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 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

March 8, 2012

4 reasons you need a mobile website


How Socialmedia.biz looked on a smartphone before and after it was optimized for mobile.

How does your site look on a smartphone?

Deltina HayMany of you may be thinking, My website displays fine in mobile browsers, even if it is a little small.

What’s the big deal?

Just having a mini version of your existing website is not going to cut it. You need a mobile version of your website that addresses all of the following issues:

Load time

1A website designed for mobile will load in around four or five seconds, while a traditional website can take as long as 40 seconds to load on a mobile device. Not only will this lead to much frustration for your site visitors, but it will also keep your site from placing well in mobile directories.

Mobile directories

2Even if your site displays properly in mobile browsers, it may not be indexed by mobile search algorithms. When one uses a search engine on a mobile device, the search query accesses a separate index maintained for mobile content. If your website is not optimized for mobile search engines, it will not place well in such search results.

Mobile browser standards

3Mobile browsers do not work the same as desktop browsers. They do not render video, Flash, image galleries, and many other software and scripts in the same manner as desktop browsers. Most mobile browsers simply ignore Flash. If your site uses Flash or other proprietary software, it may not load in mobile browsers at all. A mobile version of your website that adheres to mobile standards as set by W3C’s mobile web initiative will solve these issues. Continue reading

February 21, 2012

Encourage visitors to save your site as a mobile shortcut

Deltina HayYou don’t need a mobile app to help your audience keep your website top of mind on their smartphone or tablet. Your site visitors can easily save your website as a shortcut on their mobile device, keeping your content as fresh in their minds as their Angry Birds.

The problem is that many of your site visitors may not know how to create a mobile shortcut, so you should offer instructions on how they can. There are any number of ways to do this: You can offer a link to a page with instructions or place a short video on your site showing how they can create a shortcut on their mobile device.

Above is a short video on how to create a mobile shortcut that you are welcome to embed on your own site. (If so, grab the embed code on YouTube.)

I’m sure your next question is going to be: How did you get the mobile devices to use those nifty little shortcut icons to represent your website? And a good question that is!

Creating your own mobile shortcut icons

The first step is to create the icon. Create your icon as a .png file that is at least 128px by 128px (this size will accommodate newer mobile devices, too). Check out the ICONJ iPhone Style Icon Generator if you want a quick solution to creating icons.

Next, name the icon “apple-touch-icon.png” and place the icon file in the root directory of your website.

This is all you need to do to accommodate Apple devices, but you need to add some code to your site to accommodate other devices like Android mobile devices. Continue reading