There is a danger in poor web development. Mobile websites that are created, but not configured properly, can hurt a company’s organic ranking when someone does a mobile search and causes a direct loss in mobile traffic. BrightEdge conducted a study that found 25 percent of mobile sites are misconfigured, and 27 percent mobile sites are ranked lower on a Google search than their desktop counterpart because Google did not recognize the sites as being related. BrightEdge said they conducted billions of search queries and found that 62 percent of organic searches displayed different results depending on if they were performed on a desktop or mobile device.

In order for mobile marketing to be effective, you need to start with solid web development. Their study did not find a significant difference between the type of mobile site configuration, simply that if it was configured improperly a site would drop an average of 1.82 places on organic search results. This leads to an overall decrease in mobile traffic by 68 percent. Mobile sites with separate URLs had the highest number of errors, these are also known as dedicated mobile sites. In general, responsive web development is the safest because the site is configured the same but simply displays differently based on the type of device someone is using to conduct their search.

Having a mobile friendly website is essential for mobile marketing because if you are running a paid search campaign, users need to be able to read your information once they land on your site. Traditional websites are difficult to read and navigate from the small screen of a smartphone. Mobile friendly and responsive design sites change the layout in order to fit on a smaller screen. Prior to starting a mobile web development project, consider how people navigate through your site. Do they need access to the same information from a desktop and smartphone or are they looking for different information? This is an important question to ask as consumer behaviors tend to change. For example, when people conduct a search on their smartphone your phone number, address, and hours need to appear front and center because they may be on the go and interested in visiting your location. Desktop users, on the other hand may have more time to read through mission statements and other company data that simply is relevant when on the road. A professional web developer can help you to analyze this data and make recommendations based on your industry.

If you currently have a mobile website with a different URL, like mybusinessname.mobi, you should have the site evaluated for errors. A good place to start is by conducting several searches from your desktop and smartphone to see if your site is ranking the same on both devices. If it is not, this is a clear sign that you need to revisit your mobile web development. Don’t risk losing traffic to your site or decreasing the effectiveness of your mobile marketing campaign with a poorly configured site. The loss of traffic could cost you significantly in both client acquisition and revenue.