- THE MAGAZINE
Mobile Internet is now one of the key media outlets consumers use to find local businesses.
Mobile Internet is now one of the key media outlets consumers use to find local businesses. What would Mrs. Jones do if she came home to a flooded house? What would she do if Fido got sick all over her white living room carpet? If she’s under the age of 50, there’s a good chance she’ll reach for her smart phone to find a cleaning or restoration company.
A smart phone is a device used for mobile Internet browsing. Smart phone usage rises when a person is on the go or in an emergency. Think about it: What do you take with you every time you leave home? You take your keys and your phone. With a mobile-ready website, you can always be at your prospect’s fingertips. The problem is most cleaning company websites take no thought to the fact that some prospects are searching on mobile phones. The websites that take this into consideration will get more leads.
Here’s how to get more leads from mobile users: Make a separate web page for mobile devices. Your site can be set so it auto-directs to a completely separate, yet similar, web page that is easier for mobile users to read. This page can be on the same website as your normal website, but as a separate page of your site. Having your webmaster embed a short code within your site that automatically takes mobile searchers to your specially designed mobile page does this. In addition, if you have a Wordpress website, you can install a plug-in that easily does the same thing. A couple of these plug-ins include WPTouch and Wordpress Mobile Pack.
For an example of how a mobile website auto-direct works, go to www.CarpetCareTips.com on your computer. And then go to the same site on a smart phone. When you’re on a smart phone, it should auto-forward you to the special mobile page at www.CarpetCareTips.com/m.html.
It’s true that your existing web pages are likely able to be seen on mobile devices. You don’t need to have a separate web page. If your website shows up in searches for Google, Yahoo or Bing, it will show up in searches on a mobile device. However, depending on your website design, it could be very hard for the user to navigate your site. And some sites could look really bad when viewed on a mobile device. My best advice is to check out your website on several different smart phones at a local cell phone dealership. See if you can read the text and view your graphics on the phone.
While you may be able to get by for now without creating a dedicated mobile page, you’ll be better off setting up the mobile page redirect. When you create a dedicated mobile page, you’ll create a simple, user-friendly environment to get more leads.
Keys to a good mobile site
- The text should be large enough to read. Mobile devices have small screens. Headlines, sub-headlines and much of the text should show up without the need to zoom in.
- Reduce large paragraphs of text to a few sentences. Also space the text out with line breaks. The amount of text on a mobile page should be greatly less than a normal web page.
- Don’t use fancy backgrounds. Use a light background that contrasts the text color.
- Don’t use Flash. Some types of code, like Adobe Flash, can’t be seen on most mobile devices. Avoid using Flash on your mobile web pages.
- Limit photos. Only use a few photos per page and make sure they aren’t large in file size.
- Assure the page loads fast. No one wants to wait a long time for a web page to load.
- Remove videos. Instead, put a link on the mobile page that leads to your video to reduce page load time.
Make sure to include the following:
- Tell them they’re on your mobile site. This will tell them they’re on the right site and could keep them from back clicking to a competitor’s website.
- Give a special offer only for mobile users. Give instructions to show their mobile phone with this website at the time of cleaning. This will require them to bookmark your site and remember you.
- You’ll want your phone number to appear toward the top of the page. Make sure it’s clickable so the user can easily call you.
- Include a clickable map for directions to your shop if you clean area rugs or they need to visit your location for any reason.
- Use web-friendly fonts. Fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia, Arial, Verdana, and Tahoma work well on mobile sites.
- Center the headings, footer and other main elements.
- Give an option to view the full website.
- Include a “back to home” button on all pages for easy navigation.
- Utilize a simple navigation menu at the top or bottom of each page with links to no more than five pages.
Your mobile site visitors are there for content. They want to know who you are, a little about what you do, and foremost, how to call or get to your shop. Keep your mobile site very simple.
Whether you’re working with a web designer or doing a mobile website yourself, following these tips can help your prospect have a better experience. And in turn, you’ll get more clients online.