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.

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.

View all posts by Shanna Mallon