There is no doubt that the importance of reaching the mobile audience is an extremely hot topic among marketers.
And there’s good reason for that. According to a recent report from Nielsen, two-thirds of the folks that acquired a new mobile phone in between December 2011 and February 2012 chose a smartphone over a feature phone.
What does that mean for your business? Well, you must take steps to ensure that your website and other online content is optimized for the mobile audience!
But what is actually involved with building a mobile website that will engage your audience? Here are 5 keys to help you do that successfully.
Recognize the Difference Between Mobile-Ready and Mobile-Optimized
There are some tools out there that make the process of building a mobile website an after-thought. They may take ALL of the content on your existing website, put it in a mobile-ready layout, and then be done with it.
However, while that may give you a website that looks okay on a smartphone, will it properly provide your mobile audience with the experience that they desire and need? No.
Trying to fit all of your content into a mobile website will result in an experience that is over-crowded, hard to navigate, and frustrating.
The better solution is to truly treat your mobile website as a separate entity! One that is specifically designed to provide benefits to the growing mobile audience.
Analyze Your Users’ Needs
How can you do that successfully?
The best thing to do is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.
Analyze why they might be visiting your website on their mobile device. Does that indicate that they are inside a store trying to make a purchasing decision? Might they be driving or walking, and trying to find contact information for your business? Could they be at home on the weekend, reading your eNewsletter?
Answers to those types of questions will help us to determine what information may be most important to the mobile user.
Once we know that, we can layout a mobile website that will make it very easy for users to find those items.
Content: Prioritize and Simplify
When a company builds a desktop website, they often devote many hours to the writing, reviewing, and re-writing portion of the project. And rightfully so. We recognize that we only have a limited amount of time to tell our story to a website visitor.
Because of that, we may fall in love with our text.
However, if we simply take all of the text from our regular website and paste it onto our mobile website, we may be harming the effect that our story could have on the mobile audience.
When building a mobile website, take the time to analyze your content. It may not be easy to do, but taking the time to simplify your message to ensure that that mobile users see the most important items may provide big benefits.
Include Simplified Forms to Generate Leads
One of the best ways for a marketer to demonstrate the effectiveness of their desktop website is to show how many leads it has generated.
The same can be said for a mobile website.
Rather than just displaying text, images, and videos, include lead-generation forms that allow for the mobile user to engage with your company.
This may include registration forms for White Papers, eBooks, webinars, or even just a simple “Contact Us” form.
One key to doing that successfully is to reduce the amount of fields and questions that you ask users to fill out. For most people, data entry on a mobile device may not be their favorite time of the day. Thus, trim down the amount of information that you require from that audience in order to maximize your lead generation opportunities.
This may mean that you only ask for their Email Address and perhaps one or two questions to learn more about them.
Provide Links to the Desktop Website
After you’ve built your mobile website, you will want to add logic to your desktop website to automatically direct mobile users to the proper site.
However, some people may prefer the familiarity with the full website. Or perhaps they are looking for something a bit deeper down inside of your content library that isn’t accessible on your mobile website.
By simply including a link to view the regular website, you will be providing a better experience for that audience as well.
I hope that you find these tips helpful as you seek to reach the growing mobile audience.
If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.
Also, I’d love for you to give our mobile website builder a try!