Trying to find information on a recently passed municipal by-law? Looking for something new to do in your home town? Thinking of relocating? Chances are your first stop will be a website, but how likely is it for a person to search using their mobile device?
It turns out that if you’re looking for information about rural Alberta, chances are even greater that your search will be done on a smartphone or other mobile device. We’ve been analyzing that statistics of a local municipal government website. It has seen a 300% increase in mobile visitors to the site in the the last year alone. If the trend continues, mobile users will account for about 43% of all website users by the end of 2012.
That’s a significant number.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about these statistics is that we’re talking about the type of place where news travels quickly; the kind of town where you know your teenager has skipped school even before you see them at the end of the day (for which you can thank the local gas station attendant). Given this type of environment, some may question the need for any website at all; but for this town council it topped their priority list.
The website fills a variety of needs for this blossoming community: it helps to keep current residents informed about special events and town hall issues, it entices visitors with local attractions, and it informs potential residents of the perks of living in this lovely small town.
The part that makes us happiest? This website tackles legitimate needs of the community in a way that’s compatible with the rapidly increasing mobile lifestyle. And let’s face it, when it comes to rural municipal government, a functional and mobile friendly website is pretty forward thinking, and plain old awesome.