The Importance of a Mobile-Friendly Website

According to new research from hibu, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions and websites, just 37 percent of business websites in the hairstyling industry are mobile-friendly. This puts the industry in eighth place in a ranking of 10 industries by mobile-friendliness.

Despite some businesses, such as those in the hospitality and restaurant industries, already capitalizing on mobile marketing, hibu's research highlights that more than half (59 percent) of U.S. small and medium-sized business (SMBs) websites are not set up to enable customers to research or make purchases on mobile devices. With 56 percent of U.S. adults using a smartphone, SMBs without a mobile-friendly website are missing the opportunity to reach more customers and drive sales.

Tablet adoption in the U.S. has almost doubled in the past year, with about a third of American adults now owning a tablet device. However, a huge percent of SMBs’ websites do not support viewing on the iPad. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 is the most popular mobile device SMBs design their website for, with the Android-powered Galaxy S range of phones coming in a close second. In spite of the continued popularity of the iPad, only 13 percent of small businesses are making their websites friendly for the device.

Recent research shows that 94 percent of smartphone users use their phone to search for information about local businesses and services, and this is only set to increase meaning that SMBs simply cannot afford to NOT optimize their website for mobile.

“Anyone who has visited a website that isn’t mobile-friendly knows how frustrating – or even impossible – it is to browse and navigate it on their mobile device,” said Matt Anderson, hibu Chief Digital Officer. “With consumers increasingly searching local businesses on their smartphones and tablets, it’s crucial that firms have websites that are mobile-friendly so that they continue to attract customers and don’t fall behind their competitors. Business owners may feel daunted by mobile technology, but in reality they don’t need any technical skills to ensure that their site works well and looks great on any device, or even to optimize it specifically for smartphones or tablets.”

In order to help SMBs struggling with the mobile challenge, hibu has launched its business store which enables SMBs to create a website or online shop that is fully optimized for mobile, search and social. Businesses can take advantage of the hibu website 30-day free trial before signing up to the full service.

For more information about the mobile research, including a downloadable PDF detailing the full research, please visit

[Main image via Thinkstock]

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