Is It Time for Your Company to Get a Mobile Website?

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If you are getting ready to market your website to the mobile minions, you need to take some time to decide if you simply want a mobile application, or if you want a full blown interactive website for your visitors.  Of course, the end point is what you are after, so the choice between mobile applications and mobile websites is a paramount one; it all depends upon the goals you have for your company and the budget you have to make it happen.

You are first going to want to identify who your target audience is.  If you want to reach a large amount of individuals, opting for the mobile website is most likely your best bet.  Mobile applications are great; but, they only work on the device for which they have been created, such as the Blackberry or the iPhone.  So if you decide to work on a Blackberry application, you must remember that it will only work on the Blackberry, and that cuts out many potential customers who are iPhone or Android users.

However, if you decide to create a mobile website, this can be accessed by any device, thereby opening up your targeted audience to iPhone users and prepaid cell phone users alike.

So, after you have decided your target market, you can begin to formulate your goals.  In this process you must decipher who the end user is that you wish to captivate with your site.  Sites are much better when it comes to being able to utilize SEO to pull in traffic.  Applications will be housed in an app store where the individual end user will have to perform the search him- or herself, whereas a website can use SEO marketing tips to submit the site to the search engines which do all of the searching for the individual.   Not to mention that sites are simply less expensive to develop.  This makes branding your company with a mobile website the most obvious choice.

Before designing, find out if the site that one has can transition to a mobile device and still be readable.  If so, then you are in business already; but, the fact of the matter is that most sites do not transition well if at all to a mobile device.  In order to take advantage of the mobile web’s ecommerce opportunities, your mobile site should be configured to allow for individuals to either pay their bill or make purchases.  This has been reported as the single most relevant reasons that individuals will surf the web on their mobile devices.

Finally, figure out how you want your site to be presented.  There are several ways of accomplishing this, and a couple of the major options are outlined below.

Find what it is about your home website that makes it so attractive to its visitors.  Then, begin building a scaled down version.  The mobile device user will still be able to experience the feel of your regular site, only in a smaller version.  This option works well for companies that have a strong online clientele.

Your second option could be a site with just your company’s basic information, such as contact information.  This will scale down the costs you have to pay, as well as give users the choice to contact you via the contact form or to be taken directly to the regular website.  This works well for companies that simply want to highlight their services rather than open a portal for customers to shop.

In short, 2011 is definitely the year of the mobile device making this the best time ever to consider investing in a mobile presence.

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