May 31, 2012

10 best practices for your mobile website


Examples of Mobile Awesomeness

How to bring awesomeness to your mobile presence

Target audience: Small, mid-size and large businesses, social enterprises, mobile developers, social marketers, educators — and anyone with a mobile website.

Deltina HayYesterday we discussed some of the choices you have when it comes to creating your mobile website.

Regardless of the solution you choose, there are some best practices that should be applied to all mobile websites.

Here are 10 important tips to get your mobile site off to a roaring start.

Keep it simple and prioritize content

1In general, keeping your site simple means eliminating most images; simplifying navigation, layout, and design elements; eliminating Flash and other proprietary software; keeping your site free of clutter; and breaking up text and other content.

Space is in high demand on a mobile site and site visitors are on the go, so you need to anticipate what content users will most likely want to access. Choose the three most important content items and make those items easy for users to find and act upon.

Recall that users are not browsing your mobile site — so make it easy for them to do the things they most likely want to do, like find store locations, buy or review products, review menu items, place calls to your business, or request additional information.

Take advantage of mobile features

2Like the click-to-call button, there are features specific to mobile devices that can be used to improve your site’s user experience. The most useful of these features is location, both yours and the customer’s. By accessing user location information, you can offer a more personable experience.

Think ‘tap-able,’ not ‘clickable’

3Design your site’s buttons, navigation items, and links for touch screens, not for a mouse. This will improve the user experience and prevent accidental navigation away from your site. Do not use hover-over features on your mobile site. A thumb cannot “hover” over an item on a mobile site. Continue reading

May 30, 2012

Making sense of mobile website solutions

Deltina HayThere is a lot of advice floating around about what is the best mobile website solution. I don’t believe any solution is the best. I think it depends on individual needs. Luckily, there are solutions available today for almost all of us.

In previous mobile web series articles, we covered:

But none of that tells you how to create your mobile website, or what your options are.

Luckily, you have a host of solutions available to get your Web presence mobile-ready, with many of them taking very little time, effort, or money to implement. Continue reading

May 22, 2012

Catalyzing action for Internet freedom

Reps from 40 countries descend on D.C. for Google conference

JD LasicaIjust arrived in Washington, D.C., for a conference with the goal of protecting freedom of expression on the Internet. Organized by Google, Internet at Liberty (they could have done better on the name) will “explore the most pressing dilemmas and exciting opportunities around free expression in the digital age.”

As the conference site says, “Today, more than any time in history, technological and political forces are colliding to draw lines about how the Internet functions. … The conference will explore creative ways to expand the free flow of information online” with global activists and representatives of academic centers, corporations, governments, the media and NGOs.

Certainly, Google has a business stake in a free and open Internet — an Internet that does not become balkanized as a result of attempts to bend the content citizens can see to reflect governments’ narrow, parochial interests. But here is an example where Google’s interests and the public’s interests sync up perfectly.

A gathering of Internet freedom organizations

I’ll be running the conference’s social media track (disclosure: Google recruited and paid me to organize it). Look for two days of workshops that will cover strategies and tools to advance cause organizations’ advocacy campaigns. Our charter is not to discuss only Internet freedom issues but any strategies, tactics and tools that can help change-makers using social media succeed. The plenary sessions Wednesday and Thursday will be live-streamed while the workshops will be video recorded and put online at a future date, I’m told. Follow the hashtag #InternetLiberty. Continue reading

May 17, 2012

The Ultimate Mobile Web Infographic

This is the second of a two-part series on the mobile Web. Also see:
3 steps to a successful mobile website

Target audience: Mid-size and small businesses, online marketers, Web publishers, mobile developers, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, general public.

Deltina HayWe sometime don’t appreciate how fast things are moving, but the mobile Web is exploding.

In celebration of the release of my new book, The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, I offer you this mobile Web infographic to use as your guide to preparing for these sweeping changes, whether you’re an online marketer, publisher or a one of the users of 5.6 billion mobile phones worldwide today (over 327 million in the United States). The infographic explains the difference between native apps and Web apps (big difference), and points out the numbers:

There will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015, driving $20.6 billion in mobile ad revenue and $119 billion in merchandise spent by mobile shoppers by 2015. And it’s just getting started.

You’re welcome to share and re-post the infographic as long as the header and credits sections remain intact. A larger version of the graphic can be downloaded from TheBootstrappersGuide.com.

Mobile web infographic

Related on Socialmedia.biz
May 16, 2012

3 steps to a successful mobile website


Image by rzymu on BigStockPhoto.com

Plan for a mobile site that meets your strategic needs

This is the first of a two-part series on the mobile Web. Tomorrow:
The Ultimate Mobile Web Infographic

Target audience: Mid-size and small businesses, Web publishers, mobile developers, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, general public.

Deltina HayAs we’ve been saying, the time has come for you to offer your readers a mobile version of your website in one form or another.

But before leaping in and creating a mobile website just because you need one, pull back and plan for a mobile site that meets your customer’s needs, fulfills your business objectives, and integrates the features you need now and in the future.

Here are some guidelines to help you plan a successful mobile website:

Plan for user expectations

1In a previous post, we discussed how people use the mobile Web. Mobile device users already know what they want when they get to a mobile website, and are more likely to take action once they get there. To plan for this type of user behavior, answer the following questions about potential visitors to your mobile site:

Include features on your mobile site that will encourage mobile users to share your content, contact your business, access your social media sites & find your business
  • Why are they most likely coming to your site?
  • What information are they most likely seeking?
  • What types of actions are they most likely to take?

Continue reading