The evidence that mobile is quickly taking over the business world is obvious. Mobile users are most likely to visit stores after conducting a local search, with 50 percent of consumers visiting one day after a mobile search. One in three searches on smartphones occur right before someone enters a store. It’s safe to say that the happy marriage between mobile devices and Google is not going away anytime soon.
And last week, Google put the proverbial nail in the coffin, by launching a new Mobile Friendly Update. This update will give websites that are mobile-friendly a Google search ranking boost. This means that if your website was designed with smartphones in mind (iPhones, Androids, etc), it will rank higher in a mobile Google search than those that do not. And this is something that will be affecting everyone, not just small theaters. It’s estimated that almost 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites will be affected by the update.
And while desktop search is “safe” for now, the world is experiencing a massive shift towards mobile. In other words, the business world is basically running on mobile. Over 40 percent of all ticket sales already happen through mobile, and 57 percent of mobile users won’t engage with a brand that delivers a poor mobile experience. And these numbers are growing at a breakneck speed.
So – what can we do about this? Most arts organizations aren’t physically building their own websites, but it’s up to you to take action with your site. So first things first: check to see if your website is mobile friendly here.
After entering your site’s URL into the search bar, you’ll get one of two responses: either “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” or you’ll get a “Not mobile-friendly” response.
There are several reasons for receiving a “not mobile-friendly” rating, for example (but definitely not limited to):
- Your text might be too small to read
- Links on your site are too close together
- Your mobile viewport is not set
- Your content is wider than the screen
So what does this mean for your theater?
The answer is simple: hop on the mobile train, or be left behind. If you’re building a first-time site for your venue make sure you’re building a mobile-first, responsive responsive website. Mobile is the way of the future, and we’re headed that direction whether you’re on board or not. And if you’re website isn’t mobile-friendly, then it’s time for an update. Whether that means a complete overhaul of your site, or a few changes you need to be mobile-friendly. Regardless, a responsive website will always be more successful than one that isn’t, and – to be honest – responsive has become the standard in web design today.
Don’t wait to get your site mobile-ready, because the mobile shift isn’t just happening as we speak, it’s already there. Being seen on Google can do wonders for your theater, and on the flip side – getting buried can be detrimental. 48 percent of all mobile research begins on search engines, and Google is the default search engine for the majority of mobile browsers. So don’t fall behind – and arm yourself for the future of mobile!