Late last year it was reported that 1.2 billion people were using mobile web. And that number is probably much larger by now. There are also a variety of services offering to create a mobile version and app of your site for a fairly low cost.
And when you consider how many people are downloading ebooks and such on their mobile devices, there is even more reason to start the trek to mobile.
So the question remains – does your site need mobile? Yes, No and Maybe
The numbers are there and they will only get bigger. I’m not sure you can still qualify as an early adopter at this point, but you would be close. And chances are that you will be able to lead most if not all your competitors in your industry if you took mobile seriously in 2012.
Just like everything else, don’t do it just because you can. Evaluate your current traffic and how much people are interacting with your site on mobile already. This is easily viewed on your Google Analytics panel. And don’t forget to cross check what countries those mobile devices are from. If for example you only target the US but there is a wave of mobile users from India you can hold out a little longer.
I’m also not a huge fan of the cheap and dirty method for mobile. Sure you can get an app for free but is that the image you want to project? Make sure that your end goal is aligned with your mobile dreams. The last thing you want to do is make your company look worse because you wanted to test the waters.
If you have decided that a mobile app (or just a mobile optimized website) is an integral part of your content marketing strategy then by all means pursue it. I highly suggest that you work out exactly what you want, screen by screen before you search for a designer. Know which simple steps you want your end user to make and the overall goal of your app.
After that is all wrapped up, I would suggest looking for someone via vworker.com. There you will find multiple mobile app designers that are either doing it part time or developing their portfolios.
If you are comfortable with hiring overseas by all means you can make those solid connections on vworker. However, there are plenty of US based mobile app developers that can work on your project. In fact, we recently found quite a few developers within the US that were either building apps as a hobby or pursuing a career as a freelancer. Many of them have years of coding experience or currently work at a “boring” coding job, and are therefore happy to help with app development for a low cost.
The big things to consider when “mobilizing” your site are:
– Get rid of all flash
– Watch the size of images (poor loading time)
– Get to the point quicker and make your CTAs stronger
– Compatibility issues across all platforms (research native apps)
– Consider flatter site architecture. In other words, don’t make mobile users click through 5 pages to get to where they want to go.
– Above all – make it functional
At the end of the day whether or not your site needs mobile will be 100% based on what your site goals are. Mobile is not a magic bullet that will instantly turn your site into a money making machine. Don’t take this too harshly, but if your site isn’t converting now, you should shelve mobile until it does. Optimizing takes time, testing and discipline – the last thing you want to do is have “optimizing ADD” which creates more projects and less money to work with.
Have you been considering mobile for your site? What roadblocks have you encountered so far?
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