Roadblocks. Does anyone like them? No. They cause back-ups and slowdowns in traffic. People turn around and leave the area or they hear about it and avoid the area altogether. Your cyber-traffic works the same way, but in this case, you lose potential customers.
You may think, "I don't use a smartphone, so why should I care if I can see my website on it?" But what you should at least be aware of is people are on their smartphones or their tablets all the time now, whether you are or not. If your website isn't easily read on a phone or tablet, they will go somewhere else and quickly, because they can! You have mere seconds to get someone’s attention and keep it. You’ve created a roadblock to your own site’s success.
Here's an example. My day job is working for a company who is all about security. So, there are days I can't get my actual job done because 1) my company hasn't updated their web browsers or software yet (which is another story) and it's not compatible with the website I’m trying to view, or 2) they have the internet locked down so tightly, I can't do the ordering or searching I need to do to work.
So, what do I have to rely on more and more each day? My personal smartphone. If I'm having to look up your website on my personal cell phone, using my personal data plan, and it doesn't function well on my cell, I'm going somewhere else. Plain and simple, and you've lost a potential customer by creating a roadblock. And it only took a few seconds.
Now, let's flip this, shall we? Say I went to your website on my phone and it worked, and it was glorious, and I found everything I wanted easily and simply, what do you think happens now? You have a customer! Maybe not just one but two or even more; me as an employee of a company who becomes your customer, and me as a consumer who may need your goods or services personally as well. Not to mention, you have me announcing to the world, potentially, how awesome your site was and how I found everything I needed! See, wasn’t that easy?
I am surprised how often I go to look up a local company on my phone and find it’s tiny and just painful to try to view. Or I may be in the car, while my husband is driving of course, and see a billboard regarding an event coming up and I look it up and I can’t see it, so I give up or I totally forget about it when I am finally in front of my laptop. And to be honest, to be on my laptop these days is very rare when I have a tablet that is less than half the weight and size. So, you’ve lost a customer again.
Hiring a good designer who knows how to design to cover all your cyber-marketing bases is the smart way to go. A smart designer knows to create your site so that it is viewable on all platforms and browsers, tablets, smartphones, iOS and Android, Macs and PCs. Before you decide who to go with, ask the right questions:
Do you know how to optimize my site for all platforms?
Will my images display properly?
Will my content be legible?
How can I select what will and will not show on mobile platforms?