Posts in Mobile

Posted on June 24, 2013

Are you considering the deployment of a mobile website? Here are some things to consider

Are you considering the deployment of a mobile website? Here are some things to consider:

Business owners and decisions makers everywhere are considering this question; should I (or we) spend the time and money to launch a mobile optimized web site.

If you happen to be not thinking about this question, you really should be. Kijiji.ca as seen on a mobile browserPeople all over this planet are using their mobile devices to perform research on everything from restaurants to movies. Their interest is not limited to entertainment. In fact people using smart phones are researching and purchasing products every day.

If your business has a web site and a user tries to access your information using a smartphone is that user experience going to be satisfying? Are they going to quickly locate the info they are looking for? Are they going to find the info YOU want them to find?

As I mentioned in my previous post (link to earlier post) if the user is accessing a site optimized for a screen resolution of 1000 pixels wide or greater, they are likely going to have a difficult and potentially frustrating time finding the info that they are searching for. This type of unsatisfactory user experience may result in them choosing to search for another supplier of the same or a similar product.

Oops! That is not what you were hoping for.

To help you decide whether or not it makes sense to deploy a mobile web site in the near future, you should look no further than your web site analytics. If you are using Google Analytics (link to the GA info page) you can very quickly review activity on your web site across a range of important metrics.

These metrics include;

Percentage of mobile device visits compared to the total

The number of pages viewed per visit for mobile devices, when compared to non-mobile devices

The Average Visit duration for mobile devices, when compared to non-mobile devices

The bounce rate for mobile devices, when compared to non-mobile devices

Comparing each of these to some period in the past is also useful.

As you can imagine if you are seeing specific trends in your web site usage such as mobile users looking at less pages and or spending less time on the your site and or having a higher bounce rate; when compared to non-mobile users, that is obviously an indication that things are not working that well.

eBay.ca is optimized for mobile browsers.So a look at your web site analytics should be your first clue about the need for a mobile optimized web site. But the fact that you are not getting that much mobile traffic should not necessarily stop you for going further.

Another great reason to look at deploying a mobile web site is how well mobile can help you monitor the reach and success of your offline advertising activity. Most smartphones have the capability to scan QR codes. A QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) (link to the wiki definition page) can allow users to connect to your online content in an extremely user friendly fashion. This level of ease of user will encourage user interaction. QR codes provide the added benefit of allowing the business to improve the level of campaign success tracking.

The use of QR codes in your offline advertising material could provide a very significant increase in the level of user interest in your offline campaigns. Best of all that interest is totally measurable. But all of that interest and goodwill will be lost if you deliver the user to a non-optimized web page.

So now you have two considerations as you research your choices as to whether or not you should develop and deploy a mobile web site. If you already have mobile users visiting your site and your web analytics software is indicating that those users are spending a less time on your web site, developing a better site for those users will likely keep them around longer.

If your business utilizes print advertising, the deployment of a mobile web site in conjunction with QR codes is a great way to drive additional response to your campaigns. This activity can be measured within your web site traffic analytics software, which is a fantastic way to help determine the true ROI of your campaigns.

In my next post I’ll look at some of the design and content considerations that you will need to take into account before deploying your mobile web site.

If you have any questions about this post please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Posted on June 23, 2013

Mobile web site or App – Which is better for your business

As I visit a website using my smart phone and find myself looking at yet another website that looks really small and has obviously not been optimized for mobile users, I find myself wondering when is the right time for a business to invest in a website especially designed for mobile devices.

Certainly business owners have three options when it comes to delivering their content to mobile users. The choices should be driven by the size of your target audience that utilizes mobile devices. If your typical clientele does not use their smart phone to research for the products or services that you provide the decision to not invest your valuable marketing resources in servicing the mobile enabled customer may be a wise choice.

But these days the number of businesses that cannot benefit from providing mobile users with a user friendly experience is getting smaller all of the time.

I don’t know about you but I know when I come across a web site on my smart phone that doesn’t offer a mobile optimized experience I tend to leave the site; I leave very quickly. In web lingo this event is known as a BOUNCE. I am sure that the people who own that web site did not have this in mind.

The question that all business owners must ask themselves is “can they afford to have potential customers leaving their store dissatisfied?” When any user “bounces” off your web site, they are leaving your online store. Even if you only provide information and don’t actually sell anything online, a bounce is obviously an indication that there was a distinct lack of service. This is unlikely to instill goodwill towards your business on the part of the user.

As a business owner, can you afford to alienate your potential customers?

As the owner of a small business I often ask myself the question. When is the right time to invest in a Mobile Web Site? Should I invest in a mobile web site, or a mobile application (aka an App)?

Clearly there are many factors that need to be considered.

Before we get started we need to understand that the rate of technological adoption of mobile devices is increasing rapidly. In the fast growing markets of Asia and South America mobile usage already surpasses that of desktop computing devices. In North America and Europe usage of mobile devices is also growing rapidly.

You have to look no further than Wall Street to see that the most valuable company in the world is an organization whose primary success drivers are mobile devices. Apple has held the status of being the planets most valuable company for most of the past year. Exxon Mobile, the company with the second highest market capitalization has at times been worth as much as 200 Billion dollars less than Apple. Apples’ market cap is more than double that of Microsoft Corporation.

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Apple’s success with its iPhone line of smart phones and its iPad tablet device have allowed it to leave other former technology giants such as HP and Dell in the dust.

The choice as to whether to deploy a mobile App or a mobile website is a tough one. It will most likely be driven by your organization’s financial resources.

While the use of purpose built, platform specific apps has recently surpassed the use of mobile web sites, the issue for you as a business owner is really about your ability to deliver a user experience that will meet or exceed the expectations of your clientele.

If you can afford it developing an app will allow you to provide your users with the most finely tuned user experience. Because there are four major platforms achieving full coverage will be expensive.

Another advantage of mobile apps is they create a more permanent connect with the user. Mobile apps are physically installed on the users device, which is a significantly greater connection than can achieved through the use of a mobile browser.

Therefore for those people who are on a tighter budget developing a website that is optimized for smart phones could be the way to go.

A well designed and produced mobile website can deliver a common and refined user experience across all platforms.