In some parts of the world, more of your customers would be trying to find you on a mobile device than via a regular computer. That mobile device might be an iPhone or a Blackberry or even a cell phone.
If you rely on local customers visiting your establishment, then the odds go up dramatically that some customers will be trying to find you while they are on the go. If you hope that your existing traditional website will be visible and give a pleasing introduction to your company then you may be in for a big disappointment.
Some mobile device browsers such as the Opera Mini browser do a remarkable job in doing the best they can to make a traditional website mobile friendly. However only a very small fraction of mobile users are using this browser. Even if they do, a website that has been designed to give a good user experience at a typical screen width of 1064 pixels presents challenges at even 300 pixels. It implies an unacceptable amount of downward scrolling.
Another factor that brings the mobile web closer is the increasing popularity of Twitter. People are used to working with very small snippets of information. One Web Is Here is how F J van Wingerde sees it.
This is not new. Even back in 2007, Johann Burkard was encouraging all to Get your website ready for the Mobile Web in 10 steps. His steps were:
- Keep page sizes down
- Add shortcuts
- Use few images
- Use less text
- Avoid horizontal scrolling
- Provide a handheld style sheet
- Get emulators
- Get mobile devices
- Keep mobile browser statistics
There some good suggestions there but this oversimplifies the problem. What is required is a website designed specifically for mobile devices. It must be very much simpler and ideally should require minimal scrolling. SMM has such a mobile website at www.lbost.com. It offers Local Business Online Smart Tips (LBOST).
It uses a CSS stylesheet appropriate for mobile devices with one small addition that only operates on traditional computer screens. In this case a maximum width of 300 pixels applies. This means that even on a traditional screen, you see the website as you would on a mobile device.
This is achieved by the following lines in the CSS stylesheet together with putting the whole web page within a div with the id container:
It is useful to see the mobile content in a more limited width like this. It is a constant reminder of the challenges that are faced in trying to keep it simple for a mobile device.
Communicating well with that growing audience of local customers who are on the go is not just a question of having a good mobile device display. As in the traditional Web, a big determinant of the number of visitors is visibility in the search engines. Google et al. are having some difficulties in doing local search effectively. Important showcases here are the Google Local Business Center and Google Maps.
LBOST provides a window on this rapidly evolving scene. To be on the leading edge, subscribe to the RSS news feed and get the news as it happens.
If you accept that keeping up with the competition requires that you have a mobile Web presence then why not contact us now.
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- How to Kick Ass with a Mobile Website (marketingpilgrim.com)