The “News near you” location-based service for Google News mobile will be available in the United States for Android smartphones and the iPhone. It surfaces news relevant to the city a user is in as well as the surrounding areas.
“We’re constantly updating our mobile products, and this is just another example of our continued investment in mobile services,” said Jeannie Hornung, a spokesperson for Mountain View, CA-based Google. “For readers, this is one more way they can find a wide variety of stories from the thousands of news sites that Google News sends millions of people to every day.”
If you agree with the folks at Google, then your business needs to provide the right information in the right manner focusing on the wants of the mobile consumer. These potential customers, patients and clients are out there running around possibly working two jobs, and need to find the information they need when they want it. Google obviously agrees and, as stated, above is doing a variety of things to appeal to the mobile viewer.
In the past it was enough to have a ‘desktop’ designed website. Mobile websites were thought of as unnecessary. Even with that, many businesses still do not have any web presence at all. Kind of crazy but true. Today, however, it is critical for businesses to understand that mobile websites are no longer just a luxury but rather a need. Consumers look to their mobile phones in a similar manner and are demanding that mobile websites be built to provide those services! Most people would rather leave their homes without their pants rather than forgetting their mobile phone.
This device has become far more important than just for making phone calls. As a matter of fact, statistically there are more text messages sent each and every days than phone calls. Mobile users are using their cell phones to find friends on FaceBook, Tweet on Twitter and then find directions to a local restaurant by looking at mobile websites designed to provide this kind of information in a ‘mobile friendly’ way.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the development of mobile websites. The reality is that you basically have two choices. You can build it yourself or have it built for you. Simple as all that. If you’re a bit of a ‘techy’ there are numerous applications out there that will walk you through the process. If, however you’re like many businesses and you would rather delegate this to a professional, this is also readily available. (Obviously we’re here to provide that service, the creation of mobile websites, for you at a very reasonable cost – sorry for the obvious self-serving plug).
Imagine the following:
Your sitting in your car and all of a sudden you have an urge for a great slice of pizza. You can taste it, feel it and you need it. You take out your cell phone, open the browser and type “pizza’ in Google; hoping to find a pizza joint nearby.
Well, you’re in luck, or are you? When you click on the first selection in Google you’re taken to a ‘desktop’ designed website. The buttons are so small you can barely see them. The page is so wide, most of the tasty pizza selections are out of sight. And forget how long it took to load….so you close that page and click on the back button and open the next selection. Mobile websites would have solved this problem and had the new customer on their way but wait….
This time the mobile websites were smartly designed for the ‘mobile’ user. The buttons are huge making it easy to navigate, the images fill just the smart phone screen making it much easier to see the great looking slice of pizza. The website itself is designed to just fit the size of the mobile phone screen making scrolling right and left unnecessary. One of the buttons says ‘Directions’ so you click on it and are presented with a perfectly designed map for the phone. You can see that the pizza place is just a couple of blocks away.
It’s kind of late so you click on the phone number are immediately are put in touch with the restaurant and you’re in luck…they’re open.
The pizza was great and the restaurant turned out to be exactly what you wanted. They were lucky that their mobile websites was designed specifically to be ‘mobile-friendly’ like mobile websites need to be in order to attract mobile customers ‘when they want and where they are’!
What’s even better was that as you were leaving the owner asked you if you wanted to join their “pizza of the month” club to get discounts, coupons and freebies. All you had to do was Type: JoesPizza To:72727 on your smartphone (this is only an example and will not really work….) and they would send these specials right to your cell phone when they occur. And you don’t even need to use a scissor to cut out the coupon, it’s right there on your phone when you need it.
All in all a pretty good experience all thanks to Mobile Websites. Mobile websites are designed to be faster to load, easier to navigate and more comfortable to view on a mobile phone. Additionally, mobile websites are fit on the smart phone screen avoiding the need to scroll right and left and zooming in order to read text or use buttons.
No one can deny the attachment that people have with their mobile phones today. Even though I was aware of how close people keep their cell phones, I was shocked to find out that 7 out of 10 people sleep with their mobile phones within arm’s reach. Yes… that’s 70%!
Imagine sending out a quick text message with a coupon offer to your customers.
How many of them do you think will open your message? How many do you think will take you up on your offer?
Well, studies show that offers made via text messaging gets approximately a 20% response rate whereas traditional advertising methods get anywhere from 1%-3%. The difference in these numbers is astounding. Read the rest of this entry »