Creating Optimized Websites for Mobile

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In my previous article, I showed you how to plan and execute a scalable mobile strategy. Mobile websites are the epicenter of any mobile strategy. For marketers just getting started with mobile, the most important thing to focus on is making sure your website is easy to view and navigate when accessed on mobile devices.

As one of the first e-tailers to take their internet marketing mobile some six years ago, 1-800-Flowers.com has unlocked the power of mobile by focusing on website optimization and has evolved into a sophisticated mobile marketer. Given the glaring statistics supporting the fact that people today gain access to the mobile net for specific reasons, you too can hit your mark in terms of reaching the right market for your own products or services.

CAN YOU AFFORD TO MISS OUT ON THESE BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES?

Mobile website optimization has it’s advantages and providing users with an optimal experience, website owners pursuing mobile website development should consider the following:

TOP 4 BENEFITS OF A MOBILE OPTIMIZED WEBSITE

Creating Optimized Websites for Mobile image jan art 2 img 3Creating Optimized Websites for Mobile

#1 LOCAL SEARCH
Mobile users are browsing with purpose. As the “web” is always on with a mobile device, searchers have anywhere, anytime access. If you’re business is there, you’re an option.

#2 TARGETED ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
With the advent of mobile, the mobile advertisers’ ability to target has increased. Mobile advertising is growing at a rapid pace and presents many new opportunities for reaching target audiences with unprecedented precision. Mobile advertising should be integrated into your campaigns in order to connect with your audience in specific ways through their smart devices.

A Web.com study among 500 business owners showed an over-whelmingly positive response to expanding their mobile presence to mobile marketing:Mobile ad campaigns can take advantage of the capabilities such as geo-targeting and the always-on nature of most mobile devices.

Creating Optimized Websites for Mobile image art 2 img 2Creating Optimized Websites for Mobile#3 ADDITIONAL REVENUE CHANNEL
The emerging mobile-money market, replacing the need to use cash and credit cards, promises immediate and long-term opportunities and an important revenue stream. Your mobile ads showing up can also create a passive revenue stream.

#4 CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Without a mobile optimized website, your mobile consumers will wonder why you don’t employ a website to accommodate them.

—-84% saw increase in new business activity after engaging in mobile marketing.

—-69% “somewhat” or “strongly agreed” that ‘mobile marketing is key’ to their small business growth in the next five years.

SO WHAT ADVANTAGES SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN CREATING A MOBILE OPTMIZED WEBSITE?

Improved User Experience
Mobile websites, specifically
designed for handheld devices, significantly improving user experience and satisfaction, makes a positive impression for your customers.

Faster Download Speed
Designs focused on speed and ease-of-use have proven means less waiting and more browsing which results in higher conversion rates.

Better Context and User Engagement
A mobile website allows you to immediately engage users with mobile-specific features such

as click-to-call, mapping functions, mobile couponing, social media sharing, etc. Additionally, if you are a small business, mobile is particularly significant since more visitors will find your site through location-aware technology that connects users to your website when they are in immediate geographic proximity.

Improved Search/SEO Performance
A mobile website provides improved rankings on mobile-friendly search engines such as Google and Yahoo, and also allows placement in a growing number of mobile and local directories.

Brand Identity
A mobile website immediately helps you stand out and presents a positive, contemporary brand identity for your organization. Be sure you also have taken the time to optimize your logo for mobile.

Integration with Offline Media

Mobile devices are unique in their ability to immediately bridge the gap between online and offline media through the use of QR (Quick Response) codes. QR codes can be displayed in print and once scanned with a smart device, translated into electronic messaging such as a slideshow, video, website URL, an email address or SMS message.

Used regularly in Japanese and European advertising for years, QR codes are now getting increasing usage in the US. This means that your advertisements, brochures, posters, products and even billboards – can contain QR codes that will direct users to mobile landing pages that contain much more information and interactivity than can be afforded on the printed page alone.

This integration between print and web via mobile adds a new dimension of communication to any advertising or outreach effort.

Portability and Connectivity

A mobile website can be accessed anywhere, any time. This level of constant connectivity provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect with target audiences in new ways, wherever they are.

New Promotional Opportunities

If you’re advertising on Google AdWords or other PPC networks, depending on your account settings, your ads may also be appearing in mobile listings. However, with mobile advertising you’ll want to ensure that your ads lead to mobile-optimized landing pages, rather than your regular desktop site, for optimal results and maximum ROI.

Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Applications

A mobile website is a far less restrictive means to build a mobile presence compared to app development. For example, App development requires the production of different apps for different platforms (e.g. iPhone vs. Android vs. Blackberry), and submission to an app store, making apps much more fragmented and expensive to produce with a longer timeline before they reach target visitors.

Most importantly, an app requires users to download the app before it can be accessed. On the other hand, a mobile website is universal to all contemporary smart device browsers, making a mobile website more flexible and cost efficient. For a well-rounded mobile presence, a mobile-optimized website is generally a practical and effective first step.

A MOBILE OPTIMIZED WEBSITE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION

The mobile web is a mainstream reality that will impact any organization that aims to communicate with target audiences online.

Within a few short years, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide.

The responsibility now falls on you, the website owner to take advantage of the unique opportunities mobile offers for connecting with the growing number of visitors who will inevitably access your website on mobile devices.

In my next article, I’ll share with you how to serve the mobile customer.

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