There are many things that we can learn from the outstanding success of the new social networking website, Pinterest. For those of you who don’t know, Pinterest is the upstart social network whose mission is to connect everyone in the world through their interests by letting them tag and share anything they find on the Internet.
Here are two figures that should tell you how successful Pinterest has been at gaining traction: it has grown in popularity faster than any website in history, and it did so without much media attention, hitting 10 million unique monthly visitors faster than any website in history. And secondly, it is driving more traffic to retailers than huge websites like Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn, combined.
There are hundreds of posts right now that talk about all the reasons for Pinterests outstanding growth and success. But here is one important thing to know: Pinterest invested in all the right foundational elements of their website, and not insignificantly, they invested in a mobile version of their website.
One of the figures you should be tracking (for free) is the percentage of your website visitors who access your site from a mobile device, such as an iPad, iPhone, Android device, etc. Our rule of thumb at CiV Digital is that, if more than 10% of your visitors are accessing a website from a mobile device, we recommend that you should create a version of your website that is optimized for mobile devices.
Here’s why: when someone accesses your website from a mobile device, they have: (1) a smaller screen, (2) a tiny keyboard, or no keyboard at all, and (3) they have a limited ability to store data on the fly. If you want your mobile visitors to have an outstanding experience with your website, then you need to first keep track of how your visitors are accessing the site, and secondly you need to optimize your site with them in mind.
This post is not intended to provide a comprehensive look at what’s required for a mobile version of your website. For that, you should email us. ([email protected]). In future posts, we’ll explain the difference between creating native mobile apps, and doing what Pinterest has done, which is to create a mobile optimized website with HTML5 — which is what we recommend to most of our clients. The bottom line is this: it’s a simple process to see how your visitors are accessing your website, and if a large number of them are using handheld, mobile devices, then you should have a strategy and website that gives them an outstanding experience.
DJ Smith is the CEO of CiV Digital. He encourages you to be considerate of your customers, and create a mobile friendly website for them. You can follow him and CiV Digital at @civideas on Twitter.