Mobile phones have come a long way from clunky bricks with long antennae to sleek pocket computers. If you have a smart phone, you most likely have an obsessive attachment to it like the rest of us, because it can do just about everything. And even if you don’t have one, you probably hear the buzz about how mobile is the next frontier. It’s estimated that by 2015 the number of mobile application downloads will reach 98 billion, according to Berg Insight. For the web, mobile devices already account for 10% of total global internet traffic (KPCB).
But at the same time, race directors need to pump the breaks on their mobile strategy. You’re busy and your resources aren’t unlimited – so how do you know if building a mobile-enabled website is worth your time? Here are the three steps you need to take before you build a website that is mobile friendly:
Step 1: Research what percentage of your website visits come from a mobile device
- Go to Google Analytics
- Click on the website you want to check
- Under “Audience” click on “Mobile”
- Under “Mobile” click on “Devices”
Right there, you will see statistics about what percentage of your total web visits come from mobile devices:
What is the percentage over the last few years? Last year? Last month? If mobile accounts for a decent amount of your traffic (Of the 4+ million visits on ACTIVE.com each month, 24% come from mobile devices), it makes sense to build a website that is easily accessed on mobile devices.
Step 2: Check what your website looks like on different smart phones and tablets
Grab an iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Nexus, and any other device you can get a hold of and pull up your website. How does it look? There’s always a chance it may look okay and still retain a lot of the navigation features, which means you can probably get by with leaving it as is. But if you see a loss of styling, small font and a poor overall fit, that means you’re probably losing a good amount of those mobile visitors you found in Step 1. To keep these visitors engaged, you’ll need to upgrade your site for mobile.
Step 3: Figure out your percentage of online registrations
If you offer online registration, what percentage of your total signups come online? If the percentage is really low or non-existent because you are paper based, it’s not worth it to build a mobile site at this point. But if it’s high and you have a significant percentage of online mobile users, it’s time to put your mobile strategy into play.
To begin, you need to prove it will be worth your time and money. One easy way to prove return on mobile investment is to calculate the revenue that is lost due to a poor mobile experience. For most race directors, this means registration revenue, but it can also come from other channels like merchandise. For example, If 15% of your site visits are from mobile devices, how much registration revenue do you estimate those visits would potentially convert to? And does that revenue outweigh the cost of building a mobile version of your site? If it does, it’s time to go mobile.
These are just three of the many questions to ask before diving into mobile. Race directors need to prove the value of a mobile website before dedicating precious budget to the cause. Start with the statistics – mobile visitors, online registration percentage – and decide if it’s worth it from there.
SEE ALSO: 10 Game-Changing Mobile Stats