You need a “mobile friendly” website and you know you do. You’ve been reading everywhere that mobile marketing is booming and that 2010 is the year for mobile to finally take off. Now that 2010 is upon us and mobile phones outnumber computers 4 to 1, what should you be asking yourself when as you try to decide if you should in fact, launch your new mobile website?
Does your mobile website render?
FACT: Less than 1% of all small business websites even render on a mobile device. You’d be surprised how many small business owners simply assume their site will render the same way on an iPhone as on a PC and never think to check. If that’s you, then you are unknowingly leaving your customers out in the cold when they try to bring up your site on a mobile device and find it doesn’t load. With so many people using smart phones, iPhones, Blackberry’s and Droid’s to search in today’s mobile environment, you simply can’t afford to guess anymore. You need to be absolutely sure that your site is rendering on mobile devices and if it’s not — you need to take immediate steps to fix it. 10 Reasons Your Website Should Go Mobile
Optimize for Local Search
Make sure your site is optimized for “local search“. This means that people should be able to find you when they are looking for local resources. Update your profile and include links to your mobile site (if you have one) and make it easy for users to find your business and more importantly “reach out and touch your business”. Yellow Pages just aren’t what they used to be. Google Place is free and will drive significant targeted traffic to your website.
What are your customers looking for?
Don’t assume a mobile website visitor has the same needs and wants as a traditional desktop user – because they don’t. Someone accessing your site from their desktop may be interested in reading reference or authority articles and willing to scan your whole site for content. Whereas, a mobile device visitor probably wants to see just the headlines. They want small sound bytes, your location, your office hours, your phone number. You want to find out what exactly their goal is and then customize an experience specifically for them. Unless you already know, the best way to find out is to ask them by adding a form or survey to your mobile site.
Target the Right Customers
The goal for any web site should be to know your customers in order to deliver to them the most appropriate content. This goal is even more important with mobile sites. Not only do you need to know your customers, but you need to know what they are likely to be doing on your mobile site, as well as where they’ll be when they’re doing it. Traditional web site customers are most likely sitting at a desk facing a large monitor that has a decent resolution. Visitors who are browsing your mobile site are unlikely to be in the same circumstances — they might be waiting in line, riding on the train or the bus, running to the departure gate, or lost in an unfamiliar town late at night and trying to get somewhere.
Is your mobile website optimized for mobile search?
Your website should be crawl-able by the Mobile search engines. Here’s the list of mobile search engines:
Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast
Industry experts predict that the mobile web will overtake the desktop environment in less than 3 years. There’s already twice as many mobile devices as there are PC’s. One of the first things a small business owner should do (before its too late) is to register their unique domain name with the .mobi extension. Our Small Business Package includes registering your .mobi domain and hosting your new mobile website for one year at no additional charge. Click Here for more details.
Build a Customer List
Mobile Marketing is Booming. There are dozens of mobile marketing solutions available. We have researched many service offerings and have found Trumpia to be cost effective and very simple to use. The Trumpia 15 day free trial makes is easy to test-drive. One of the nice things about Trumpia is their credit roll-over program. I like their simple yet robust back office administrator panel for tracking active SMS Marketing campaigns.
Mobile Website for Small Businesses
In mobile marketing, Size and Speed matters. When you first start out, avoid video and high resolution images so your site loads fast and gives the customer instant access to the information they seek. Once your site is established and you’ve worked out the kinks, you can add video and other high bandwidth content. Initially, you want to make it fast and easy for your customers to:
- Find you
- Call you
- Refer you
- Add to phone book
The above represents the key questions and issues every small business owner should ask themselves when thinking about getting a new custom mobile website. It’s simply not good enough to “think” your site loads properly. In today’s on-the-go environment, you not only need a mobile presence, you need an optimized mobile presence that improves your brand and taps into the fast growing mobile audience.