Mobile Websites:
Do You Need One?

Mobile data usage continues to grow exponentially, with internet users turning to their smart phones (and tablets) to access the internet even when a computer may be available (at home or work for example). The average smart phone data use has doubled in the last year and it is predicted that mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015. In 2014 mobile access to the internet has overtaken desktop internet access in many countries.

Forgetting mobile internet for a moment think back almost 20 years to when the general public was starting to significantly embrace the internet as a tool to enhance communication in everyday activities. Marketers could see the internet was going to be used more and more by consumers but they did not yet understand, nor grasp, how it was going to be used by consumers. Reluctant and fearful to change, as most of us are, they tried to control and use the net in ways which would lead consumers to the comfortable home ground they (marketers) traditionally worked on, which was the physical store (or perhaps office). There was very limited success using this strategy because it fell way short of delivering the most useful user experience possible given the technology available, and we all now know there is a huge market that operates on-line exclusively very successfully (or sometimes with limited/supplementary off-line resources).

Trying to make new technology and the new behaviours that drive it or follow it fit with the old model of doing business meant that massive new business opportunities were missed. It took a decade for marketers to truly grasp the paradigm shift of pure online commerce. That's massive opportunity lost. Not ALL marketers failed to accept the challenge of technology driven change, Amazon being the stand out that comes to mind. And for its efforts it's now the world's leading online store, by a very wide margin.

The new opportunity

Fast forward to today and the new internet growth phenomenon is the use of the web on mobile devices, which is growing at a rate even greater than desktop internet did.

Will we learn from past mistakes, and miss a massive opportunity for so long? Some will grab the new opportunity of mobile internet quickly but the reality is many will be slow to get on board. The slow ones will be busy trying to make new technology and the behaviour it drives fit with what they know and are comfortable with in terms of marketing i.e. trying to use the mobile web to somehow channel back to the desktop web and leverage it. This is not a winning strategy and marketers will not succeed by attempting to force mobile enabled users to alter their behaviour to suit the current business model, as was shown with the original internet experience discussed above. Success will come from the models being altered to suit the users.

What the smart marketers will be doing is meeting the customers where they already are, not trying to move the customers to a marketer's home turf.

So, the answer to the original question is yes, you probably need a mobile website if you don't want to miss a major opportunity and do want to be ahead of your competitors. Remember, in the near future, mobile website traffic will surpass desktop website traffic.

If you want to act on this opportunity call or email us now and we'll help you make the most of it.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A content management system or CMS is a database of text, images and layout information that runs in the background of your website that puts all the information together to display as the web pages of your site. The content of the database can be changed very easily by non-technical users, hence the website content is also changed easily. An intuitive, non technical user interface allows instant changes to text, images, website features and possibly even navigation elements with no 'programming' required.

The benefits of a CMS are many and if you don't already have a great CMS that suits your needs we suggest you discuss implementing one with us.

The two major benefits of a CMS are:

  • Changes in content, function and style can be made to your website very quickly and;
  • Changes can be made in-house with no technical expertise required (= low cost).

All of the following CMS features can be accessed by anyone with authorised access including non-technical users:

Access From Anywhere

With a CMS you can make changes to a website from anywhere you can access the internet.

Access Levels

Different users can be granted different levels of access to the CMS, restricting who can change what and affording control of content and features.

Quick text and graphic editing

A CMS allows anyone to edit pages online and publish the changes immediately. Bringing information up to date, fixing errors, adding a new product, or a myriad of other editing tasks are quick and easy compared to the drawn out process of engaging an IT professional (in house or not) to make the changes.

Quick 'make-overs'

The page design on a CMS is controlled by templates. Often these can be changed and customised to change the look of the site. A site redesign can be done in minutes using a template swap.

Design Consistency

Because content is separated from design there is no chance of multiple authors publishing inconsistent looking content – the look and feel of the website is universal.

Dynamic graphics presentation

Moving images can make a website more interesting and a CMS can enable the simple addition of slide shows with various eye catching presentation methods. The administration area is used to upload images and select where and how they are presented.

New Features Fast

Various page elements can be enabled or disabled on the website from the CMS administration area. For example a 'News' column can be shown by simply selecting that option and clicking to publish it. You may even be able to choose to show it on one page, several pages, or all pages. Other features such as polls, banners, forums, shopping applications and menus may be available.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

A CMS makes it easier for your website to be optimised on an ongoing basis to rank as high as possible with the search engines however for the best SEO it is advisable to consult an expert (we would be happy to discuss it with you).

There are so many advantages to using a CMS that for most companies it will be the best option both in terms of cost and results. You may not have a CMS or you may have one that doesn't give you the features or benefits you need. Either way we can help you, please get in touch to find out how.

Designing Mobile Websites

Now that you've decided to seize the massive opportunity that is mobile internet, you will be interested in what to consider including (and excluding) in your mobile website.

Mobile phones obviously have very limited screen space and designing the best user interface for a mobile device probably means removing some of the elements of your regular Web site.

You will need to prioritize functionality for the mobile user and cut some of the desktop functionality. This can actually have positive benefits for mobile users by and your business because it cuts to the heart of the interaction and makes it clear and simple for the customer to carry out the important transactions with the business. It may be a purchase which is obviously valuable but it may be one of many other valuable interactions that ‘bond' the user with your business. Just like in any relationship, every time two parties interact it gets stronger (OK, not with your ex wife/husband we hear you say, but you know what we mean).

Also it will probably be possible to make your mobile site and your desktop site complimentary, such that what is lost in the mobile version can still be made reasonably easily available via your regular website when it's needed. For example if a user wants to see detailed images of a product or service that can't be represented well enough on a small screen then the mobile website could have a button that emails the user a link to the image(s) on the desktop website, for easy access via a desktop screen. Or, it's even possible to make that button send the images to your TV, subject to certain hardware requirements that are becoming less restricting all the time.

It's important not to force users into an either/or situation using your websites. The goal is to facilitate easy cross-over between them and help users see how to easily do that.

Your mobile website will be a destination, not a pipeline to somewhere else. Prospects and customers are going to be there, as is the golden opportunity to provide them with a rewarding experience that strengthens your relationship with them.

Orenj Technology will help you seize that opportunity. Contact us now to learn more.