6 Rules for Creating a Small Business Mobile Website
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two part article on small business mobile websites. You can read the first article at 74% of small business websites are not mobile friendly.
According to Google, nearly all internet-connected smartphone users in the U.S. (96%) have researched products and services on their small screens. So how do you create a mobile website that taps into this powerful, new source of customers who are actively looking for your offerings?
A good start is to create a site that follows these six rules:
1. Support your customers’ actions.
Unlike desktop users, mobile users are almost never just browsing. They likely have a specific action in mind. Figure out what they want to do and support it. Maybe they want to call you, make a purchase, or get directions. Maybe they want to make a reservation or appointment online. Above all, if they want to know if you offer something, make sure they can find it quickly and easily and that the information is in digestible bites.
The most common action taken by smartphone users is to look up your physical location. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 62% of consumers browsing a business mobile website are searching for store location and directions. They want to find you, so don’t make it hard on them. Put your organization’s most requested info within the top section of your home page. This includes your logo, address, contact information and perhaps a brief description of what you do. Take a look at Granite Commercial Real Estate on a smartphone. See how the site displays the address and phone number in an easily accessible location.
There are currently over 2 billion Google local search queries per month.
2. Get on the Google local business search map.
Experts estimate that there are currently over 2 billion Google local search queries per month. If you’re not on the Google pinpoint map when people search for your type of business, you’re missing out.
3. Include these “must have” mobile features.
Customers want and appreciate features like click-to-call buttons, mobile-oriented navigation, directions and maps, and one click access to social media. Anything that makes it easier is smarter for smartphone users.
4. Optimize design for small screens.
A picture can communicate instantly what it takes 1,000 words to say, but mobile users hate waiting for a page to load. Use compelling graphics, but make them small. Make sure your graphics download quickly so users don’t get frustrated. Navigation and menus must be designed for fingers and not mice. Never use Flash-based features as many popular mobile devices don’t support flash. Look at The Relationship Enterprise on a smartphone. See how the site loads quickly and the navigation is uncomplicated and easy to follow.
5. Track your mobile traffic.
Set up a separate profile within your Google Analytics to track your mobile site independently from your desktop site. Things you want to track include: unique visitors, time on site and top visited page
6. Remember branding is still critical.
It’s more difficult to convey your brand when users view your site with slower download speeds and smaller screens. You need to meet this challenge. Make sure that viewers instantly understand your brand promise the same way they would on larger devices.
Consistency is important. Colors, fonts, graphics, logos, tag lines, and cornerstone content must be the same no matter where the viewer is seeing your site. Take a look at MESH LiveBuild on a PC and smartphone. See how the branding is consistent between the site designed for PC users and the mobile site.
Has your small business been involved in creating a mobile website? What has been the most successful feature of your mobile site?
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About the Author:
Jennifer Kamerman is the Interactive Marketing Manager at MESH. In her role at MESH, Jennifer has driven marketing strategies and projects for small privately-owned businesses, as well as $80 billion international conglomerates. She is known for her strong work ethic, project management skills and a passion for social media engagement strategies. Any day of the week, you can hear her enthusiastically discussing lead generation campaigns, thin mint Girl Scout cookies, SEO, stiletto heels, pink (the color, not the singer) or one of our next BIG IDEAs for a client. Her trusty pink notebook plays an important role in tracking all marketing campaign details including scheduling, scoping, budgeting and resourcing.