Observations and Insights

Mobile Websites are Dead. Long Live Mobile Websites.

Chuck Bankoff - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

With web traffic from mobile devices set to surpass that from desktop computers in just a few years, how can mobile websites be dead? While mobile traffic will continue to increase, what’s coming to an end is the practice of building a separate mobile version of a site. New technology now allows us to create one website that will elegantly adapt itself for smart phones and tablets by using responsive website design.

Anyone who has tried to navigate a conventional website on their smart phone knows how frustrating that can be. Most of them just aren’t “thumb friendly”. The solution until recently has been to build a separate mobile version of a site with a simpler design, less content and larger more finger friendly navigation. The site server would recognize when a visitor is coming from a mobile device and serve up a stripped down version of your website. Since the mobile site would have a different URL (often with an “m.” added to the beginning) mobile sites have sometimes been referred to “m dot” sites.

A responsive website will recognize the type of device you are on and adapt its size, scale and features accordingly. It can add, change or even delete features based on the capabilities of the device. This not only makes for an improved user experience but it eliminates the need to maintain and update multiple websites saving time for webmasters and marketers. You can also expect to lower your bounce rate and increase the time users spend on your site. The major search engines have made it clear that they prefer you maintain one URL, so responsive design is now the best practice for SEO as well. The initial development time for a responsive site is greater but that’s investment that’s should pay off over time. While it may or may not be worth the effort of updating existing sites to make them responsive, if you’re developing a new website it’s most definitely the way to go.

 

About Vin DeCrescenzo
Vin is the Digital Marketing Director for WSI Online Solutions. He has over 15 years of experience in Digital Marketing and is both a Direct Marketing Association and Google Adwords certified search engine marketer. Vin is a graduate of Colgate University with a Degree in English. Prior to starting his career in Digital Marketing, Vin worked in Film and Television and as a journalist in his native New York City where he still resides. He travels frequently to South Florida and throughout the country to consult with businesses and organizations on how they can benefit from Digital Marketing.

Google says that 60% will leave Your Website if it isn’t Mobile Friendly

Chuck Bankoff - Monday, October 15, 2012

The statistics are overwhelming. Consumers will either reject or embrace your brand based on what they see when accessing your website on a mobile device.

Here are just a few of the stats from the Google survey:

  • 20% of visitors to a mobile friendly website (small & local businesses) led to an immediate call to action (click-to-call).

  • 36% said they felt like they wasted their time by visiting a non-mobile friendly site. 

  • 52% said a bad experience on their mobile device made them less likely to engage with a brand.

  • 61% said they would abandon a website if they didn’t see what they were looking for right away.

  • About 50% said that they felt the company just didn’t care about their business if their mobile site works poorly.

  • Conversely two-thirds said they were more likely to buy or interact with a company that was mobile friendly. 

Consider the frustration when looking at a full sized website that is effectively the size of a postage stamp. The text is too small to read without “pinching” it larger and scrolling in both dimensions to read it. The buttons are too small to target with your fat fingers.

Take a look at the differences between the standard and mobile versions of these sites. Look at the mobile simulation, and then click through to the standard site and you will be able to envision the difference in user experience.

Also consider that the behavioral patterns of mobile users are different than those of their desktop counterparts. People don’t read on the Internet…they scan. People on mobile devices read even less, so the mobile version should be lean and mean, giving consumers only what they are looking for.

Finally, Google concludes that non-mobile friendly websites actually damage the consumer’s perception of the company. The good news is that for most brands, a mobile friendly version of their website is not that difficult or expensive to deploy.

Kreative Webworks is a full-service Digital Marketing firm in Orange County CA since 1999.

7 Interesting (if sometimes obvious) things you can do with QR Codes

Chuck Bankoff - Monday, November 21, 2011
QR Codes…my new favorite toy (and a Digital Marketing dream) are becoming incredibly popular because of their ease of use and unlimited applications.

A QR Code (short for "Quick Response" Code) is a 2-dimensional digital icon that your customers and prospects can scan with their mobile phone to get access to well...virtually anything that you want them to have access to. Not only that, they come standard (and free) on most mobile phones, even the most basic software to design them is free as well!

The applications are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few of them literally off the top of my head. Some of these are cleverer than others, but I guarantee these are just scratching the surface:

1: Business Cards & Flyers: This may be one of the most obvious places to use a QR Code, but the applications are endless. You could set it to download your contact information to your prospects smart phone (where it belongs) so they don’t have to look for your business card the next time they think of you. Or you could do the obvious and simply link it to the home page of your website. Just make sure that you link it to a mobile optimized page or you won’t fully be taking advantage of the technology.

Or you could be clever and link it to a “special” promotional page that is reserved for those who put forth the effort to scan it. For example, you could link the code to a special “VIP Room” with a special discount or offer that can only be obtained by entering through the scan.

2: Your Website: Yes, another obvious one, so think it through… If they are already on your website you could give them remote access to a hidden special offer page (mobile optimized of course) or you could simply download your contact information or product offerings.

3: Shirts: Just think about doing an expo or a convention and everyone on your staff has a large QR code emblazoned on their shirt. Having people aiming their smart phones at the large gaudy design your entire staff is wearing just might be the attention getter you’re looking for. What would it link to? How about an “event only” special?

4: Social Media Icons: You could use it as a profile picture or as your personal picture on Skype or as the secondary logo on your LinkedIn Business profile.

5: Graffiti: Come on…who could resist scanning some hi-tech tagging on the side of building or fence? Or a little more conventionally, on the door to your OWN office or store.

6: Menus: Why should a restaurant rely on pieces of paper to make their takeout menus available to patrons? Why not let them scan it and store it on their smart phones. If the scan links to the mobile menu page on their website, it can constantly be updated by the time the patron takes her next look.

7: Tattoos & Tombstones: What’s the difference between eggs and bacon? The egg was involved…the bacon was committed. If you’re really committed to this concept of QR Codes, why not tattoo one on your body? After all, a tattoo is permanent proof of temporary insanity. Speaking of “permanent”, nothing says forever like chiseling your final epitaph on your final resting spot. Now that’s commitment!

Here is a little step-by-step guide on setting up a QR Code. Of course in many cases you might need help in setting up a mobile enabled website or specific mobile web page. Your Kreative Webworks team can help you with that.

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