Why your site should go mobile and 10 things to remember when you do

Do you have a website? Running a determined business and want to stay ahead of the crowd? Well then, you have to go mobile as soon as you can. Desktop is just not cutting it anymore and if you do not take action now, you will hate yourself for it later, trust me.

It is of fanatical importance that you get on board now, and draw up a mobilising plan for your current and future campaigns. This easy-to-follow slide should show you why mobile is relevant:

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After that, I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that going mobile is important. As you can clearly see, there is absolutely no excuse not to GoMo. Google recently launched a website to help people go mobile, called How To GoMo.

At the GoMo site you can also test your website and see if it is mobile-friendly, get an in-depth report and what you need to do to improve your score. Detailed guides for agencies, advertisers or publishers are freely available to download.

Suzanne Mumford, a product marketing manager for Google recently did a brilliant online webinar on GoMo, giving greater insights on what factors you have to focus on when building a mobile-friendly website for your business.

There are three types of mobile websites

Your mobile marketing goals and the current resources available to you, will determine where you can start in the following stages of the mobile site cycle:

  • Landing page (perfect for quick lead capturing)
  • Branding and awareness (these can also be a one pager with social network icons, and a click to call number)
  • Fully optimised site (this is a fully working site optimised for mobile devices and user experience)

It does not matter where you start, as long as you kick off and follow some simple guidelines and best practices when creating your mobile-friendly website.

10 Best practices for going mobile

Please go through these mobile site best practices as per Google GoMo and try your best to adhere to them. Then you will unquestionably have great success. You can also have a look at this case study Google did on 1800flowers.com.

1. Keep it Quick

  • Mobile users do not have a lot of time on their hands; your site must load as quickly as possible.
  • Use bullet points for easier reading.
  • Compress images.

2. Make it easy to convert

  • Seeing many mobile users are using a touch screen, make it easy for them to contact you or buy something.
  • Keep forms short.
  • Use prepopulated lists, scroll menus or check boxes.
  • Click-to-call functionality must be active for all phone numbers.

3. Simplify navigation

  • Do not confuse the user.
  • Minimise scrolling.
  • Have a clear hierarchy in your menu.
  • Help users navigate with home and back buttons.
  • Include no more than 7 links per page.
  • Have a search box on bigger sites that are more complex.

4. Make it local

  • Put your address or store locater on the home page.
  • Include maps and directions, or GPS co-ordinates.
  • Let users check stock availability at nearby stores.

5. Be thumb-friendly

  • Your thumbs operate mobile devices the most.
  • Use large centred buttons.
  • Include enough space to prevent accidental clicks.
  • Pad check boxes and smaller buttons to increase the clickable area.

6. Make it seamless

  • Convert as much functionality of your desktop site to mobile.
  • Make popular search and shopping cart content saveable.
  • Maintain key features of your site across all channels.
  • Display same information for products/services.

7. Design for visibility

  • There should be no eyestrain for the users.
  • Content should fit and be easy to read without having to zoom.
  • Use plenty of negative space.
  • Size and colour to point out link/button priority.
  • 3D effects and shadowing for buttons works well.

8. Use mobile site redirects

  • Set up redirects preferably in your .htaccess file to send mobile users to your mobile-friendly site.
  • Give users a choice to go back to the desktop site.
  • Let users choose which version they prefer for later visits.
  • Include key info on a redirect page like your address or a store locator.

9. Make it accessible

  • Your mobile site should work across all mobile handsets and browsers.
  • Use HTML 5 for advanced graphics and effects.
  • Adapt your site for horizontal and vertical orientations.

10. Listen, learn and iterate

  • Ask desktop site users what they want in a mobile site.
  • Use analytics to understand how people use your site.
  • Literate often and continuously improve your mobile site based on your research.
  • If possible, do user testing before implementation and collect user feedback after launch.

We’ve given you all the basic info you need. Now go out there, start your own mobile-friendly websites, and make the web a better experience for everyone.

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