Sunday, July 1, 2012

[Guest Blog] 3 Steps to Getting Your Retail Site Mobile

Whether you realize it or not, getting your site mobile ready is now a necessary evil. Small Biz Trends says, “According to Google, 60% of users expect a mobile site to load in three seconds or less. More than half of users wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile site.” Not only do your customers expect it, but this is another outlet to reach those who may need to access you on the go. When you’re readily available, the chances of making a sale or gaining a new customer increase.

To get started, you’ll need to consider your budget, your needs as a business and then the options available to you.

Know Your Budget

Before you can consider any of your mobile website options, you first need to assess your budget. As an addition to your online marketing strategy, it may be wise to see where you have room to work within those parameters. There are a few options to consider when choosing what you can and cannot afford.

·         Do you want to turn your existing site into a mobile site? If so, there are tools available to do it on your own.

·         Do you want to build an entirely new site, similar to the one you currently have? If so, you can hire a mobile web design company if the resources aren’t available within your company.

·         Do you want something minimal, providing just the necessary information? There are easy site builders available to businesses like yours that make this process quick and simple.

Mobile Best Practices

Finally, once you decide the direction you’d like to take the site in, you’ll want to consider the best practices in this field. Even if you aren’t doing the site yourself, you want to be sure the company you’re working with is on the same page as far as what you need and what the website needs; mobile sites have a variety of different requirements than standard web pages.

·         Navigation: WP Widgets suggests, “Mobile web surfing is known for its high bounce rates … so focus on a few key areas of the web site and acknowledge your visitors’ short attention spans.” Get all the important links in an easy to find space, and eliminate anything unnecessary.

·         Bandwidth: Avoid object and java script. They are notorious for using excessive battery juice, and not supported on older smart phones.

·         Analytics: Be sure to have your analytics software set up with your mobile site, as well. This will be important in trouble-shooting and finding areas for improvement.

Assess the Options

Finally, it’s time to look through your options to pick the one that is best for your company.

·         Install a plugin: There are a number of plugins you can utilize to mobilize your site, such as Mobilize by Mippin.

·         Outsource the job: Before choosing a company to outsource the site to, look for references, testimonials and services provided.

·         Download a tool: Tools like bMobilized, allow you to convert your current site into a mobile site with minimal effort and a small monthly fee.

·         Create a new site: To create a brand new site for mobile, which would be wise if your business site is laden with thousands of pages and links, check out options like MoFuse. Here you can choose a new domain name and build up your site. There is often a small monthly fee associated with this option.

Creating a mobile site can be as easy or involved as you want it to. As a growing need for businesses, there are more than enough options available to you online. Be sure to assess each and every aspect of your budget and needs before making your final decision.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics that range from social media to business management. She is a professional blogger and web content writer for Resource Nation.