8
16
Shanna Mallon

Now is the Time to Develop a Mobile Web Marketing Presence

By: Shanna Mallon | August 26, 2013 | 
19

Mobile web marketing

By Shanna Mallon

Go anywhere today—the mall, your kid’s school, the office lunchroom—and you see the same thing: Everybody’s on a smartphone.

Nowadays, mobile devices are incredibly popular.

And according to research from Smart Insights, that popularity is only growing.

That’s why, no matter what your business, having a mobile web marketing presence is a necessity.

Is your company taking mobile marketing seriously? It should.

Fact: No Mobile Web Marketing Presence = Major Disadvantage

Here’s the thing: Traditional websites don’t display the same way on smartphones as they do on desktop computers. Layouts look different, content gets cramped, and your message is muddied. A muddied message is a wasted opportunity, plain and simple.

People are coming to your site, ready to learn about you, and you’re not putting your best foot forward.

When visitors are turned away from your mobile site, where do they go next to find  the kinds of services you offer?

You guessed it: Right into the arms of the competition. Whether or not you take the mobile web seriously, you can bet some of your competitors do. And that means they win the business.

And consider this: One big advantage mobile devices have over traditional computers is the way they encourage fast purchases. On-the-go users are much more likely to make impulse buys from their phones than from their desktops. A visitor is ready to buy your product, and your mobile site makes or breaks the deal. What will your mobile site say about you?

Search engines care about your mobile presence, too. A strong mobile site plus a strong traditional site equals better search rankings. Better search rankings equals better web traffic. Better web traffic equals more opportunities for sales. So ask yourself if you can you afford not to consider a mobile web presence.

How to Build a Strong Mobile Web Marketing Presence

Once you know you need a mobile website, then what? Whether you enlist a designer or build the site yourself, how do you ensure it performs well? Here are some tips.

  1. Test your site on mobile devices. Before you do anything else, take a look at how your existing site performs on mobile devices. Pay attention to layout, readability, usability, and clarity. What needs to be improved? Figuring this out lays the groundwork for what you want in your mobile design.
  2. Enlist help or plan your own design. For many companies, hiring professionals to build their mobile websites makes the most sense, and, according to Connected for Business, this costs anywhere from $1,500 to $8,500. If that number seems high, compare it to the business dollars lost by not having a mobile presence.Your other option is to build the design yourself. Many free or low-cost mobile-site-design services are out there, as well as mobile-specific WordPress themes. Do your research, and see which option makes the most sense for you.
  3. Create a design optimized for mobile devices. According to a recent Keynote study, eight out of 10 people who access websites from their smartphones have a hard time finding what they need. So the number one thing your mobile site needs is mobile usability.  This means it should:
  • Look as good on mobile devices as on desktops. Use the problems noted in the first step to guide this one. Design your mobile site to have all the functionality of your desktop site, but in a simpler, more streamlined design.
  • Be readable and easy to navigate. Make the font large enough, the layout spacious enough, and the links easy enough to find.
  • Download quickly. You can’t control the speed of someone else’s Internet connection, but you can make your mobile site as easy to load as possible. Reduce the number of files to download on your pages, reduce image dimensions, and get rid of Javascript or any other page-slowing features.

Once your mobile site is ready, test it again—and enlist others to test it for you on their devices, too. Monitor the site’s performance over time, and see what’s working well. Is the call-to-action generating new business, or are most users ignoring it? Is the page loading quickly, or should it be more streamlined?

As you continue to tweak the features, you build a strong site that markets your business anywhere smartphone and tablet users go.

P.S. We have Jay Baer joining us on Thursday for a free webinar about his new book, Youtility. You can register here.

About Shanna Mallon


Shanna Mallon is a writer for StraightNorth, a Chicago web design firm providing specialized SEO, Twitter marketing strategy, web development, and other online marketing services. Follow StraightNorth on Twitter @straightnorth.

15 comments
PR Newbie
PR Newbie

Great post - thanks! Lots of great information was provided on developing a mobile web marketing presence. As a society we are in a constant state of change and are also adapting to new technology, expectations, and online tools. The Public Relations field is an industry which experiences some of the largest growth and most continuous change, I believe. It has always been important to keep growing, learning, and evolving but even more so these days. One point that I really learned from was how important it is to evaluate your website presence and examine how your website appears on mobile devices. This is something that could very easily be overlooked when designing a new website or evaluating a current one. It is strange that something so present in our day to day lives (cell phones and mobile devices) could be so easily overlooked! However, I think that just goes to show how we need to evolve with technology, social media, and online innovations.

Word Ninja
Word Ninja

Great info and something I need to work on. Thanks, Shanna!

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

We aren't far off from tablets being completely useable for work and play purposes, at which point websites that aren't optimized for web, or as Danny notes below setup w/responsive design, are gunna be in TROUBLE. 

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

Hi, Shanna -- what about responsive design? Shouldn't that mostly take care of the mobile issue? Aren't companies now moving away from developing separate sites for mobile? Or is that more for smaller enterprises?

On a side note, it's fascinating to me the progress that has been made. I remember distinctly that I got my iPad two-and-a-half years ago because it was such a pain browsing on the iPhone. These days I find I'm using the phone a lot more, which I chalk up to more sites being mobile optimized, plus more integration (like emailing and sharing images and pages). 


Bob Farnham
Bob Farnham

Remarkably, even Facebook hasn't caught up with this yet. I would love to be able to use Facebook to its fullest but it's far from optimized. Few platforms have it figured out. Maybe I should move to Korea or the Netherlands where you can use your cell phone to buy soda from a soda machine by texting... George Jetson, where are you when I need you?

susancellura
susancellura

And yet many leaders don't understand why mobile is important. Of course, these are the same people who complain that they don't like how their site looks on the phone.  ;)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@RobBiesenbach Ideally, responsive design should be used over mobile optimization (or mobile friendliness). The problem with simply optimizing a site (say, by using a WordPress plugin like WPtouch, or a similar script for HTML sites) is you lose your CTAs - it's just the body content that's shown.

With a responsive design, you keep your CTAs while still providing an optimal experience for your visitors.

Companies like Studiopress make it even easier for WordPress users to run responsive sites, especially given their new Genesis 2.0 update, that has HTML5 support.

RobBiesenbach
RobBiesenbach

@Unmana @Danny Brown Yes, thank you for the clarification! I just redid my website a couple of months and was told responsive design was the thing. Glad I wasn't steered wrong!

Trackbacks

  1. […] As some guys are hooked on football, I follow the latest social network or mobile device. […]

  2. […] Marketing: Use the Four Media Types in Promotion, which ties in very nicely to point number 2, Now is the Time to Develop a Mobile Web Marketing Presence and One-Star Reviews: How Mobile App Ads Can Backfire. It is a mobile world and you need to be on […]