Many companies assume that no one will actually fill out a form or a buy a product through a cell phone, and in most cases, they are correct. However, this does not mean that a company should ignore the fact that people can become interested in your product or service by looking at your website through a phone. According to a study by Telemtrics, 46 percent of searchers now use mobile exclusively to research.
So this is obvious to most small business owners—mobile is only getting more important. What many companies then do is create a strategy to help their website convert well onto the small screen (usually through responsive web design) and create marketing campaigns that cater to those using a mobile phone. But what about creating an entirely new website specifically for mobile? Is this still good advice, or is this idea a thing of the past?
How to Create a Website for the Mobile Phone
Creating a specific website just for mobile can still work for many companies. Unfortunately, creating a website that favors the small screen is quite different than a website you would create for a desktop. This puts extra pressure on web designers because they have to create a website for both a desktop as well as a mobile-optimized version. If you do not have a web designer, then thinking about these different ways customers get information will be important. A website is usually the first thing a startup company creates, so there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Keep Your Content to a Minimum
No one wants to read a lot of little content on a cell phone. The first thing you can do is weed out the information on your current website that isn’t absolutely relevant. Once you’ve done that, you should begin going through the content you do want to include and shortening it up. This will help your website load quicker, making your visitors much more likely to wait around to see what your website has to offer.
- Focus on Your Navigation
It can be very difficult to navigate through a website on a mobile phone. For this reason, you will want to pay attention to where you place your navigation bar. Most experts recommend that you do not put the navigation at the top of the homepage unless you have very little content on that homepage. If your company is primarily used for searches, this may be the way to go. If not, consider putting the navigation at the bottom. This will help keep your content up top and will therefore not confuse readers.
- Think Big When Linking
Most mobile phones used today are smart phones. In other words, most people navigating your website will be using a touch screen. When creating your website for a touch screen, you must make sure that the links you include are big enough and spread out enough for people to correctly click (this will also be just fine if they’re not using a smart phone). This is probably one of the most frustrating things for those looking to visit a website on a mobile phone, so make sure your website does not annoy your visitors.
- Utilize the Common Features of a Cell Phone
Cell phones are obviously used to make calls, so add a “call now” button on your mobile website. This is something that may not be a good use of space on a desktop, but works great for the mobile screen. On that same note, consider putting a button that allows the viewer to find your address on a GPS or find the nearest location if you have a few offices.
The generation that grew up with technology is now entering the workforce and they are being given company credit cards and beginning to spend their own money, and they are doing their through their mobile phones. Many people do not go anywhere without their phone and are spending a significant amount of extra money just to have the Internet on that phone. If companies took advantage of this fact, they will certainly be pleasantly surprised. After all, with the popularity of QR codes and social networking, people are more interested in having the internet at their fingertips than ever before.