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Does your website work for everybody?Does your website work for everybody?

You did it. You set aside time, energy, and resources in 2015 to revamp your flight school’s website so that it looks like something designed for an actual business. And you set a schedule to update the website to keep it fresh and appealing. What a relief—now you can focus on other aspects of running a flight school.

Hold on. How mobile-friendly is your website? In other words, if a customer uses a cellphone or tablet, can he or she navigate the site readily, or does it turn into a tiny mass of type that runs down one side of the screen?

“While many companies develop mobile-optimized websites as an afterthought to traditional desktop sites, more and more people learn about companies and products on mobile devices,” Entrepreneur reported in a roundup of emerging digital trends for 2016.

In fact, mobile website traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in more than 10 countries, including the United States and Japan, Google reported in May 2015.

What does this mean for your business? It means more people are using mobile phones and tablets to look for goods and services. They’re using phones and tablets to look up your hours of operation, or browse the type of airplanes you offer on your flight line.

Here’s a quick checklist to diagnose your website’s mobile attractiveness, as compiled by Ian Mills, a small business blogger for the Huffington Post.

• Does it load in less than three seconds?
• Does it draw your eye to your key selling points or message?
• Is the content easy to read?
• Is it easy to navigate?
• Is it easy to recognize and activate the call to action?
• Does it provide a good user experience?
• Is it a website you would spend time on if it were not your own?

In an article on questions to ask when optimizing a website for mobile use, Entrepreneur says you can use a single website that displays content responsively for different device and browser types, or you can opt for a standalone dedicated mobile website separate from the main website. It’s worth noting that Google and Bing search engines prefer all-in-one sites.

Is this a project you’ll want to take on yourself? Probably not. Is it something you can delegate to a front-desk person or a tech-savvy relative? Probably not. If you’re light on resources, consider hiring a company to make your website mobile-friendly. Entrepreneur lays out a variety mobile optimization options, and recommends that you first decide what you’re willing to spend, and then choose an option from there.

Jill W. Tallman is the editor of Flight School Business.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.

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