Is your Business Mobile-Ready? A quick audit to check your business website is mobile-ready

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1 Is your Business Mobile-Ready? A quick audit to check your business website is mobile-ready Last year, Google earned $2.5 billion in annual revenue from mobile advertising (Source: Google)

2 What s inside? Introduction 3 Why Mobile? 4 Optimising your Content for a Mobile Device 5 The Solution: Responsive Web Design 7 Is your site responsive? 8 Alternatives to Responsive Design 9 Dedicated mobile site 10 App development 11 Your Mobile Audit Checklist 12 Creating a Mobile Strategy for your Business 13 Give your existing website a Mobile-Ready Audit by following the White Hat Media guide to creating a user-friendly, memorable mobile online experience for your customers.

3 mobile-ready: Introduction These days the rapid growth in the use of the iphone, BlackBerry, Android phones and tablets, has changed the way we interact with and use web pages. With this in mind, businesses now need to reconsider their sites because of the need to optimise for these devices. Unfortunately, even though the majority of smartphones can view your old desktop-ready website, it s unlikely to meet the challenge of being optimised for mobile. However, with millions of potential customers now accessing the web from mobile devices, your business must provide customers with a seamless and easy browsing experience. Check your existing website with a Mobile Ready Audit by following the White Hat Media guide to creating a user-friendly mobile online experience for your customers. (Source: Culturelabel.com) 3

4 Why mobile? The use of mobile devices is now ubiquitous, with the majority of the global population now owning a mobile device, smart phone or tablet. It comes as no surprise that during 2010 more than 50 percent of all Internet access was through a handheld (Source: Ericsson). Mobile based searches have grown 400 percent since 2012 (Source: Google Mobile Optimization Webinar). When a consumer does click on your site in the search results, over half of these potential customers would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site and furthermore, 40 percent would then visit a competitor site after a bad mobile experience on yours. (Source: Limelight Networks, Inc. 2011) Research tells us that by the end of 2013 more people will use their mobile phones than their PCs to get online (Source: Gartner, 2010). This shift in usage will dramatically impact how people search for information on the web and how potential customers find your business. Despite these predictions however, as many as 80 percent of brands have not yet optimised their websites for mobile (Source: Econsultancy). Mobile and the optimisation of websites for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones has now become an area that businesses need to look at urgently. Miniature keyboards, smaller screens and voice-activated search will all radically change the way people engage with your website. (Source: Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley) In % of all Internet access was through a handheld 80% have not yet optimised their websites for mobile 4

5 mobile-ready: Optimise your Content for a Mobile Device On a small device such as a mobile, you will need to catch the user s attention instantly. However, the first challenge you face is to translate the content you have designed for a desktop into a much smaller screen size and accommodate for the generally slower performance your audience will experience through by using a mobile device. Clear calls-to-action (CTA) which lets the site visitor know you are going to provide the information they are looking for when they need it is crucial to your website s stickiness. Web friendly fonts, simple navigation and content that get straight to the point are digestible for mobile users, even when they are on the go. The goal is to design your site pages in a way that makes them as readable as easily as possible across multiple devices and platforms. When reorganising your content for mobile, the most difficult challenge is in trying to understand what your target customer needs. So ask yourself these questions: What is it about your business or service that draws people to your site? How you can use mobile devices to create a tailored experience for the end user? What do you want people to do on your site? 5

