Put Mobile First in Your Internet Marketing

By WEALTH Magazine Staff | Print This Article

Almost anyone who runs a business has a website. It’s a no-brainer, as more and more people are shopping on the Internet.

Perhaps you’ve taught yourself about search engine optimization, or hired someone to do it. Heck, you’re even involved in social media.

Think you’ve got online covered? Maybe not.

Did you realize that by 2013, analysts estimate, more people will access websites through a mobile device than through a desktop?

Have you ever tried looking at a website with a cell phone?More importantly, have you tried looking at your website with your phone?

If you do, you’ll likely realize that most websites don’t work well on a cell phone.

If that’s your website, you have a problem.

Optimizing a website for mobile is more than just loping off part of your standard website so it will better fit a smaller screen. Doing that may make the appearance more “mobile friendly,” but it doesn’t really address what mobile users wanted, or how to engage them.

Start by understanding your users and design an experience with their priorities in mind. Unlike desktop and laptop users, mobile users are focused. Smartphone users are transaction-oriented. They are ready to find what they want. If you can get them the information they need fast, chances are they will come back. If they pull up a restaurant site, for instance, chances are they want to make a reservation, find the contact information or take a quick look at the menu. Make it easy for them to do so.

Also, stay away from extensive use of Flash. Flash-driven sites may look terrific on a traditional browser, but on mobile devices, that fantastic-looking site will display an error message. When it comes to slow page loads or complex navigation, according to Aberdeen, a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversion.

Less is more. Make your website clean, touch-friendly and easy to navigate. Focus on the user, who is between appointments, perhaps even in a car. Don’t try to be all things to all people. It’s more important to measure functionality than page views.

As far as user interface, think touch-and-swipe rather than point-and-click. This takes advantage of how most smart phones work. And if you can do that, you will be prepared for the great mobile web rush of the next couple years.

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