Before you invest in a mobile app or website, you should consider several different factors. “I want to make my website mobile” is good enough to get you looking for a mobile web designer, but you should have a solid business case for a mobile app or website before you invest the money into creating it.

Let’s examine your probable reasons for wanting to create a mobile app or website to see whether or not they’re good reasons for rushing out to hire a mobile web designer.

“I Want To Make My Website Mobile Because Everyone Is Doing It”

Although following the wisdom of the crowd is a logical fallacy (the ancients called it argumentum ad populum), it’s stuck around for a long time because it’s a pretty reliable strategy. With everyone else having or building mobile websites, you’re probably feeling left behind. But before you blindly follow your peers over the side a cliff, here’s an easy way to determine whether you need a mobile website: just look at your current traffic.

If your website statistics provider says your current website traffic has a significant number of mobile users, you probably need a mobile website.

If you own a mobile device yourself, you know that you learn to avoid visiting websites which require you to zoom in and zoom out constantly, so every person visiting your non-mobile website today from a mobile device is learning that your website requires excessive zooming, which means that they’re not likely to return to your site tomorrow.

If you have mobile traffic, it’s time to hire a mobile web designer to keep mobile users returning to your website.

“I Want To Make My Website Mobile To Make More Money”

Making money from a mobile website or app can be tricky. This is one place where you really should consult with an experienced mobile web designer or business strategist because mobile users have different buying habits than desktop users.

That said, if your non-mobile website is turning away mobile traffic, you’ll almost certainly benefit from making your website mobile. But just buying a responsive design theme (mobile theme) from a WordPress design studio won’t make your current product or service offerings mobile friendly. And if you persist in showing mobile users products they don’t want to buy, they’ll feel like you’re spamming them and they may go elsewhere. Consult with a mobile web designer to learn what mobile users prefer to buy and how they prefer to pay for it.

“I Want To Make My Website Mobile With An App”

A decade or so ago, some smart businesses figured out that one of the absolute best ways to make money online was through email or, more generally, what Seth Godin called “permission marketing.” Nowadays practically all suceessful online businesses have an email marketing list.

But list subscriptions are declining, and one reason is because it’s almost impossible to get mobile users to enter their email address when browsing the web.

Should you just give up on permission marketing? Absolutely not! It’s still a fantastic way to make money online—but you do need to change your opt-in strategy for mobile users. Instead of getting them to give you something (their email address), you need to give them something—an app.

With a simple link on the mobile version of your site and a QR code on the desktop version of your site, you can provide an instant download of an app which promises to deliver immediate value. And once people start to use that app, you can use it to deliver targeted marketing messages to them just as if it was an email mailing list.

Once again, you should consult with an experienced mobile web designer to discover what features users want in a mobile app—it’s no good building an app nobody will download. But once you have a good app and a good mobile website, you’ll reap the rewards of not just investing in a mobile website, but in investing in it wisely.

Conclusion: A Checklist

  • Check your current website traffic to see how many mobile visitors you have now.
  • Consult with a mobile web designer about mobile buying habits within your website niche to see if your products or services will appeal to mobile users.
  • Consider whether your business model will benefit from email-like marketing campaigns delivered through an app.