Back in September, we gave a public presentation on mobile marketing. One of the things we stressed was the importance of making sure your site was mobile ready.
There are plenty of ways to do this. It is possible to do it with nothing more than a very well designed webpage (though this is much more difficult than it sounds). More commonly, it is done by creating a separate mobile version, or a site that changes format depending on how it is being viewed (say, on an iPhone vs. an iPad).
At its heart, being mobile ready is simple; it means that your customers should be able to access your information on their phones.
Before you go calling your web designer and breaking out the checkbook, however, we suggest that you take a look at your existing site analytics, and see how many of your visitors are using phones or tablets.
If it turns out that a number of your clients are on mobile devices (say, more than five percent or so) then we suggest you test the design and see how well it works on a mobile device.
A great tool to do this is a product Google launched last year. It includes testing tools as well as information, and they’ve called it GoMo. You can find it at howtogomo.com.
On the site, you’ll find a lot of information and resources about getting your site mobile ready.
Google spends a lot of time talking about the importance of mobile sites, and emphasizes six main points:
- Mobile is exploding. By 2013, more people will use their phones to get online than their PC’s.
- Users expect their mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience.
- A bad mobile experience can cost you customers. (Including the fact that 23% of adults have cussed at their phone when a site doesn’t work)
- Customers are connecting with the businesses in their local area on mobile. Lots of opportunities there.
- Apps are fun and useful, but many prefer mobile sites for shopping.
- Businesses like yours can drive purchases with a mobile-friendly site.
But wait, there’s more!
To help meet the growth of mobile, Google offers a number of best practices:
There’s also a feature called GoMeter, which shows you how your site might look on a mobile device. This is perhaps the most useful feature of the site. You can get a full report, which rates your site, including load time, and provides some recommendations about what to fix. These are based on Google’s best practices.
Google also offers some resources to help you build a mobile site, but, and we’re happy about this part, they also suggest that if you have an existing or strong local relationship, that you talk with your agency or web marketing provider first.
Overall, not a bad tool for Google to roll out. We think you’ll find it useful in evaluating how your site functions for the growing number mobile users.
Check it out and let us know, is your site ready for mobile?