The term ‘mobile site’ is set to be one of 2011’s hottest buzzwords. As mobile devices like the iPhone and a multitude of Android cells flood the market, every website owner needs to turn on to the possibilities of a mobile website. Simply put, a mobile site is normally a scaled down version of a regular website, developed specifically to be shown on a mobile device such as a BlackBerry or iPhone.
Developing a mobile site obviously represents an additional cost and can end up with online marketing budgets being reduced as PPC spend or SEO consultancy is scaled down to pay for the new site. So, is it worth investing in a mobile site for your brand this year and what are the advantages of doing so?
1. The market is growing
The millions of cell phone users in the US is growing daily – as more and more internet capable cell phones and similar mobile devices are sold, the more the market for your mobile site grows. There are more cell phone users in the US than in any other country in the world, with many now benefiting from internet access as standard with monthly service plans. As handsets such as the new BlackBerry models, iPhones and iPads continue to generate huge sales figures the market for mobile internet related purchases expands. Developing a mobile website now, rather than waiting for 12 months means you’ll be building up lots of valuable data and insight into mobile website traffic – this understanding of your marketplace and how mobile websites perform compared with traditional web sites is to your advantage when slower competitors eventually get in on the act with a mobile site.
2. It becomes easier to find your brand
However much you spend on online marketing, PPC campaign or SEO strategies, committing to a mobile website launch can only make it easier for potential new clients to find your brand. You may already have a large AdWords budget working 24/7 – but some clients will slip through the net as they prefer to use Yahoo! or MSN. You may have spent a small fortune on SEO, – but you then miss out on paid traffic. So while it’s true that it’s impossible to capture the attention of every single person who may want to do business with you, a mobile website narrows the percentage that slip through the net further.
3. A mobile web site puts your brand where your customers are
A favorite slogan of Google AdWords marketing is that PPC allows you to connect with potential customers at the exact moment they are searching for your good or services. This may have been true as recently as six month or 12 months ago, but now you can add “provided they are sitting at their desk or using their home PC’ to that mantra.
In reality, more and more of us go online while we’re traveling, taking advantage of the recently introduced Wi-Fi on domestic flights, sitting on trains or buses or passing time as we wait for friends at bars and restaurants or colleagues in meetings and conferences than we do at home in the evening .Traditional websites do not fare well on mobile devices as they are intended to be enjoyed on much bigger screens, preferably partnered with larger memories, graphics and sound cards, so to really be where your customers are, you need to have a site that displays well on the smaller cell phone screen and is specifically tailored to this transportable, instant access medium. Launching even a mini mobile version of your established site means your potential customers really can find you exactly when they are looking for you, regardless of their location or the device they use to go online.
4. Be a thought leader
Every business can benefit from being perceived as a thought leader in its own particular field and having a mobile website ahead of your competition is a great opportunity to exploit this advantage. With many website owners not yet turned on to the possibilities afforded by a mobile website, it’s possible that you’ll be the first in your local area or even the first in your sector to offer users the chance to view a web site intended for their cell phone. You can use this accessibility and innovative spirit as a reference point in your marketing campaigns. Push the fact that you’re constantly testing the limits of what is possible and you’re in a great position to impress potential new clients into speaking to you about what you can do for their business.