Create your own mobile-optimized website with Map Pop!
Mobile is key for local businesses. When your customers are away from their computer, they could be looking for the closest business of your type, from hair salons and restaurants to business services. In fact 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information on their phones.
With the move to smartphone usage, the statistics are compelling. Having a mobile site will be as important as a regular website is today or yellow pages listings once were. The good news is that it’s a relatively small investment and getting you up and running places you in a strong position for the future.
You’d be surprised. 85% of Americans age 18 and over have a mobile phone, including 68% of people over age 65. And mobile usage is growing quickly. By 2015, there will be more than 7.1 billion mobile devices in use.
Mobile apps can be an important part of your strategy, but they don’t replace a mobile-friendly site. Apps are specific to Android, iPhone or Blackberry — and they take lot of work to maintain. Mobile sites work on any mobile device with a browser. They are also much easier to update.
Imagine this: a customer has just clicked on your mobile search ad and reaches your regular site. They have a negative experience, and it leaves them with a bad feeling about your business. If you run mobile ads that link to a non-mobile site, you’re only halfway there.
If you can afford to miss out on 50% of American mobile subscribers, sure. Soon, more people will access the Internet from mobile devices than desktop computers.
Not necessarily. Almost all sites will show up on a smartphone, but they need to be designed for mobile user experience. Otherwise, they won’t provide a great user experience. A good mobile site meets the expectations of mobile users.
It’s email, maps, news, shopping — all from a phone. Also called the Mobile Internet, it’s the Web for mobile devices. The Mobile Web is what you usually access from your desktop or laptop computer, only this time you’re using smart phones and tablets. Because the Mobile Web is, well, mobile you can find the information you need when you’re on the move.
Before online search made finding business information fast and easy (“just Google it”), people would use the yellow pages to find a business that would take care of what they needed. That’s what was great about the yellow pages — if you wanted to find a business you looked in one place and found a list of providers for the product or service you wanted.
Then the yellow pages was replaced by the Internet and Google Local Search. Now, when you want something, you can find it and probably order it online.
Now, people expect the desktop search experience to be available when they are on the move. More and more they will use their mobile device. Customers will expect to find you in a single step where they can see a map and directions to your location and they will want to make a call to you. Will they be able to?
A mobile application is written for specific mobile devices that perform a specific task, such as a game, calendar, music player, etc. That means that an App made for an iPhone won’t work with a Blackberry or an Android device (unless you have it modified).
A Mobile Website can do a certain task, or just deliver information (like a Map Pop site) and it can be accessed from all Web-capable mobile devices.
It’s because consumers use smartphones like a modern Swiss Army knife. It’s the platform people use to communicate via Voice, SMS, and Email. It’s also how people take pictures and browse the web. Smartphone manufacturers have markets that sell applications to do everything from translate languages to help you find the best sushi in town.
Mobile needs to be fast and compact. That means slow-loading or confusing images will confuse people and make them impatient. If users can’t figure out where to find information on your site quickly you’ll lose them. You don’t want too much downloading to happen before they can get to your information.
Mobile browsers are usually looking for something specific — a location, a phone number, a price, etc. The Mobile Web isn’t about randomly surfing, like someone on the desktop web. Make sure everything that people need: Where, What, When, How Much are readily accessible in mobile mode.
Mobile devices are great, they’re portable and easy to use for things like making phone calls and taking pictures. Clicking teeny weeny buttons and scaling images to read them is difficult. Don’t make your site users struggle. They won’t forgive you for it. Click to call or Click to SMS are examples of giving the user what they want and being user friendly. Keep sites short — literally, users don’t like to scroll.
QR Codes can help push traffic home to your mobile site, plus they’re cool. Put them on door clings, business cards, flyers, you name it. Also use automatic device detection and redirect on your current site to seamlessly send users to your mobile site.
Make sure you tell people what you want them to do. Placing this at the top is usually a great place to start. Another great place to drop that info in — Call Today, Open Sundays, etc — is at the bottom of your Mobile Site. When they’ve scrolled to the bottom of your site, they don’t need to scroll back to get the message.
Just because the user can browse the web on their phone doesn’t mean they have tons of bandwidth. Be considerate of their data plan and their time. Don’t use big images or tons of text. Hefty multimedia is a no-no and Flash is completely out on iPhone, so consider other options.
A mobile site is about the best and most cost-effective marketing investment you can make today. Your current and future customers will be looking for you on the Mobile Web. Be there to greet them.