Google today launched a new tool to help businesses easily create mobile web-sites to reach the increasing volume of consumers who now use smartphones rather than PCs to browse the web. Google Sites for Mobile enables non-technical users to quickly build a free mobile-optimised website and can be integrated with Checkout, Google’s online payment processing service, so that businesses can start selling through the new mobile site within minutes.
Users can choose from a selection of pre-designed templates, or build a custom template from scratch. The tool also integrates with Google Analytics, allowing users to keep track of visitor behaviour in order to find out what’s working and what needs to be improved.
With the sales of iPhones, Android handsets and other smartphones booming, the number of people who browse the web on a phone is set to outstrip PC users within the next few years. Most businesses are unprepared for this as their web-sites are designed to be viewed on computer screens and are not optimised for mobile handsets, which could mean they lose customers to competitors that have more mobile-friendly sites.
Shiv Kumar, a mobile specialist at Google wrote: “In a recent study, we found that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing from their phone, and 40% go to a competitor’s.”