April 23, 2019 Debbie Misra

The Case for Mobile-Friendly Sites

Still contemplating a mobile-friendly website? Don’t put it off any longer. Higher education websites need to be mobile-friendly to reach prospective students, as teens are avid users of handheld devices.  Among adults 12-34 years old, an impressive 80% now own smartphones and 55% own tablets, according to fresh data from eMarketer.com. In coming years, those figures will only rise. Any school that doesn’t have a mobile-friendly web product risks missing recruiting and marketing opportunities.

Teens are overwhelmingly using handheld devices to browse university and college websites. Last year, 97% of students have visited a university or college’s website on a mobile device, according to 2014 Social Admissions Report by Chegg, Zinch, and Uversity. But two-thirds of students said their experience with schools’ mobile sites was “challenging” or “just ok”. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

The shift to mobile is impacting digital advertising as well. In 2014, mobile advertising is on expected to grow 75% to $31.45 billion, up from $17.96 billion in 2013, according to eMarketer.com. By 2016, mobile ad spending will reach $60.14 billion. Social media companies command the bulk of mobile ad spending, with Google expected to command 46.8% of mobile ad dollars in 2014, followed by Facebook with 28.7% and Twitter with 2.1%.

Have we convinced you yet? If your organization is ready to create a mobile-friendly site, you don’t need an entirely new website.

Responsive web design ensures a positive user experience on any screen by adjusting to different devices. At Sanmita, our Smart Filter plugin can convert nearly any website to a responsive site. We build the plugin quickly and for about one-third of the cost of a new responsive site. We can customize each project so the mobile site contains the most important information. To make things even easier, our Smart Filter tool works with any CMS. We can also implement the plugin and provide hosting.

The College of Saint Rose, one of our clients, just launched its mobile site using the Smart Filter plugin. We worked with the Saint Rose web team to design a mobile site highlighting the most important information.  For the College of Saint Rose project, Sanmita worked with the school’s existing website and CMS. Although we were unfamiliar with the school’s CMS, we successfully navigated the system with help from the college’s web team to build the new site. Our vast experience with higher education websites means we are up for challenges like this one.

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