PTC Computer Solutions is involved with many companies interested in improving their Web Marketing Strategy for the Mobile environment. More so in recent years than previously with the increasing population of Mobile Browsers. Global smartphone penetration is now 16.7 percent in a recent study which is a 46.6 percent growth rate in a year. With this kind of growth, companies are realizing the importance of ensuring their Mobile Web Strategy is in place. When considering your Mobile Web Strategy, there are a number of questions a company should ask and answer. But, the Top 10 questions according to a dotMobi whitepaper and ones we believe are the most important are as follows:
- What are the goals for your business?
Decide what the goals are for mobile users as a part of an overall online strategy. Defining what you’re business is will be part of this objective. For instance, if you’re an e-commerce business, you’ll want to drive sales, or if you’re a brand, it may be to build awareness and engagement. Whatever kind of company it is will define the mobile strategy to meet clear business objectives.
- What are the levels of mobile traffic?
Understanding the existing traffic is essential to getting an appropriate mobile strategy. Once you have an understanding of what devices are actually visiting the web site, decisions can be made on how best to cater to that traffic. Analytics should inform data-driven decisions on what your users are engaged in within your site.
- Are the analytics correct?
- Should there be a concentration on Native Apps?
A mobile app is not a full mobile strategy, regardless of how many different Operating Systems are targeted. Your customers still need to find it and download the app before using it. Don’t forget each mobile ecosystem has its own submission procedures, and each time you update your app, you will run up against these. A true mobile strategy embraces all mobile devices.
- Should you engage in a Responsive Design?
- What is the Web Marketing Budget?
Without a clear idea of budget constraints, it will be difficult to define a Mobile Strategy. Native apps need to be promoted and there is a separate development cost for each platform. Although solutions exist to wrap a mobile web site as a native app, native elements are often needed and each additional platform means more complexity in interface design, testing and maintenance. Developing a good mobile web site versus a native app is almost invariably cheaper.
- What should a Mobile Web Site do?
First and foremost it should meet your customers’ needs. In general, a lighter, simpler page should result in a better experience for your customer. For mobile strategies, an understanding of what people are doing on your web site with a mobile device is important. People are more likely to know what they want when accessing from this platform and the experience needs to quickly guide them to their destination. From a computer, users are more likely to browse for things they might like but not as much from the mobile environment. For this reason, a mobile site can include elements not present on the regular site. Having knowledge of the device helps make decisions on:
- Using tel: or wtai: hyperlinks, so that the user can click-to-call phone numbers on a page if the device supports them.
- If the device has GPS, you should ensure that the user’s location is picked up from GPS rather than forcing them to enter location data in a form.
- If the device has a touch-screen, you should adapt your CSS to ensure that items are big enough to be easily tapped with a finger tip.
- What devices will the Mobile Web Site work on?
Clearly define what devices you want your Mobile Web Strategy to work for. This will typically include recent iOS and Android devices but it may be worth seeking a wider range if you think that your customers are more varied e.g. Tablets, RIM, Windows’ Phone. Web firms who are not up to speed in mobile often take a reductive approach that just works on iOS and more popular Android phones. Device coverage should always be validated against your analytics.
- How will device fragmentation be addressed with the Mobile Web Site?
There are multiple approaches to handling diversity. A common approach is to take a small number of basic templates grouping phones according to their specifications/capabilities, for example non touch-screen phones, smartphones, tablets and low-end phones and then further finesse the experience by resizing images to fit exactly into the resolution in question. Other sites use a more fine-grained approach that alters every element on the page dynamically according to the access device. But it is important to first know what the requesting device is.
- Is a Device Detection Strategy in place?
Device detection allows any website to accurately identify the capabilities of each accessing device in real time. This device information allows the site to make decisions about which experience to show users or how best to format the content before sending it to the user. Having device detection in place ensures that the site is optimal for the platform and delivers a much richer experience on different devices.
If you are looking to get noticed on the Internet but don’t know where to begin, let PTC Computer Solutions help you get started or help improve your current website and website marketing plan. PTC can plan a full marketing strategy and budget for your company and complete any web marketing efforts you wish to achieve in order to deliver a consistent and effective message to your prospects. Contact David W. B. Parker (when you think of “W. B.” think of WeB) at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ptccomputersolutions.com for more information.
By David W. B. Parker
PTC Computer Solutions