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10 Mobile Website Quandaries Solved

January 9, 2013 By Heather Fletcher
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With more than 100 questions submitted by attendees of the "Website and Email Design for a Mobile World" webinar on Nov. 28, it was impossible for speaker Greg Hickman to answer them all. But the founder of MobileMixed.com, whose presentation is now available on demand, was able to answer a few more of them here, covering everything from local search to mobile marketing budgets.

1. Given what you said about local search driving a quick action, should you design different mobile experiences for local search visitors? Is there even a way to do that?

Greg Hickman: Short answer: yes. Ultimately you need to think about what visitors to your site are trying to accomplish while on their mobile device.

Statistically with small businesses, users are looking for one of a few things:

  1. Phone number
  2. Address or directions
  3. Hours.

Knowing this, optimize the homepage of your mobile site to include these three things right up front or within one click.

This goes back to the pyramid, which I presented in the webinar. You have to enable access, then interaction. Once they can access your site, can they accomplish their goal while there? If it's to call your business, don't bury your phone number in the footer or deep within a contact page.

Once you've enabled them to find this information, ask yourself, "How long would it take for them to find those pieces of info?" If it's over five seconds, I'd consider adjusting your site design/layout.

As an example, 1-800-Flowers doesn't offer all information on its mobile site. You can't track a shipment from mobile, because they saw very little use of that feature. So they focused on minimizing clicks to drive sales, use of proximity features and in-stock availability.

2. Can we create something like a shortcut (app icon) to a mobile website so it appears as an app?

GH: Yes, but that is in control of the user. For example, if you visit a site from your iPhone and tap the "plus" button in the lower browser navigation, you'll have the option to "add to home screen," which will put an icon on your screen similar to an app. Here is a good tutorial.

 
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