t necessarily the first option. Although new data suggests that it should be one of the top issues addressed within digital magazine publishing.

The importance of mobile

Before diving down into the topic, let’s take look at a few statistics associated with mobile. According to Gartner, mobile revenue in North America is expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2015.

Gartner also estimated 468 million mobile phones being sold throughout 2011. That number is an increase of 57.7% from 2010.

It’s clear that the volume of mobile devices, especially smart phones, is worth a look from digital publishers. But how should digital publishers approach selling products and providing content on mobile devices?

Information from Adobe answers this question to a degree, as 66% of respondents in the “Mobile Shopper Insights for 2011” survey prefer using a mobile browser for shopping from a mobile device to a mobile app.

Adobe’s data also shows that first-time shoppers prefer typing an address into the browser to find what they are looking for (46%) to browsing in an app store (28%). And when it comes to research and comparison shopping, mobile browsers are preferred over mobile apps significantly as 81% prefer using a browser for researching prices and 71% prefer a browser to compare prices from different retailers.


A clear disconnect

Data shows that mobile users prefer browsers for major online activities like shopping, researching products and comparing retailers. However, the majority of websites aren’t optimized for mobile, making their websites undesirable to the mobile user.

Recently, Search Engine Land published an article stating that, “less than 10% of the web in 2012 is mobile ready.” And, according to the article, 25% of searches are coming from mobile devices, which has the potential to leave a lot of mobile users unhappy as their website destinations may not be optimized for mobile.

If you have a site not optimized for mobile, your competition may benefit from the mistake, especially if they are ready for mobile in 2012.

Preparing for mobile

While preparing for the mobile web, consider these pieces of advice.

First, provide an optimized website. Incorporate the most important parts of your website and remove any filler. Mobile devices are used on the go, so your content needs to be skimmable and have concise headlines.

Secondly, if you are considering an app, make sure it provides actual value. It must make an audience member’s life easier or more enjoyable. Do not assume users will use an app for browsing content, because it appears mobile sites are preferred.

Lastly, don’t let the competition beat you to the mobile Internet.

Is your website prepared for mobile? Please discuss your mobile presence in the comments below.


    Hi, I read your new stuff like every week. Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!


    it’s about time!

    sites have been in an arms race to make screens wider like HD tv and beyond

    it made their sites very hard to use for many users with regular pcs and normal screens

    worse they laid out pages like a newspaper with columns so not only did you have to scroll left and right you had to backtrack up and down to read the content

    finally! with mobile friendly sites i can use a regular pc easily again.

    all the content is on screen.
    no scrolling left/right.
    no backtracking up/down.
    one easy column to read quickly as i slowly slide the screen down with the mouse while i keep reading without interruption.

    finally! those idiot programmers who designed web pages with useless stuff so they could self actualise have to design pages for *users* !!

    it’s about time


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