How “Mobile-friendly” are your Digital Marketing Efforts?
If you haven’t checked recently, chances are that 50% or more of your intended audience is not reading your marketing emails or e-newsletter, and 30% are not viewing your website correctly. Why? Those are current stats of the hour (and likely to be ever greater tomorrow): 50% of all emails and 30% of all websites are now read on a mobile device vs. a PC. And in the technology sector, those figures are even higher.
With this seismic shift has come a sense of urgency to make all digital marketing as mobile compliant and device agnostic as possible.
The digital world of website design/developers have responded with a number of options, depending upon the complexity of your site and the budget you can afford to devote to your online presence.
Option #1: Mobile Compliant/Compatible Website Design
All websites that have been built in the past two years should have been designed with mobile in mind, assuming you are working with a professional and experienced website development company. That means using the most up-to-date standards for HTML and CSS programming and not using Flash throughout the site.
Beyond programming, any sites that are being developed today should use design and navigation features that make viewing and interacting on a mobile device easier, such as larger buttons, more simplified navigation, no pop-up windows (which do not work well on all mobile devices) and in general, designed with the “small screen” in mind. These are the minimum standards you should be using for your website.
Option #2: Creating a Separate Mobile Website
If your website is being visited by more than 20% mobile users, you should at least consider a separate mobile site to accommodate these visitors. (You can find out about your mobile audience from Google Analytics; we strongly recommend that every website have this FREE utility loaded in order to monitor site traffic and activity.) The mobile site is designed completely with the “small screen” in mind: larger text and images, larger navigation buttons, more simplified navigation. But it does not stop with design and programming. By recognizing that these visitors are most likely “on the go” and looking for something specific (not just sitting there and reading through huge sections of the site), your site should really be more focused on these types of interactions and less about being a depository for all your informational assets. In other words, it needs to be “lighter, smarter and more actionable” than your main site.
The mobile website is automatically loaded when someone visits it from a phone or tablet, and can be programmed so any content updates you make to your main site are automatically made on your mobile site as well.
Option #3: A “Responsive Design” Website
There is an emerging technology that is called “responsive web design” that is being used for very high end sites (like Amazon.com, Starbucks.com, BostonGlob.com, etc.) and slowly making its way “down” to smaller business-to-business and consumer sites. Basically, as opposed to developing a separate mobile site (one that is designed specifically for mobile devices), responsive design allows your main site to be viewed properly on everything from PCs to tablets and smartphones.
In other words, it is one website dynamically programmed to “respond” to the screen-size regardless of the physical device. (The illustration included with this story demonstrates it visually.)
Not all website development companies are up-to-speed with this new technology so it’s important to see samples of responsive design before committing to a company to develop your new site. And be aware that responsive design increases the scope of design work as well as development and testing so the corresponding price tag is higher. But responsive sites are built for the future and will have a much longer shelf life than a standard HTML or WordPress website: an important consideration to keep in mind.
TSRI’s website development team is highly qualified and experienced in responsive design. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you optimize your e-Marketing efforts to accommodate the ever-expanding world of mobile devices, please contact us today.