Making Mobile Website Development Easy!
Any business who wants to truly maximize their reach and earning potential is going to have to embrace the ever-expanding mobile movement and seriously get on board with mobile website development. Procrastinate as you will, you’re only hurting yourself.
You simply cannot deny the presence and power of the mobile movement, which now makes up over 15% of all web-based traffic worldwide. In fact, mobile devices now account for about 44% of all personal computing time. This statistic is perhaps particularly persuasive when we consider that well over 1/2 of mobile users use their devices for online purchasing, which equates to a lot of on-the-go buying power.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to give your business’ mobile marketing scheme some love – and rethinking your mobile website development is a great place to start.
Admittedly, redesigning your site to optimize mobile browsing can seem like a bit of a daunting task, especially for someone who has never really considered the implications of not restructuring their site to accommodate the mobile movement.
We want to make understanding the need for transition and what goes in to the transition itself more palatable by offering up our tips on how to make mobile website development work for you and your business.
Mobile Website Development: The Cardinal Rules
Strip it down.
Tiny screens don’t handle the same magnitude of pomp and pizzazz as full-blown websites, which is why it’s important that the content on your mobile site fits the diminutive form. You don’t have to worry about sacrificing one for the other; the majority of mobile users are actually not on the hunt for too much flash; people who are searching on their mobile devices are usually on the go and they’re often just looking for hard info. You’ll only find a relatively small number of people who leisurely browse for general interest on their mobile device. Most people who hit up your site on their mobile devices are there with a specific reason in mind and as such, you shouldn’t be focussed on creating a fleshy distraction. Keep it bare bones basic – and keep in mind that around 80% of people who regularly use mobile searches purchase a product or service, and 75% of the searchers bring the customer into the physical store.
Don’t Let Yourself Go.
Just because your mobile audience is more targeted doesn’t mean you don’t have to work for their attention. Your mobile aesthetic may be more basic, but it should still be visually attractive and engaging.
We know, we know. We just told you to make adjustments, and now we’re telling you to stay the same. There’s a balance you have to achieve here. Regardless of the device your visitors use to access your website, there should be some elements that distinguish it as distinctly yours. Brand wisely and consistently. Hint: Check your user behaviour data to guide the design and structure for your mobile template.
Make sure your mobile site performs as well as your website. This should be addressed in the design process. Don’t believe us? 61% of people will have a better opinion of a brand when the brand offers a good mobile experience. Don’t slack off.
The Magic Touch.
Part of making sure your website is designed with the mobile user in mind means that it must be compatible with many of the standard mobile features, notably touch screens. Along the same line, keep in mind smartphones are not the only mobile devices – tablets, for instance, are incredibly popular and gaining even more traction. Moreover, tablet users spend 50% more than PC users. You should also keep in mind that not all smartphones are created equal. No one screen size has more than 20% of the market, so you’ve got to think about the whole picture.
Balance Form and Content.
The actions people take using mobile devices are not the same as those they will take on a PC, and as such, you’re going to want to make sure your mobile website is optimized for the mobile experience. We already mentioned that people are using their mobile devices on-the-go, so mobile website development should ideally zero-in on what people are looking for on-the-go; think about adding a click to call feature, prominent contact and location info, a simple and clean booking option, etc.
Now that we’ve fleshed out some of the basic tenants of mobile website development, it behooves us to mention how, exactly, you might go about implementing these strategies.
Mobile Website Development: All New or New Take?
When thinking about mobile website development, you basically have two options:
1) design a whole new website for mobile (using the .mobi approach); or
2) add responsive design to your existing site
There are pros and cons to each, and while we’ll touch on those here, we want to mention that in general, there’s no one-size-fits all solution. Deciding what mobile website development approach works best is really a case by case, business by business decision.
.Mobi Pros & Cons
- offers better usability since the website is designed specifically for mobile viewing.
- reduced bandwidths, allowing sites to load faster.
- streamlined and simple.
- increased likelihood of appearing on mobile searches than the dot-com counterparts.
- since you’re essentially creating a whole new website, you have the ability to also generate content specific to mobile searches, which, as weave mentioned, vary from PC searches since mobile searches tend to be more targeted.
- you have multiple sites to maintain and therefore more maintenance, including SEO related R&D.
- .mobi sites are not recommended by Google since many of their implications are contrary to Google best practices (e.g. multiple sites risk duplicate content; spreads out SEO authority since you have more than one website – and more and more devices are being launched which means you could ostensibly be making websites optimized for many, many mobile devices; may redirect to a non-mobile optimized page of your website that will show up 404 or go to the desktop equivalent).
Responsive Design: Pros and Cons
- responsive design allows you to work with what you have already, facilitating easy conversion (i.e. readjusting and resizing) for any kind of mobile device.
- you only have one site to manage.
- affordable; there are responsive design options for less than $100.
- responsive design is recommended by Google.
- can be slower.
- existing sites can crack during the responsive implementation process, and as a result, functionality and information structure can get messed up.
Whichever approach you decide to adopt, it is important to do something. Studies show that 61% of mobile users will go on to a competitor’s website if the page they are on isn’t optimized for mobile viewing. Compare this to the 67% of mobile users who are more liable to convert if the page they land on is mobile friendly. What we recommend is talking with a professional to see if there is any reason your particular business would benefit from one approach more than the other. Not all business needs are the same, and not all businesses will utilize their web presence, and, by extension, their mobile presence the same way. For example, despite the nay saying from Google, if a company gets most of its business from mobile users, then perhaps a .mobi site would the best option.