Everywhere you go these days, whether it’s a restaurant or the train station or the office, people a fiddling with their mobile devices. They’re texting and they’re emailing and they’re scrolling through page upon page of seemingly crucial information. In short, everyone’s eyes are glued to those little screens.
So how, as a business owner, can you get some of those eyes glued to a screen with your site on it? And how do you get that to translate into business for your brand? This week we look at the mobile market. I’ve put together some basics and some not-so-basic information to guide you along as you enter this exploding and potentially lucrative arena.
- Be consistent. Your mobile site should not be markedly different in terms of branding from your main site. Don’t adopt a completely different logo, for example, on your mobile site, or a radically different URL. Many companies simply put an “m” in front of their standard URL—for example, “m.companyname.com”
- When creating a mobile outlet, keep things simple. Visitors to mobile sites don’t like to have to wait a long time for it to load, and they don’t have the same high-speed access they have in their homes. Therefore, you need to keep your mobile site limited to the basics, with only the most important content there.
- Be sure to test your site thoroughly. You should make certain your site looks consistent on multiple devices before you release it. It should have a maximum width of 570 pixels and should not require a lot of scrolling or resizing for visitors to view it successfully.
- Take advantage of QR codes. QR (“quick response”) codes are those square digitized barcodes that appear in magazines, newspapers, and direct mail advertisements. Users can download apps that enable their camera phones to read the codes (though many phones now come with the apps preloaded), and the app then directs them to a site with a special offer or additional information. Use QR codes in your advertising or in your retail outlet to generate new customers.
- Generate a mobile app. By creating a mobile app for your customers, you will make it easy for them to simply click once on the screen and immediately access your mobile site. There are a number of ready tools on the Internet to enable you to create an app, many of which allowing you to add special features, so it doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Follow the three-click rule. If you have a retail site, the purchasing process should involve no more than three steps: find the product, fill in the information, submit. Too many steps and you will lose customers
Going mobile doesn’t have to be daunting. There are loads of tools and guides to help you make the transition easier. Following a few simple guidelines will help you avoid some of the pitfalls and enable you to take advantage of this exciting new market.
(Image by Carnero)