Boosting Revenue With a Mobilized Website
Studies estimate more than half of all internet users are far more likely to do business with an eCommerce company if they have a mobile website. There is a good reason for this as statistics also show that within one to two years, mobile internet users will outnumber desktop browsers. Further studies show that almost 80% of those who use smartphones are only apart from their phones for two hours out of every day and 63% have their phones with them 23 hours a day.
Just about half of the people living in the US own smartphones. That number is growing all the time. If your business has a substantial web-presence, or you are on your way to one, having a mobile-friendly version of your website could be what sets you apart from your competitors. If you do not have a mobile friendly website and your competitors get one, you will be left behind like dial up internet, beepers, and rotary phones, forgotten before you are even seen.
Why limit yourself and your website internet presence to desktops and laptops? Have you ever seen anyone dragging their desk into the bathroom or walking down the street staring into their laptops? If you do not have a mobile website and your competitors do, you are running the chance of being missed altogether. A mobile website enhances your availability in a major way and one that a regular website alone simply cannot do. Be available all of the time… not just sometimes.
What type of business will benefit from a “Mobilized” Website?
Just because your website is informational alone or performs a service other than sales does not mean that it is okay to just have a regular website. This would be very detrimental to you over the long haul. Most smartphone users do most of their surfing from these devices and use them in place of a computer. As smartphone technology continues to improve… so does the user’s capacity to surf the web on them.
The list of the types of websites that would benefit from having a mobile friendly website are as follows. Notice the wide variety of these websites.
- Retail stores
- Food service
- Public relations
This short list could go on and on. In essence, every type of business that you can think of would greatly benefit from the efficiency of a mobile website. The mere fact that you reach smartphone users in this way greatly increases your online visibility and enhances the odds of your success. It is as simple as that.
Never mind that having a mobile friendly website provides a quick way for visitors to obtain information about you and your company. It is also far easier for customers and potential customers to use a map application with which to find your physical store through local searches, contact you by phone or email, and store your information on their smartphones for future use.
State Farm insurance has been at the top of the list in terms of insurance companies and their mobile sites for several years. Beating out well-known insurers like Geico, Allstate, Progressive, and other big names, State Farm’s mobile site is very user-friendly, attractive. It functions smoothly and is elegantly executed, all this despite the fact that the insurance business is a hard business to format into a mobile friendly environment. Insurance may seem like a difficult business to simplify enough to make mobile, but this company has executed it elegantly.
State Farm Mobile is simple, clean-cut, and easy to use. You can pay your bill, obtain policy information (whether it be auto, home, renters, condo, life, etc.,), check on your mutual funds, or easily locate an agent near you. (using mobile technology) You can even be connected with an agent on the phone using their mobile application.
Compared to the full site, State Farm Mobile has been stripped of all of the frills, extraneous information, and sales pitches in order to assist you in your mobile insurance needs. You can easily switch to the Full Site if you want that extra information by simply scrolling to the very bottom of the screen and clicking on the link.
Toys “R” Us reportedly has the best mobile site in terms of usability and mobile shopping. Scoring 83.5 out of 100, mystery mobile shoppers found this mobile site to be thoroughly enjoyable for browsing, shopping, and overall usage.
This company understands how crucial it is to reach customers through their smartphones and has put a great deal of energy and effort into streamlining its mobile presence. The mobile site employs anticipatory product searches, auto corrections, and easy browsing with a fantastic zoom option.
Shoppers enjoyed overall connectivity with the store, which was achieved by providing a store locator, product reservation capabilities, and by providing information regarding a product’s availability at any given store location.
Other big-name stores with noteworthy mobile sites include American Eagle Outfitters, Nordstrom, Sephora, and Crate & Barrel.
In food service, it may not seem nearly as important to have a mobile presence. In fact, many smartphone users will use a desktop computer to look for menus (which can be difficult to read on a smart phone) and other information that does not translate well to small screens. Very few restaurants offer a mobile site in addition to a full website.
These restaurants are mistaken, however, in thinking they can ignore this huge portion of marketing and not suffer any consequences. A mobile site does not have to have every bit of information that the full site has in order to be not only successful, but to bring new visitors to the website and physical locations.
Subway is a prime example of a food service establishment using mobile technology to its benefit. With no frills or excess information, the Subway mobile site offers a store locator, a simplified menu, and a separate menu with smartphone-specific options. These options include user-friendly functions like company news, special offers, subway card information, a brand-specific mobile game, and surveys.
Subway has taken advantage of all media platforms available for companies and that has played a big part in its success. The Subway mobile site also features social networking “Share” buttons that link to Facebook and Twitter.
Wendy’s is another business utilizing share buttons and mobile sites, featuring even more share buttons than Subway (Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter).
Being in the marketing business means your company needs to be on every available platform and in a skillful way. To show others you can make their company look good, your company must look good. When it comes to a mobile friendly website… leading by example can make all the difference.