6 mobile-ready: Optimise your Content for a Mobile Device Here are a few thoughts on best practice to keep in mind when it comes to the organisation of content for your mobile-ready website: Navigation Present your website menu in a simple, easy-toread vertical list, as you should limit the number of pages your end user has to load. Limit scrolling to only up and down and ensure that your mobile site pages do not have any messy sidebars or pop-up windows, which might cause your user issues. Think about graphics Using lots of images can look great on a desktop; however long load times on a mobile can put people off using your site. Imagine you are the user; trying to visit a website using a tiny screen and a slow connection can be very frustrating. Keep your use of images limited and attract more visitors. Have you organised your Content Effectively? Are your calls to action clear and easy to read? Has text been cut back to make the information more mobile friendly? Have you optimised your images to ensure load times are quicker for your mobile audience? Is the navigation of your mobile site simple and effective? What is it about your business or service that draws people to your site? How you can use mobile devices to create a tailored experience for the end user? Do users have the option to visit the full version of your website as well as the mobile version? Resize the images you do need to use for the smaller screen and make links large and easy to read and click. Also remember that Flash won t necessarily be supported on every device. Ask if your users need to visit the full website Remember that some of your users may want to access content that you haven t included on the mobile version of your site, so give them the option to visit the full version of your site if required. 7

7 Solution: Responsive Web Design

8 mobile-ready: Is your Site Responsive? The web is going mobile, so rather than developing multiple versions of your website a single version of your website which adapts itself according to specific devices is the best solution; this is known as Responsive web design. The term Responsive web design is related to the concept of developing a website design in a manner that helps the layout to change according to the user s screen resolution and enrich the user experience. When a website is mobile responsive, it means that the layout and/or content automatically responds based on the resolution of the device it is being rendered on. Typically there are four screen sizes that responsive design is built to support which are: The widescreen desktop monitor A small desktop or laptop The tablet The mobile phone The good news for you and your business is that developing a mobileready, responsive website isn t as time-consuming or expensive to build as you may think. Do the layout and/or content automatically respond based on the size of screen it is being presented on? If not, who will be consulting you on this project? Do they fully understand your business? Have you decided exactly what you want and need out of a mobile-ready site and how best to target your audience? 8

9 Alternatives to Responsive Design 9

10 mobile-ready: Dedicated Mobile Site Another option is to create a dedicated mobile site. This can be a more time consuming job because it means having to build two versions of the same site; different style sheets, templates and maybe even with different content. Often dedicated mobile sites become too expensive, too time-consuming to build and too difficult to maintain. A custom built mobile platform needs to be fully pre-tested on multiple devices. Also the development team will need to either acquire multiple hardware devices or purchase a third-party testing service that will enable them to test your website on various devices. It s possible to render the mobile version of your website to match the capabilities of a specific mobile device or platform, thereby providing a more positive and targeted brand experience. We re quickly getting to the point of being unable to keep up with the endless new resolutions and devices available on the market. In the coming years, it s likely that we ll need to design for a number of new devices; meaning for many websites, creating a website version for each resolution and new device will be impossible, or impractical. There are a number of ways to do this and the costs can soon add up if you try to create unique experiences for every device out there. At the end of the day, the final decision comes down to budget and whether you have the resource to maintain each version of your website. Whenever a new device operating system or new version of an operating system is released, additional testing will be required in order to ensure that your mobile website is compatible with this new operating system. If you are considering investing in a mobile dedicated website, ask these questions: Do you have the resources to maintain multiple versions of the website? Will a dedicated mobile site add to your visitors user experience? Is your site being accessed by a wide enough variety of devices to warrant a dedicated mobile website? 10

11 mobile-ready: App Development The number of smartphone shipments is expected to be almost one billion in 2015, with Chinese smartphone users leading the growth of daily app usage. (Source: blog. mylookout.com) As far as social media is concerned, new data shows that the mobile social networking app audience has grown 126 percent in the past year (Source: ComScore Oct 2011) These days there are numerous mobile apps offering information, tips and advice or just pure entertainment. Many organisations, especially well-known brands, are now using mobile apps to boost brand awareness and consumer engagement. Before you develop an app for your business however, it s important to have a thorough understanding of your audience. If you are thinking of creating an app for your business, consider the following points before you get to the development stage: Are you able to create something that is both useful and valuable? Is the app functional, entertaining or does it provide a community connection? How long will users have to interact with your content? Will they be able to access the information they need in a timely fashion? 11

