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Why Mobile Matters for Small Business

Posted on: March 1st, 2012 by Cody Baird 1 Comment

Why Mobile Matters for Small Business

Many small businesses are still trying to get their head wrapped around the company’s website, optimization, and all the other day to day operations.  That explains why 9 out of 10 small businesses that I talk to still haven’t tackled developing a mobile website for their business.  Millions more people are using mobile devices to get online every day.  Is your business mobile site friendly?

Is your site Mobile?  Your Customers are

Why Mobile Matters

Users expect their mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience.

Why Mobile Matters #2

A bad mobile experience can cost you customers.

Why Mobile Matters #3

Mobile users want to connect with the businesses in their local area.

Why Mobile Matters #4

Apps are fun and useful, but many prefer mobile sites for shopping.

Why Mobile Matters #5

Businesses like yours can drive purchases with a mobile-friendly site.

Why Mobile Matters #6

Mobile Site Best Practices

 

Mobile Site Best Practices

 

Keep it Quick

Mobile users are often short on time, squeezing in online tasks as they go about their day. To help them, design your site to load fast and make copy easy to read.

  • Prioritise the content and features that mobile users need most. Use your desktop site analytics to see what mobile users are doing.
  • Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points for easy reading.
  • Compress images to keep them small for faster site loading.

Make it Easy to Convert

No matter what your site’s objective is, your customers need to be able to do it with a virtual keyboard and no mouse. Make it easy to buy something or contact you!

  • Focus on information that will aid conversion (i.e., product details).
  • Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a transaction.
  • Keep forms short and use the fewest number of fields possible.
  • Use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
  • Use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers

Simplify Navigation

No one likes to be confused. Clear navigation and, on large or complex sites, search functionality, will help your customers easily find what they need.

  • Minimise scrolling and keep it vertical only.
  • Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
  • Help users navigate between levels with clear back and home buttons.
  • Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.
  • Have a search box prominently available on complex sites

Make it Local

Consumers look for local info on their phones all the time—from locating the nearest gas station to finding an open pizza place. Include functionality that helps people find and get to you.

  • Have your address or store locator on the landing page.
  • Include maps and directions. Use GPS to personalise when possible.
  • Allow users to check stock at nearby stores.

Be Thumb-Friendly

People use their fingers to operate mobile devices – especially their thumbs. Design your site so even large hands can easily interact with it.

  • Use large, centred buttons and give them breathing room to reduce accidental clicks.
  • Pad smaller buttons to increase the clickable area.
  • Pad check boxes by making the text clickable.

Make it Seamless

People now use multiple screens throughout the day. Convert as much of the functionality of your desktop site to mobile as you can to create a seamless experience.

  • Allow users to save popular searches and shopping cart contents.
  • Maintain key features of your site across all channels as much as possible.
  • Display the same information for products/services.

Design for Visability

A mobile-friendly site gets its message across without causing eyestrain. Make it easy for your customers to read – remember they may be in a place with low light.

  • Create contrast between background and text.
  • Make sure content fits on screen and can be read without pinching and zooming.
  • Use plenty of negative space.
  • Use size and colour to indicate link/button priority.
  • Use 3D effects and shadowing for buttons.

Use Mobile Site Redirects

A mobile site redirect is code that can automatically tell if visitors are using a mobile device and send them to the mobile-friendly version of your site. Have your site developer implement this redirect code so your customers get the best version of your site for their needs.

  • Give users a choice to go back to the desktop site, but make it easy to return to the mobile site.
  • Let users choose which version they prefer to see for later visits.
  • Include key information, such as your address or a store locator, on the redirect page.

Make it Accessible

Ideally, your mobile site should work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations.

  • Find alternatives to Flash – it does not work on some devices.
  • Use HTML5 for interactivity and animation.
  • Adapt your site for both vertical and horizontal orientations.
  • Keep users in the same place when they change orientation.

Listen, Learn, and Iterate

Good mobile sites are user-centric, which means they’re built with input from your audience. Ask your desktop site users what they want in a mobile website and make testing and optimisation an ongoing process.

  • Use analytics to understand how people use your site.
  • If possible, especially for complex sites, do user testing before implementation and collect user feedback after launch.
  • Iterate often and continuously improve your site based on your research.

Contact Milkmen today to Go Mobile for only $299

Sources: http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/

Sources: Gartner, 2010; Google Mobile Optimization Webinar, 2011; Cisco, 2011

Sources: Compuware, “What Users Want from Mobile,” 2011

Sources: Google “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” 2011

Sources: Adobe Systems “Adobe Mobile Experience Survey,” 2011; eMarketer, 2011

Sources: Lightspeed Research; Google “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” 2011

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About

In 2011, I founded milkmen.com, a firm specializing in local search marketing and local brand strategy. Local SEO, search marketing, SEO, conversion optimization, local brand development and messaging.

My role as President involves recruiting and managing our marketing and sales teams. Leading the product/strategic vision and evangelizing local search, local brand strategy, search marketing, and milkmen.com.

To relax I read on a variety of subjects, go golfing, hiking, running, & anything outdoors.

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