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This is a question we get often. And for good reason, because it is not as important in the developed world as it is in South Africa. But the answer is quite simple. Even if you as business owner have the luxury of a laptop and/or a desktop PC – and perhaps even a tablet PC, the stark reality in a developing country is that your customers might not.
It might come as a surprise to you that most connected users in South Africa are accessing the internet from mobile devices. This figure excludes laptops and PCs, and only takes into account tablets and mobile phones. Remember also that most cheap cellphones nowadays have internet browsers – they don’t even need smartphones. With the popularity of chat platforms such as Whatsapp and WeChat on the rise, the need for a basic data plan is enhanced, which means that more and more users are also venturing online for searching and browsing.
And it’s not even so much down to what you are offering, and what your market is any more. The ease and accessibility of browsing on one’s cellphone at high internet speed makes it a very popular medium. Think about it… even if you don’t always have your laptop with you, you are never far from your cellphone, right? Data is becoming cheaper almost every month, so cost is no longer the inhibitor it was a year ago.
The next part is very important. Google is smart enough to know that you are using a mobile device, and filters the search results shown to you accordingly. This means that websites that do not display well on mobile devices are often excluded from the list, or ranked lower than the ones that are. Get it? If your website is not mobile-friendly, you might be losing out on lots of new business!