In order to have the best mobile site for your small business, you need to think about your strategy. A strategy is going to start with your objectives for the site and how it connects your business to the needs of your customers.
Importantly, just because your website appears on a phone, it does not make your site a productive tool for your business. In fact, it is most likely you are losing sales on mobile phones, as 40% of consumers say they are likely to visit a competitors mobile site than deal with a PC designed website on a mobile device.
This article is about the steps you need to take so you end up with a customer friendly website, often referred to as a mobile-friendly website.
The Good News
No matter how you feel about your business website today, you are going to be more positive about having a mobile website. The reasons are that a) you are going to find that your customers are going to be more connected to your business with a positive mobile web experience, b) the price to design and build a mobile site will be substantially less than it did to develop your website, and c) happy customers will lead to more traffic and sales.
4 Key Steps To Get The Best Mobile Site For Your Business
1. Be Brand Consistent.
A mobile site is not going to be your current site on a phone. It is not going to replace your current site. It is a complement to your site. That means you want to have the same look and feel, so have a consistent tone and brand image.
2. Understand the Needs of the Customer
Your customers are accessing the mobile web to get to your website. That means, your customers are on the move. What information will your customers need when they are on the road and searching your site on their mobile phones? Most likely, they may want to:
-find your address
-find driving directions
-find a way to order
-read a short bite of information about your products and services.
And, your customers need to access this information as quickly and easily as possible.
One tip: Look to provide this content “above the fold” and no more than three clicks away. (“Above the fold” means that customers do not have to scroll down to find the most important content. It displays when they arrive at that page.)
3. Understand the Limitations of the Mobile Web
The mobile web does not provide you the luxury of filling your site with lots of audio and video content. It will slow down your mobile site or worse yet, it may cause it to freeze. (Yes, you can add YouTube videos, just don’t overdo it.)
4. Understand the Limitations of the Mobile Devices
There are over 5,000 types of mobile devices. Your mobile website needs to be optimized for all these phones. For example, your mobile site should not have flash files since an iPhone does not open these files.
Fortunately, while it sounds impossible, you can optimize your site for the mobile web and phones.
A customer who is browsing your site on a mobile phone wants a positive experience. He wants your site to be fast to download, easy to navigate and provide relevant content.
You can complement your website with a new mobile site now, or you can first test and find out how your website displays on these mobile phones. If it displays well, there is no need to make changes. But, if your site displays poorly…
Get a Free Check-up today and discover if your website is customer unfriendly on mobile phones or if it is a Mobile Friendly Website. Mitchell Cogert is the CEO of http://www.FirstMobileWebsite.com and author of Mobile Marketing: 101 Inexpensive and Profitable Ideas for Small Business.
Before starting to design your mobile website, take into consideration of the layout, design and construction. This is because you need to change these 3 elements to make it suitable for the mobile phone screen. Keep all the information on the top page and minimize the left/right key navigation as well as usage of tables. Graphics should also be kept as minimum as possible in order to avoid slow content loading on mobile phone. And, of course make sure the page size is small and the design is simple. The content construction on the mobile website should be easy to read and navigate.
Good choices of markup language for building up mobile websites are XML and XHTML, depends on the target market.
Ensure that your coding is valid by using online validator. Codes that are valid are more likely to be delivered correctly to all mobile devices. Some examples of validator sare Mobile-friendly XHTML Validator (W3C), Mobile-readiness checker (.mobi), mobileOK Basic Checker (TAW) and WuRML (shadowplay.net).
Once you have confirmed that your codes are valid, you can test your mobile website on various kinds of mobile device platforms using web-based emulators such as XHTML Mobile Profile (Firefox plug-in), wmlbrowser (Firefox plug-in), i-mode emulator (DoCoMo) and Mobile emulator (.mobi). If you have actual mobile devices, you can test your new mobile website so that you will be able to experience it on actual condition and from that, you can know any weak point of your mobile website.
In order to attract mobile users to visit your mobile website, ensure that you always update it with latest information and always keep it simple yet attractive.
So, why wait? If you own a website, modify it for mobile usage today since more and more people are getting connected to the Internet via their mobile phones.
Anna has been writing articles online for nearly 3 years now. You might want to take a look at WebsiteForMobile.org if you are interested in getting a mobile website for your business. This company provides professional mobile websites solution at low cost.