How does your website look to a visitor using a mobile handset?

Mobile handsets are increasingly of the smartphone variety.  This enables Web access on the go.  The number of mobile visitors to websites has skyrocketed with the popularity of the iPhone and now Android from Google has surpassed the iPhone with an even better Web capability. What does this mean regarding the use of your website for marketing purposes?

I gave a presentation to an organization that asked me to assess their current website for Internet marketing purposes.  It had an all-Flash interface which inherently has search engine optimization problems. Search engines only have a limited ability to “see inside” a Flash animation which mostly looks like one big graphic to their spiders. Since the content is cloudy others sites with more optimized content will out-perform all-Flash sites easily. Flash also has ongoing security and performance problems which were detailed by Steve Jobs in his explanation of why Flash will not be allowed on iPhones. I showed the board of this organization how their site appeared on an iPhone. Visitors get a message that tells them to install Flash which is and always will be impossible on an iPhone. As the use of handsets for making searches increases it will become increasingly more important that business websites have an effective strategy for servicing mobile users.

 It’s never a good idea to make a visitor do something in order to view your content.  It’s more likely that they will go somewhere else and never come back.