Joseph Merritt & Company has provided some of the best imaging and printing solutions anywhere since it was established over 100 years ago. This company has evolved over time and now offers one of the highest rated mobile web sites in the business. Its colorful interface, simple layout, and straightforward message keep customers satisfied and coming back for more.
Those in charge put the effort and money into research and development to ensure the website would respond to the type of device through which it was being reached. It will format to display properly on any given screen.
On top of supplying their customers with the best mobile site they could develop, this company reaches out to their customers in another way. Merritt & Co has asked users to let them know what their experience was like on the mobile website. In addition to being given the chance to win an iPad for their input, these customers will have their opinions heard and alterations will be made to improve the site further.
How to Set Up your Mobile Site
Simply transferring all of the information on your regular website to a mobile-sized version will not cut it. An effective and attractive mobile site is a concentrated version of the full site. Only key information should be offered, and it should be easy to maneuver, which can only be achieved through formatting.
Before doing any designing, you should try to get a clear picture of the most basic version of your website with which you would be comfortable. Consider the size of most phone screens and how much scrolling a user would have to do to get through all of the information on your website.
To get a basic idea of what mobile website users want, a recent Google study learned that most consumers look for the following characteristics in a mobile site:
- Automatic formatting to fit the screen
- A clean appearance
- Large buttons (for easy pressing)
- Prominent search bar
- Information only several clicks away (no getting lost in a web of links)
- Full site option button
The information on your mobile website needs to be clear, concise, and to the point. You need to be able to keep a user’s attention. One other factor that is often neglected but very important is your mobile site’s speed. If your site runs slowly because it was designed poorly, you will lose business. Customers… even mobile users, are impatient when it comes to page loading times.
The simplest and perhaps smartest way to go about the process would be to contract a company to build or rebuild your site for you. You have the option of building an entirely new website (which may not be ideal with the extra expenses and upkeep required) or rebuilding your current website so that it is responsive to whatever device from which it is being accessed. Depending upon the size of your business, bandwidth requirements, and features, a mobile site could cost you anywhere from $5 to $1,000 per month.
There are a number of highly respected mobile website developers available to assist in converting your site to be more smartphone-friendly. Mobify offers fast and affordable service and has created mobile websites for some of the biggest names (Starbucks, Bosch, Toyota, Wired, Epicurious, and many more). They also offer free services to smaller, personal sites (those with under 10,000 views per month) with limited access to some of the tools available for bigger businesses. Above 10,000 views (and under 25,000), you will gain access to many more features for $495 per month. If your website gets up to 100,000 views a month, you will pay nearly $1,000 a month for their services.
Wirenode has slightly more budget-friendly services, though has built mobile sites for some impressive companies as well, such as Pepsi, Nokia, Reebok, Nissan, and more. The most expensive service offered by Wirenode is $259 a month and boasts a custom domain, mobile SEO, mobile widgets, statistics, and several other premium features.
Do it Yourself
Converting your website to be user friendly on all devices can be daunting and frustrating unless you are a web developer yourself. If your business is small, however, and you are technically inclined, this may be the route for you.
Generally speaking, you will need to re-write the coding of your website in order to train it to respond differently to different devices.
Google has offered a helping hand in this field as well with a collection of articles and instructional tools to aid you in your developing endeavor. (Make Your Website Work Across Multiple Devices) It focuses on how a multi-device site can benefit your business, how to build your mobile site in a way that optimizes speed, and offers the developer links to developer articles and resources.
Using Google Developers’ tool PageSpeed Insights, you can easily test the speed of your site simply by entering the URL. This tool will analyze the content of your website and even suggests changes that will result in a faster page.
Social Media and Your Business
The majority of smartphone users spend a good deal of time accessing social network sites from their device (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). If you have put the time and effort into securing a strong web presence on all of these platforms, you will increase traffic and enjoy higher revenue.
Once you have successfully established an easy to use and aesthetically pleasing mobile site, be sure to include share buttons for all of your social networking sites. Customers will see that you are on top of your internet presence and feel confidant in you and your business.
Ask your customers/clients for feedback! Offer incentives for providing insight into how user-friendly your mobile site is and where it could use improvement. By providing share buttons, you will encourage users to communicate with you and you will know first-hand what customers are experiencing when using your mobile site.
By establishing a mobile presence through an efficient, attractive, and well-made mobile website, you will ensure connectivity with your customers and enjoy an overall improved brand image. People will take note that your business is keeping up with technology and responsive to their needs. Your business cannot grow without a mobile friendly site and the proof of this is in the statistics.
For a little effort and a bit of money, you can be sure your business will continue growing and you will gain more customers. By making yourself available to people searching for you on their iPhones and Androids, you will surely increase your website traffic. More traffic means more money; more money means a successful business and a happy business owner.