Tips for Discovering your Mobile Website

Posted by | June 01, 2011 | articles | No Comments

We revisit the conundrum of the falling tree in a forrest with no one around, did it really fall? Well the same goes for your mobile website- if it exists, but no one can get to it, does it really exist at all? One of the challenges that makes mobile device marketing so difficult is that the approach has had to be overhauled from the methods of full-size websites; it is not the same user, in the same places, interacting in the same ways.

In my opinion, the ‘future of mobile’ is the ‘future of everything’. Your mobile device will touch every part of your life.

Matt Galligan, co-founder of SimpleGeo

Offline meets Online

[quote_right]“Mobile devices are the connection between the physical world right next to us, and the digital world that contains a whole lot more.”[/quote_right]Mobile websites, and mobile marketing in general, work well because we (as a society) are constantly engaging with mobile devices, as they provide a wealth of information to be consumed anytime, anywhere. Whether you want to call it “hyper-local”, “proximity-based”, or “something is near me” marketing, mobile devices are the connection between the physical world right next to us, and the digital world that contains a whole lot more.

Not yet do we expect that going to any website via our mobile device will be a friendly experience. More-so, unless the website is home to a large brand, we expect that our cell phone will try to load their full website, and before it all loads we are so frustrated that we no longer care. Because of this, it is really important to show users, walker-bys, and customers, that visiting your website on a mobile device is friendly and helpful. Mara Loniewski is a young Northville resident who commonly walks the downtown streets, and confirms that she doesn’t expect local downtown shops to have a full mobile presence.

I expect stores to have some type of social media, maybe a Facebook page, but I wouldn’t expect a mobile website at all.

Mara Loniewski, Resident of Northville, MI

Mixing in Print Media

One of the first, and most common ways to educate people of your mobile website is by mixing in a little print-media to your marketing plan. It doesn’t need to be expensive, and doesn’t need to be complicated, but there are a few important things to consider:
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  • Make sure there is a text link to your mobile website, hopefully something short and simple
  • QR codes and/or NFC tags will allow “power users” to quickly access your mobile website
  • Use some form of enticement or hook, like “Visit our mobile website to get special offers”
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These methods not only let people know you have a mobile website, but make the users feel comfortable going to it, and using it. Even more, by using special offers or deals on your mobile website, along with a good analytics tool, you are able to gauge how people respond to your mobile marketing, and can find out what else you might be able to do to make it better.

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When asked about scanning codes, and if there is any “fun factor” to using her mobile device, Loniewski says, “It adds a level of excitement; its cool to be like, ‘look at what my phone can do’”.

Use Your Existing Channels

The next way to think about promoting your mobile website is to include it as an announcement on your full-size website. Remember, at this stage of a mobile strategy, we are only concerned with educating your potential or current customers and letting them know that you have a mobile website, so next time they need you, they feel safe visiting your website on a mobile device. If you intend on showing off your new mobile website, we strongly recommend telling your customers to “view it on a mobile device”, rather than linking directly to the mobile website from a desktop-friendly location; mobile websites are made for mobile devices, and should not be linked to from a full-size website.

Automatically Redirecting

The last common method of discovery is a little bit technical, but we’ll make it really simple. It only makes sense that if someone visits your full website from a mobile device, that they get directed to your mobile site- we hope you agree. For this to happen, you need to add a small amount of code to the website itself (bummer, we know). So heres the three options:

  1. If you know how to edit your website’s files (and are confident in doing so), you can following a tutorial on Redirecting Mobile Traffic.
  2. You can ask your current web development firm/team/group if they can make it happen for you.
  3. Contact us directly and we can provide the services for you.

Creativity is King

Remember, the best way to get noticed is to be creative. If you live in a high-tech area, QR-code promotions may be stale, and a-dime-a-dozen; however, in most small towns, using new marketing techniques like that might make you cooler than Miles Davis. We hope you can take some of these tips and put them to use, but also incorporate your own idea’s, and hopefully share them with us! The world of mobile is too new and fast moving to have any set rules, so make some for yourself, and see them through.

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