Website Design:  
Today It's All About Your Mobile Landing Page
Once each year, when I was a kid, mom used to drive me to the phone company depot. We would load up the Ford Falcon, later a Buick Skylark, with Yellow Pages phone books till the tires rubbed on the wheel wells. I would be paid a few cents each to deliver them door to door. It was practically an American tradition.

Small business was dependent on the Yellow Pages to attract customers. They never knew how successful their ads in those cumbersome books were. But they knew they had to be there. And so year after year businesses shelled out money for space on those pages. They hammered their employees to ask customers "How did you hear about us?" Of course, the employees never actually asked but they learned pretty quickly that it made their boss happy to hear "the Yellow Pages." So that was the answer they got.
Annually, businesses had a meeting with their Yellow Pages rep who confidently assured them: "Companies in your industry make $37.42 in sales for every $1.00 they spend in the Yellow Pages." So businesses made their commitment for a one year static ad and as their business grew so did the size of their ad in the Yellow Pages.
Then it changed. After over a century of Yellow Pages domination an alternative emerged. The internet. And no longer were businesses stuck trying to cram as much information as they could into a couple of inches of the Yellow Pages. They bought their domain names and reveled in the unlimited space. Not only could you tell people about your product and your location and your hours. Why, you could tell them the story of Uncle Joe who came to this country after WWII with $2 and through hard work and perseverance founded your wonderful business. Most importantly you weren't stuck with your ad for a year. You could run specials and change anything whenever you wanted.

It seemed that almost everyone had a home PC. And the monitors kept getting bigger and bigger. And the webmasters were rushing to fill up this space. An entire industry emerged. Web designers, SEO, PPC, and an alphabet of experts cashing in on this new phenomena. You didn't have to cajole your employees to find out where your customers came from. Your alphabet expert had mountains of statistics. The amount of information he could glean from 12 clicks a day was mind boggling. Things were perfect!

Until they got even better. Apple combined a cell phone and a music player. It was an instant success. Everywhere people were using their new smartphones to text, listen to music and play games. Initially unnoticed by most was the fact that it also connected to the internet. But as time went on people started using the browser. On October 16, 2011 Raymond Smith stood in his bathroom and yelled "Siri, I need a plumber" and the world changed. It was the convergence of the smartphone and business. And it was beautiful! People were no longer tethered to their big fancy monitor to find out about your business. They could do it on a whim while they were driving. "Where can we get a pizza?" was answered with a couple of taps on the phone.

But there was a problem. The big beautiful websites didn't display very well on a smartphone. But not to worry. The army of alphabet experts came to the rescue with something called responsive design. A way to make a website automatically shrink down to fit on a smartphone. How? You'll probably have to ask some one who lives in India for that answer. It's not a perfect solution. The smartphone version certainly doesn't look as good as the big monitor site. But it's good enough until you can get to your PC. And most of the people were still looking at your website on their big monitor.
Until they weren't. On May 5, 2015 Google released this statement. 

More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. (tablets are lumped in with PCs).

Of course, nobody paid any attention. Businesses kept building their big fancy websites until nobody came.

What do we know two full years after Google's announcement? We know that over 70% of all web activity is taking place on smartphones. We know that the home PC is dying out. We know that 80% of all mobile business phone calls, appointments and reservation decisions take place on the initial screen - above the fold - of a smartphone. (comScore)

So, what does this mean for your business. Well, nobody is reading about Uncle Joe anymore. That's for sure. For many industry categories (food and beverage, service/repair, health, medicine, sports, news, automotive) the big beautiful website is going the way of the Yellow Pages. But, don't worry once again the alphabet experts have come to the rescue. Here it is. Now you can try to cram as much information about your business as you can into a couple of inches of smartphone screen. - 2017