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 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

April 17, 2012

The importance of mobile optimized landing pages

Deltina HayYou finally have your mobile ad ready in the new Google AdWords for Mobile and have high hopes for reaching the unsaturated mobile audience. But have you thought your campaign all the way through? Once you reach this mobile demographic, where will you send them? Hopefully, you plan to send them to a page that is optimized for the mobile Web.

You already know the best practices of successful landing pages (if not, here is a link to landing page resources that can help).

  • Landing pages should be relevant to to the ad that sent the user there.
  • Landing pages should get to the point quickly.
  • Landing pages should make the call to action very clear and accessible.
  • Landing pages should be short and avoid scrolling where possible.
  • Landing pages should require very little from the user.

Continue reading

February 15, 2012

How do people use the mobile Web?


Image by rzymu on BigStockPhoto.com

People browse differently on mobile devices than they do on their desktop computers

Deltina HayMobile device users don’t typically “surf” the Internet using mobile devices. Their motives tend to be more intentional and action-based. They usually know what it is they are looking for and are more likely to act once they find it. Consumers use mobile search mostly to access local information, stay informed, buy products, and download music and video.

In a study from Google conducted by Ipsos OTX:

  • Search engine websites are the most visited websites, followed by social networking, retail, and video sharing websites
  • Nine out of 10 smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
  • 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
  • 88% of these users take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs
  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices and finding more product info to locating a retailer

Take these facts into consideration when creating your mobile website. When a potential customer lands on your site, assume they are there for a specific purpose. Try and predict the customer’s intentions, and make certain there is a way for them to take action easily without navigating away from your site.

It is important that your site is properly optimized for mobile devices. If your site loads too slowly, does not clearly present actionable items, or if content and buttons are too small for visitors to access, they will likely move on. Stay tuned as we discuss solutions to these issues throughout 2012!

This excerpt was paraphrased from The Boostrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web by Deltina Hay. This book will be released in May 2012, but you can request a review copy today. This post originally appeared on MobileWebSlinger.com.

February 3, 2012

Why you should care about the mobile Web


Image by BigStock Photo

Ready or not, the mobile revolution is upon us!

Deltina HayThere is a lot of hype out there about how many people own mobile devices and how much time people spend on them.

Over the past two years, I’ve been charting and chronicling the rise of the mobile Web and the changes that it is unleashing on American society.

Let’s look at some overall numbers:

So everyone has or will have a mobile device. Everybody needs a phone, right? What’s the big deal? What does this matter to our website optimization or online marketing efforts?

The following numbers reveal the impact more clearly:

Now the issue is not that everyone has a mobile device, but that they all have Internet access via that device. Many of them access the Web only through their mobile device. More importantly, they are taking advantage of that access by searching, purchasing and clicking through on mobile ads at unprecedented rates.

This is great news for those of us who market on the Internet. But it can be equally bad news for those who are not prepared for this mobile opportunity.

Imagine that someone visits your website from their mobile device and your site loads so slowly the user just moves on to the next site in their search results. Or, perhaps your site eventually loads but with no images and with a gaping hole where that spiffy piece of Flash you paid so much for is supposed to play. Or worse, the user receives a message from her browser informing her that your site cannot be viewed on her mobile device. These are very possible scenarios for a website that is not mobile-ready.

There are many things you can do to get your existing website ready for the mobile web, as well as other tactics you can use to market within the mobile web. Stay tuned as we explore these tactics in more detail throughout 2012!

Bootstrapper's Guide to the Mobile Web

This post was paraphrased from Deltina Hay’s latest book, The Boostrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web. The book will be released in May 2012, but you can request a review copy today. This post originally appeared on MobileWebSlinger.com.