Effective Mobile Websites – How To

Did you notice that mobile phones have become iconic devices with the proliferation of iPhones, Android phones and Blackberries? They have gathered a critical mass now and an increasing number of people are searching for information and resources on the Internet with their mobiles.

How do you tap this vast potential market? A mobile website is the answer. Get one designed as soon as possible. The competition for attention in the smartphone segment is still manageable now, but will become worse as the days pass by.

Here are 15 tips for a great mobile website:

  1. The mobile phones have much smaller screen space and therefore you need to cut down on the amount of information that you can include in the mobile pages.
  2. The phones work on much slower bandwidth even if they are on 3G. Your site loads much faster if you have smaller files, few and compact graphics and other elements.
  3. Since the capacity of the phones vary widely, use progressive enhancement. This way you will have your site working fine off the most limited browsers but show up really great with the more capable browsers and phones.
  4. Attention span on a mobile site is really limited. Include your most salient points – the big hitters –and do not try to tell everything and confuse the reader.
  5. You might try this format – powerful headline, a paragraph of introduction text and a few bullet points followed by a call to action.
  6. New page loads are taxing on the bandwidth, too much information on a single page is daunting. You have to strike a fine balance.
  7. Advertise on the mobile networks. The clicks are still affordable. You can also set up campaigns on Adwords (content display network) with mobiles as the selected target.
  8. Always send the clicks to a mobile version of the landing page. Don’t drop the ball by sending the clicks to a desktop landing page which won’t show up clearly on the small screens.
  9. Include a link to your main site so that they can see the whole story, if they are not happy with the limited information on the mobile site.
  10. Mobile commerce (pay from a mobile – Paypal and phone billing) is picking up very fast. Be ready to take advantage.
  11. Make your forms as small as possible. They can’t fill up large forms with the mobile keyboard.
  12. Hot tip: Include a touch-to-call or click-to-call button. They are working off a mobile phone after all and calling someone is the most natural thing to do.
  13. Build a SMS list. SMS marketing, like email marketing, is a potential winner. However you need to use it responsibly or else, you will go down the email spammer route.
  14. You must include a mobile sitemap and submit it to the search engines. How can we forget the search engines? They can send large number of people to your sites after all.
  15. Setup auto-sensing and auto-redirection for mobile browsers on the main URL. Don’t split your branding efforts by advertising 2 different URLs.

You can rest assured of massive success for your mobile websites and unlock a vast new market by following these tips. Please share your success report in the comments section below.