Make Sure Your Mobile Site Is User Friendly
This article was published in the March 11, 2013 issue of The Business News, a semi-monthly newspaper related to business. The Business News serves Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties in Wisconsin. Subscribe online at thebusinessnewsonline.com
Smart phones are everywhere!
We just can’t put them down! We feel lost without them and will drive miles if we leave them behind. We take them everywhere and do much more than make phone calls with them. Yes, our phones are as mobile as we are and they seem to get smarter with each passing year.
Over the last few years smart phone usage has increased dramatically. And why not? 4G (generation) technology and improved phone functionality have made web browsing from our phones much easier and faster.
They are searching for you
Whether you know it or not, potential customers are using their phones to search for local businesses like yours. How can you enhance their mobile web browsing experience and turn them into your customers? The simple answer is, think like your customers. Think about them out and about, running errands, stopping for a bite to eat, waiting to pick up a child from football practice, or stuck in traffic. Are they picking up their phone to search for you? And if they do, what do they find?
If they land on your full, desktop website where they must scroll up and down, pinch to zoom in and out, and navigate through way too much information, they may leave your site and go to a competitor who has made their site easy to use on a mobile phone. You have one chance to make a first impression. A mobile optimized site will help you make a good one. It will tell the user you care about their mobile web experience and have taken the time to make it the best it can be for them. They will appreciate you!
It’s not important if you use your smart phone to search the web – it’s only important if your customers or potential customers are. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find you, call you, and do business with you.
What exactly is a mobile website?
A mobile website is not the same as your desktop website squeezed into the size of your smart phone screen. A user-friendly mobile site must be designed specifically for the small screen.
It's important to keep the mobile site concise and to the point, featuring your most important information. Mobile users won’t read all the information from your desktop site while searching from their phones anyway. Give them only a few links and make those links large and easy to tap.
Why are mobile sites important for users?
A website designed for a mobile device will provide the user with “fat-finger-friendly” links and tap-to-call buttons, eliminating the need to manually dial the phone number of the businesses they wish to call. It also will load faster and use less of their monthly bandwidth limits.
Users will soon become accustomed to mobile-optimized websites and they will know immediately when they land on a non-mobile site, making it even more important for business owners to provide them with the best experience possible. If they don’t, users will find someone who does.
Mobile is not a fad
It seems web history is repeating itself. In the early days of the web, it was acceptable to have an amateur-looking website. Now, people simply expect a website to function properly and look professional. If it doesn’t, they will find one that does.
In comes mobile! A year or two ago, it was cool to simply have your desktop website show up on a smart phone. Now, user expectations are higher. It's time to improve your mobile site's usability and load time.
Things are only going to get worse – or better, depending on your perspective. Mobile sites will become the norm as business owners get on board with this new technology. No longer will users accept the full, desktop website on their smart phone, just as they no longer accept the out-of-date, amateur site on their desktop computer.
Mobile-optimized sites should:
Be among the first in your market
While mobile is still new, why not get a jump on your competition and be one of the first in your market to put out the welcome mat on your customer’s smart phone? You might be surprised how many stop by to say hello!
Web Design —
I have 12 years experience designing websites and helping small business owners, organizations, and municipalities find their web presence. My online portfolio will give you a sense of the variety of clients I have served.
I create clean, concise, quality websites for my clients. That means you will have a website that looks professional and is easy for your customers and prospects to navigate. Ease-of-use is a top priority for me. And of course, your website will have your company branding, giving your prospects a feel for how you do business while providing 24-7 access to your products and/or services.
Keeping it Simple for You!
I want to make it very simple for small businesses to have a web presence that is worthwhile and profitable. I want to do business with you and I want to help as many small business owners as I possibly can.
I've talked to many business owners over the years who simply can't afford the expense of a web designer so they either go without a custom website or they hire the neighbor kid or one of their employees to set something up. You know what they get, don't you? Let's just say, it's usually not very professional looking and they are afraid to promote it and use it. I have the expertise, knowledge, and experience and I like to use it to help my fellow small business owners. Sorry to say, the old adage runs true so often - 'You get what you pay for'!
A lot of people create websites. I do more. I will make your site the best sales tool it can be. I take the extra steps to make a website you can be proud of. I don't just copy/paste text you send to me. I don't just upload photos and images you provide. I proof and edit and make suggestions on how we could improve for search engines and to bring out your U.S.A. (Unique Selling Advantage).
Why are you better than your competition? You must get that message across on your website. We might be able to do that with photos as well as words. Some sites I create are photo-heavy because the images say it best. If photos are used, I will crop, enhance, and resize as needed so they add professionalism to your site and we can let the pictures do the talking.
Search Engine Optimization is part of the deal with me. Don't be fooled by the so-called 'SEO gurus' and their high prices. Yes, SEO is very important but these days it's all about good, keyword rich page text and simple code. My sites are search engine friendly and I don't charge extra for SEO because that's just the way I make websites.
Included in Design & Development
»» Professional Design & Development
»» Professional Copywriting
»» Contact Form
»» Various Homepage / Interior Page Layouts (if needed)
»» Multi-level Navigation System (if needed)
»» Multiple Browser & Screen Resolution Compatibility
»» Clean, Search Engine Friendly Code & URLs
»» Use of Alt (alternative) Tags to meet Accessibility Standards (see more)
»» Custom Graphics Design
»» Graphics & Photo Resizing, Enhancement and Optimization
»» Email Addresses with your Company Domain (if needed)
»» Design Consultation with You throughout the setup process
Our Website Fees — Plain and Simple!
I start with a Client Needs Analysis to help both you and I determine your website needs and wants. We then need to talk about your business so I can get a feel for you and what your business is all about and so I can understand what messages you would like your website to convey to your customers or clients.
I will then present you with a proposal of work and fees which will include a one-time setup fee for domain registration or transfer, site hosting, and everything needed to get the site up and running and live on the Web. Some web developers make the client do all those things. I understand you have much better things to do with your time than figure out which hosting package best suits your business; you have a business to run.
It can't get much easier than that! If materials (your logo, images, photos, text) are provided to me in a timely manner, I will even guarantee a completed website within 2 weeks of our initial consultation.
So let's get started today . .
If you are ready to get moving on that new web presence to give your business the added boost it needs in these difficult times, contact me and let's get started!