Call me old fashioned. Tell me I’m kinda “slow.” I’ll admit I can get set in my ways. But, I think I finally “get it” about Mobile Marketing.
Well, maybe not all of it yet, but I’d like to show you why you might want to consider having a “mobile website” in addition to your “regular website.”
I’m talking about a mobile website, not a mobile app (application). Mobile apps are little programs that you download to your mobile device: games, QR code scanners, a mobile trip planner, etc. A mobile website is a condensed version of your full website.
A Desktop Website on a Mobile Device
I use my iPhone to test all the websites that I create to make sure everything
shows up and works correctly. The downside is, depending on your smart phone, you may see only a portion of the website and have to “scroll” around to see other portions or “pinch” it to see the whole page at once. Of course, then it’s too small to read! Here’s my website on a smart phone:
You can see only the upper left corner of the website’s home page. See how the banner is cut off on the right?
I See the Light!
So one day I run into a colleague and she shows me how she’d converted her website to be easier to view and interact with on her smart phone. The light finally goes on in my head. On the left is what the mobile version of my website looks like.
(The banner actually spans the full width of the phone. The tool I used to render the mobile site so I could get a screen shot didn’t handle the banner correctly.)
You’ll notice that you don’t necessarily want to try to completely re-create your website for a different form factor. That would be no better than a pinched version that you can hardly read. You need to present the content a little differently. Information should be quick and easy to find.
You do need an additional domain name for your mobile site, but you don’t need to add it to your marketing information or business cards (unless you want to). Your mobile site can be programmed to come up automatically when your website is accessed from a mobile device.
What’s On a Mobile Website?
Put yourself in a mobile user’s shoes and decide on the key things to present from your mobile website. Remember: they can always access your full website if they need more details. Here’s what I decided to put on my mobile version:
- Logo banner (you still want consistent branding)
- A brief, descriptive, compelling introduction
- Description of services
- The means to request a quote
- Push-button calling
- More background information about the company
- Access to the full website
- Access to this blog
- An easy way to tell a friend about the company
- Push-button sign-up for our newsletter
- Jump to our Facebook page
- Jump to our Twitter page
This might seem like a lot of stuff, but when most of it is presented in easy-to-tap icons on your smart phone, it really isn’t a problem. Go ahead and bring up the browser on your smart phone. Go to our website: http://www.sunstonesolutions.com. The mobile version should come up automatically.
Getting Started With Your Mobile Website
Take a look at your website. Think about what the key informational elements would be for mobile users and think about a priority order to present them. Design your mobile website layout and get it set up.
There are companies that have converters that help you build your mobile site, some for free, generally with certain restrictions. Other companies will do it for you for a fee. Many of the hosting companies such as GoDaddy and Network Solutions offer a free conversion if you register a .mobi domain name with them. Do a web search for “mobile website converters.” I don’t have any particular converter to recommend, although I did use Network Solutions this time around.
Think About It, Anyway
Not convinced yet that you need a mobile website? Here are a few of the messages I’m coming across more and more each day:
- Over half the world’s population has a mobile phone. Granted, not all are “smart phones” but it’s only a matter of time.
- “These days, it doesn’t just seem like everyone has an iPhone, BlackBerry, or
Android phone. Fifty million people in the United States actually do, according to comScore statistics.” — Inc.com
- Google has a different search engine index of mobile sites. Sometime in the future, only sites with a mobile version will appear in Google searches on a mobile device.
- Mobile users/searchers are more likely to take immediate action.
Although the current trend for mobile use favors businesses such as retail, restaurants, and entertainment (theaters, concerts, shows, etc.), mobile usage is destined to increase as will the users’ expectations.
Tap. Tap, tap. Something straight out of Star Trek. Now where’s my food replicator? It’s time for dinner and I don’t feel like cooking.
Are you ready for a mobile website? Share your thoughts below.