Mobile Site Checklist

According to Google, more than 95% of smart phone owners say they use their phones to search mobile sites for information about local products and services. That should be no surprise, since the Internet is quickly replacing the yellow pages as an information resource AND how dependent we’ve become on our cell phones! It’s rarely more than 2′ away from us at any time!

So why is this information important to a local business? You have to put yourself in the shoes of a mobile searcher in order to answer that question.

Think about it. Most people who are using their mobile phones to search for information are in a hurry. Just the facts, ma’am!

Trying to read a “full brochure” website on the small screen is very difficult. Yes, you can expand the area in case the font size is too small to read but that just means you have to scroll and scroll to read an entire sentence or see the page top to bottom.

I agree with Michael Scully, Vice President of Mobile Product and Strategy of SoundBite Communications, about the five things every mobile site needs:

  1. The site needs to be simple. You don’t need to include everything that’s included in your full website. Remember the size of the screen and your audience’s quick search behaviors.
  2. The site needs to have contextual relevance. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! Only include the most important info you believe your audience needs when they are on the go (usually phone number, address, coupons or special offers, hours of operation, and a list of basic services). And make sure the info is easy to find. They want to spend very little time looking for just the tidbit they need.
  3. The site needs to be touch-friendly. Make sure your site passes the “big thumb” test! Make sure you leave space between links and use big buttons so it’s not difficult to tap the button or link you really want. Viewers hate trying to use a really small text link to get to the info they want and ending up on the wrong page. Remember, they are in a hurry!
  4. The site needs to load quickly. A study from Gomez said 40% of mobile searchers would abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! Some variables that affect load time are out of your control but just know that large images, numerous images, and videos can increase your mobile site’s load time.
  5. The site needs to offer a path to more information. Give your mobile visitors opportunities to interact with you. Maybe that means including an easy “click-to-call” option or an obvious “get directions” option. Plus, a few die hard searchers may in fact want to look at your main web site. Not a bad idea to give them an option to “view the full site”.

Just remember that mobile searchers are an on-the-go group. And they expect information when and where they want it – and fast!

 

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