#DMS2011: Mobile Tools for SMBs: The Starting Line

Michael Boland, the program director for BIA/Kelsey’s Mobile Local Media Practice, moderated a conversation today on mobile tools for local businesses, focusing on the benefits of mobile optimized websites. As we tweeted earlier today, mobile Internet users will surpass desktop users by 2015, led in large part by Smartphone penetration. Even so, it turns out only 1.25% of websites are fully mobile optimized so there’s a lot of room for sales reps to guide their clients through this space.

Small business owners, recognizing the growing importance of mobile, now have to decide if they’re going to focus their marketing dollars on mobile apps, developing mobile-friendly websites — or both.

Today’s panel all prioritized the development of a functional mobile website for small businesses. Apps are often easier for consumers to discover through sorted stores, but tend to work better for brands with a built-in audience. Most small businesses, on the other hand, are almost always found through search and mobile websites can offer them the tools that are sometimes too complex for apps.

Itai Sadan, cofounder and CEO of DudaMobile, said his company’s call widget is behind the 18% conversion across verticals because it makes it simpler for people browsing the site to connect with the local businesses. Sadan said that when consumers are searching from their mobile device, they’re not in research mode, but want to buy and connect with a business in real-time.

When it comes to apps and mobile websites, it’s clear that businesses found through mobile experience a lower bounce rate and higher client conversion than traditional websites.

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