Best Practices for Mobile Websites

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Mobile – whether it’s a device, a way of thinking or a strategy (and likely all three) – should be an ideal component for any business. Why? It’s agile, changeable, and developer-friendly.

 

Consumers love it (how many songs have you bought while sitting at a stoplight?), and businesses love it (consumers buying products at stoplights). The result is that businesses of all sizes are trying to develop a smart plan that takes the most advantage of this portable generation.

 

Any mobile strategy, however, should start with your website. If your customers are going mobile, and the website they’re using to buy products from or find out more about your services is a just mini version of your primary site, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

 

Making mobile matter

The 2012 ClickFox Loyalty Report found that 60 percent of SMBs ranked their company website as their “most important marketing technique,” saying it was “very or extremely important,” but didn’t mention the mobile side of the equation.

 

That’s a big mistake. According to stats from Javelin Strategy and Research, consumers spent nearly $21 billion shopping via mobile devices in 2011. The survey also found that most SMBs don’t have mobile-optimized sites. The result is missed opportunities for your business to grab a piece of the mobile pie.

 

According to a Google study, 75 percent of customers who visited a mobile-friendly site will come back and purchase – while 79 percent of users who end up on a website that’s not optimized for mobile will leave, and find another one that is.

 

Creating a mobile-friendly website

There’s no reason that 79 percent of users should end up at your competitor’s site – and spend their money elsewhere. But many SMBs are worried about the perceived high cost of creating a mobile-specific website.

 

The good news is there are lots of easy-to-use, low-cost solutions developed especially for small businesses, like GoMobi – an add-on service starting at $5.99/month from Verio, a provider of online business solutions for SMBs.

 

Make sure the big potential dollars you can make from mobile purchases stay in your pocket – not your competitors’ – with this summary of expert tips from a recent Forbes article on creating better mobile websites:

 

Think mobile first

It sounds obvious, but be sure to keep in mind that your website is going to end up on a much smaller screen. That means scaling back accordingly and only including your most important offerings on the site.

 

Content, not navigation

Use the little screen real estate that you have for great content about your products and/or services – not for org charts or founder bios.

 

Customer first

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what they need from your mobile site. Is it access to product descriptions? Do they want to be able to contact you easily if needed? Start from what they need – not from what you already have.

 

Faster is better

If your mobile site takes more than 30 seconds to load, your potential customers (and their money) will be gone faster than an F1 racecar. Make sure it’s speedy all around – from initial load times to browsing capabilities to checkout.

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