Sunday, 11 March 2012

Do I need a Mobile Website?

With more and more users accessing websites with their smart phones, its as important for any business to ensure that their website is ready and caters for the mobile market. Every other person you meet, has a smart phone (even my grandmother has an iPhone, - she just answers calls on it, which is another story), but with the increase of smart phones, and users accessing the internet on the move, having a site that caters for this, is as important as having a normal desktop website. There are couple of ways you can ensure that you have a mobile friendly website which I will outline below.

First of all let's look at the benefits of mobile websites.


User experience:
Mobile websites are generally simpler, and to the point, giving the information that the user generally wants, compared to a desktop site, where more feature rich, and has much more to offer, but only when the user has the time, and behind a computer screen. So being able to cater for users that are out and about, who want answers quickly and be able to browse though your content quickly does give your site a better experience, compared to fully loading up a desktop site.

Data Usage:
Users that access websites on their phones have some sort of a data plan, loading up your desktop site, can take a while due to amount of files and the size of the site that needs to be loaded.  On the other hand, a mobile friendly website, would load much faster, and not use as much data of your visitors mobile plan. Again improving the overall experience for this user.

Better engagement:
One of the things I am a major fan of, is making sites that customers can use with ease, by having a mobile site, one of the top features you can have is a click to call. Were the user clicks on the call icon, or on your telephone number, and the phone dials out to your businesses, and the user can also click on your Map/Address which you can set in a way to get the users phone to load up the navigation system on the phone to navigate to your premises.

Overall you can also intact your social networking sites into your mobile website, which will allow users to share their experience, and especially if your in a business that caters for customers on your premises, this will allow users to quickly access your website via their smart phones, and check in, or recommend your business profile on their social networking circles.

Grow your brand
Mobile users when visiting websites on their phone, expect to view a simpler version of your site so that they can get the solution that they need. More and more consumers are accessing websites on their mobile devices while out and about. If your business can cater for such consumers, it would benefit you brand, and most likely stop your visitors from going to your competitors. As they can find the answers that they are looking for easily on your mobile site.

Do I need a mobile website?


mobile devices


If you are just launching your online presence, you may consider to put the development of your mobile site in the pipe line for later, but I would highly recommend that you do invest from day one in having a mobile friendly website, as you would be surprised how many visitors do actually view your website via their mobile deceives.

Even Google Analytics has given a whole section to Mobile Analytics so that you can view the statistics of your mobile visitors, and gives you a good insight on the number of visits, along with what devices, and time spent by these users on your website.

Below is an extract of the data exported from Google Analytics for one of our clients, which shows on average daily 200 visitors are accessing the website via mobile deceives.




































































































Mobile Device Info

Visits

Pages/Visit

Avg. Time on Site

% New Visits

Bounce Rate
Apple iPhone2,3931.9800:02:0912.58%52.44%
Apple iPad8152.3700:02:4612.02%45.03%
(not set)7891.9900:02:3219.90%55.26%
Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II3552.2700:02:319.86%53.24%
RIM BlackBerry 9700 Bold2151.3900:00:441.40%73.95%
HTC Desire HD2111.7700:01:369.48%61.61%
Nokia E5-00 Mystic2001.9400:08:12100.00%39.00%
Samsung GT-S5830 Galaxy Ace1782.3800:02:546.74%49.44%
SonyEricsson LT15i Xperia Arc1732.2400:03:0928.32%53.18%
SonyEricsson E15i Xperia X81421.7500:01:174.23%59.86%
7,6832.0500:02:4420.01%52.54%

Daily Visits:










































































































































Day

Visits
02/02/2012261
03/02/2012294
04/02/2012228
05/02/2012233
06/02/2012222
07/02/2012216
08/02/2012384
09/02/2012325
10/02/2012242
11/02/2012253
12/02/2012209
13/02/2012218
14/02/2012225
15/02/2012257
16/02/2012221
17/02/2012231
18/02/2012243
19/02/2012251
20/02/2012248
21/02/2012253
22/02/2012293
23/02/2012367
24/02/2012269
25/02/2012264
26/02/2012242
27/02/2012213
28/02/2012190
29/02/2012225
01/03/2012205
02/03/2012213
03/03/2012188
7,683

Okay this site does get allot of visitors, but according to these figures, on average its aprox 10% of their visitors access the website on their mobile deceives.

One of the best way to promote your mobile site offline is to use QR codes. Having QR codes on all of your literature will encourage users with smart phones to scan in and go direct to your website. Having a mobile website can give your visitors similar experience as having an app, and it can even work out more cost effective in terms of developing a whole mobile app.

So why need a mobile website now?mobile



  1. •   Another online medium to market your business.

  2. •   Create a perception of a reputable and a trusted brand.

  3. •   Increase your visibility online, easy to find.

  4. •   Cater for your visitors accessing your site though their mobile phones


How can I create a mobile version of my site


There are couple of ways you can have a mobile website, first of all you need to decide whether you want something bespoke, or if you would prefer to use a mobile site builder application.

Bespoke


If you have built your website bespoke, with modules and features to suite your requirements, what you will find is that you will also need to do the same with your mobile version of the site, as many of the readymade templates will not have such advance features.

I would always recommend a bespoke version of your site to match your desktop version, as this shows consistency in your website, and also you can build features and have the site in a way to show your products and services.

Contact Us for more information on bespoke Mobile Websites.

Mobile Website Builders


On the other hand there are many applications you can use or purchase to build a simple mobile version of the site, this is something similar to website builder tools, where you upload images, and chose the contents that you would like include.

Some are listed below:

Alrayes Mobile Website Builder: - If you have your website hosted with us on our server, we offer a mobile application, using goMobi, which allows you to easily build a mobile version of your site.
Mobify
Wirenode
Mippin Mobilizer
Onbile
Winksite

If you are considering whether or not to have a mobile version of the site for your business, I would recommend to look at your analytics, see how many websites you access via your phone, along with doing a survey with your visitors.

overall the time is right now, start to really impress your visitors.

Share with me in the comments below, do you have  a mobile website? does it work for you? Would you recommend it?

Image by Flickr

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