Your Mobile Customers Are Special People
The number of people viewing websites from mobile devices is increasing at a dramatic rate but traditional websites do not render well on mobile devices. To remain competitive, business owners have to adjust their websites to meet the needs of their mobile visitors.
To downsize or double?
Traditional websites are designed to be viewed on full-size monitors and with the power of desktop computers to display features such as slideshows and videos. When viewed on the smaller screen of a mobile device, a full-size website must be viewed either by moving the screen to and fro or by squinting at reduced print. Graphics and interactive media can be very slow to load and some devices cannot show Flash. All of which encourage the mobile viewer to depart quickly.
The question now is, should all these features that make visiting the Internet so exciting be adapted or removed from all websites for the benefit of the mobile viewer? Or, should a separate, smaller version of the site be built to accommodate mobile devices? There are debates raging about the pros and cons of both approaches.
Until technology catches up with the explosion in the different types of mobile devices, creating a smaller separate website, or adding special pages to an existing site, is often the most practical solution. This leads to the question of what content should be on the mobile site.
What to add or subtract
Look at your website from your customers' perspective. Why are people coming to your site? What are they looking for? What action will they take? You could poll your customers or pose these questions to the public in social media. Your website provider should be able to provide you with visitor statistics that show which pages of your site are visited the most. You might be surprised to find that the responses are quite different from those you anticipated.
You may find that your mobile customers are less interested in watching a slideshow of your bathroom fixtures and more concerned about finding a map to your location because they lost their way en route to your store to view the real products. They may be less interested in your business philosophy at the top of the Home page and more interested in the special deals buried in the PDF on page nine.
Mobile People are Special People
Typically, mobile people want information NOW. And they want to know how to find you, when you are open, how to contact you, what you offer (particularly your special deals) and how to tell their friends about you through social media. They also need to access your full website easily if they want to. All this without the use of a mouse to navigate!
The Back2Front Example
With our Back2front.ca website, we went from 36 menu tabs on the full-size website to just four on the mobile site: Mobile Home, How Much? Our Clients, and Contact Us. These pages tell you who we are, what we can do for you, what it will cost, what we have done for others, and how to contact us. We also moved the left navigation menu to the top to give more horizontal room for the content.
Right at the top of the first page are the toll free phone number, 'clickable' (that is, touchable) email address, client login for self-service, and social media buttons to tell all your friends about us! At the bottom of the Home page are links to our main site. On the How Much page, you can calculate how much a new site, or changes to an existing site, will cost. Our on-the-fly clients can even pay their bills online from the Contact Us page.
The world of online business is dynamic and exciting. Business owners needs to keep current with the changing needs of their customers and potential customers or hire experts in the field to handle this for them.