12 mobile-ready: Your Handy Audit Checklist Use this checklist to ensure you have considered all the necessary points to make your website mobile-friendly for your target audience: Optimising Your Content? What it is about your business or service that draws people to your site? How you can use mobile devices to create a tailored experience for the end user? What do you want people to do on your site? Have you organised your content effectively? Are calls to action clear and easy to read? Has text been cut back to make the information digestible for mobile users? Have you optimised your images to ensure load times are quicker for your mobile audience? Is navigation of your mobile-site simple and effective? What it is about your business or service that draws people to your site? How you can use mobile devices to create a tailored experience for the end user? Do users have the option to visit the full version of your website as well as the mobile version? Is your website responsive? Do the layout and/or content automatically respond based on the size of screen it is being rendered on? If not, who will be consulting you on this project? Do they fully understand your business? Have you decided exactly what you want and need out of a mobile-ready site and how best to target your audience? Dedicated Mobile Website Do you have the resources to maintain multiple versions of the website? Will a dedicated mobile site add to your visitor s user experience? Is your site being accessed by a wide enough variety of devices to warrant a dedicated mobile website? App Development Are you able to create something that is both useful and valuable? Is the app functional, entertaining or does it provide a community connection? How long will users have to interact with your content? Will they be able to access the information they need in a timely fashion? 12

13 Creating a Mobile Strategy for your Business

14 mobile-ready? Creating a Mobile Strategy for your business So now you have your mobileready website in place, creating a fully integrated mobile strategy should be on your company s radar. However, while it s clear that mobile is a booming industry, for many businesses looking to expand their brand awareness there is some uncertainty about the future. However when it comes to developing a mobile strategy, many organisations may be just use a series of mobile tactics and guesswork. As with any strategic thinking, developing a mobile strategy should start at the beginning: Start by asking yourself the following questions. Who are your customers and who are you trying to reach? Is your mobile content engaging? Who will want to read and share it? What are the needs of your target audience? Why do your customers need information from you? And can you deliver it as they need it? Which type of handheld device will the majority of your target audience be using to access your content? How can you make you mobile content even more engaging for your audience? A strong mobile strategy should include several ways to allow your audience to connect with your website via their mobile devices. SMS/MMS, QR codes, mobile coupons and location based services are all methods that you should consider. 95 percent of smart phone users have searched for local information 61 percent of users call a business after searching and 59 percent visit the location 90 percent of these people act within 24 hours (Source: Google The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users, 2011) 13

15 mobile-ready Creating a Mobile Strategy for your business Research suggests that mobile directed ads are five times more effective than their desktop alternatives (Source: InsightExpress). However any mobile marketing activity you undertake will require matching the ad creative to a smaller screen and creating succinct messages which instantly appeal to your audience; displaying a call to action in as few steps as possible. Consider the benefits to the consumer of using your mobile coupon, site, text message or app and think about the following: Make offers which show you understand the buying habits of the end user Tie up your brand messaging with your client s purchase history or behaviour Analyse your consumer buying records so you can understand exactly what your audience, as individuals, want and need The most effective mobile ads are simple text links and display ads sold based on cost per click CPC), much like pay per click (PPC) search campaigns, which run on search engines. These methods of mobile marketing can be very effective for driving participation at events or for example, footfall in-store. For instance, if you have tickets left for an event, you can send a message directly to your audience offering a discount or incentive. The most effective mobile ads are simple text links and display ads sold based on cost per click CPC), much like pay per click (PPC) search campaigns, which run on search engines. 14

16 mobile-ready White Hat Media is an award winning digital marketing agency which specialises in web marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) services. We offer creative and strategic consultancy across search, social media channels and design and development and regularly speak at prominent industry events. Our team is skilled in driving high volumes of traffic to business websites through social media marketing and search engine optimisation, ensuring increased conversion rates for your organisation. White Hat Media also provides search engine optimisation and social media marketing training for companies who wish to do their SEO and social media work in-house. For more information on making your business mobile-ready or for a free consultation, please contact White Hat Media on or drop us a line via

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