7 Do’s and Don’ts for Mobile Websites
Mobile websites are now a must for businesses. According to comScore at the end of January of 2012, 234 million Americans age 13 and over use mobile devices. That’s just in the United States. The days of only having a static website are over. In order to reach more potential customers, businesses need a static website and a mobile version. Static websites (those on your regular PC) don’t always appear or format to the confines of a cell phone or tablet. Not only is it important to have a static, or regular, website for your business, but it’s also important to be mindful and aware of the growing use of mobile phones and tablets.
We’ve all tried to access our favorite site on a mobile phone or been in a situation where we needed to find a particular service, i.e., a mechanic because your car broke down, a nearby restaurant because if you don’t eat now, lives might be in danger, or maybe you’re out looking for a new car or used car and want to check out the inventory before going to the next dealership, on a mobile phone. Whatever the reason, we’ve all experienced the frustration of websites not loading properly or fast enough, images not appearing, and poor navigation when trying to view websites on a smartphone or regular cell phone. Here’s a short list of do’s, don’ts, and benefits of having a mobile website.
1. Don’t assume your website will work on a mobile phone or tablet
Think about it. There’s specific code used on regular websites that mobile phones can’t handle. Typically mobile phones are on a slower network and therefore take longer to load. Slower load time typically equals user frustration. User frustration equals finding a competitor with a fast loading mobile site. When developing your regular website, be sure to ask about a mobile version as well. Any reputable website builder will be able to answer any questions you might have as well as build in a mobile version for you.
2. Do have a dedicated mobile site
This is especially important in the service and retail industries, which probably covers just about every business. Mechanics, tow services, tire stores, glass repair, and restaurants most definitely should have mobile sites because most of the time people are not at a home PC when looking up information for these services. If you have a service where people call because it is an emergency and whatever it is needs to be fixed ASAP, then have mobile site. Mobile sites will help reach a larger audience and, in turn, a larger customer base.
3. Don’t have a ton of images
Images are great, but they do not help with SEO (Search Engine Optimation). In addition on mobile sites images slow down loading time and convoluted the site itself. Keep it simple and be sure to prominently display contact information and a map or directions to your business.
4. Do make contact information clickable
Your mobile site should be set up where customers can call just by clicking on the phone number. By making contact information clickable, customers are more likely to call because it’s so easy. The physical business address should also be clickable. Customers click on the address and are automatically taken to a map app. Easy!
5. Benefit time! Mobile Incentives
Reward your mobile customers with an incentive or some sort of mobile user advantage. For example, mobile users receive 20% off said service if they call now. Or use this mobile code and receive free shipping. In order to keep track and measure success, have a phone number and codes specific for mobile users.
6. Newest trend time! Responsive Websites
If you must have the same format for your static website and your mobile website, than a responsive website is for you. The benefit of a responsive website is it will format to any device. However, there are limitations. Responsive sites are minimalists, so simplicity is key. In other words, you cannot be image heavy. Why? Because responsive sites have to quickly switch formats. In addition, since responsive sites need a quick switch time, artistic flair is sacrificed. Hunter’s Health is a perfect example of a responsive site. Try it on your PC, smartphone, and tablet. It works on all three with ease. Notice there are formatting differences, but content is easy to see and navigate on your PC, smartphone, and/or tablet.
7. Do have calls to action
These particular calls of action should appeal to mobile phone users. For example, think about when your customers need you most. Maybe the phrase, “Got a Flat?” works for your business. Now, envision a giant red button with your contact information. All the user has to do is press it and they reach your business. Ease is the key word!
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!