Custom Mobile Website Design For Small Business

Custom Mobile Website Design

You may think that getting a custom mobile site designed specifically for your business is beyond your budget, but think again.  Today there are many tools and content management platforms developed specifically for mobile web, and that means a custom mobile site is less expensive to build than you think!

There are some critical reasons why a separate ‘designed for a mobile‘ site is the essential to driving your business these days. The world is now continuously connected to the Internet. At any time and in any place, customers may be trying to access your business information with the nearest device!  That’s likely to be their smartphone. A custom mobile website will give you the best chance to connect with them when and where they want your services.

Is a separate mobile site necessary or is responsive design the right path? 

Responsive designed websites can work for certain types of businesses – for example news and those with rapidly changing dynamic content.  However for most businesses everything on your desktop website does not belong on a mobile site.  A responsive site creates a long view, cramming it all in no matter what. This may cause your customers to do too much ‘work’ to get to the most important info for a mobile viewer.   Mobile users are in a different mode; the best practice is to give them the functions and interactions most appropriate for their mobile ‘mode’.

The image at the top of this article is from a site that we built for Hometown Urgent Care. If you visit their desktop site you will see a great deal of information. Their custom built mobile site was built by MoFuse to include a Geo-aware locator and easy access to their hours and services. Their mobile site was designed for urgency first: fast load and essential information for a mobile viewer.

Three Essential Elements of Custom Mobile Website Design For Small Business

There are many companies now that offer low cost custom mobile site building. MoFuse offers mobile builds that fit every budget.  Also we use our content management platform to keep the costs down building the site and keeping it up to date.

1. For the mobile screen, first order of business is load time – a successful mobile site requires load time to a 4 second or less.  Consider fewer and smaller images on that front page.

2. Provide an immediacy of information for the mobile viewer – they are likely looking for different content from your business when they are out and about.

3.Give them easy communication back to your business through click to call, data forms, or click to SMS.

MoFuse offers full custom mobile site building services if you are interested in having a mobile design specialist to build your site for your budget!

5 Things you Need to Know about Mobile Local Search

BIA/Kelsey Mobile vs PC Local Search growth

Here are five ways mobile local search is having a big impact on small and medium-size businesses, are you prepared?

1.  Mobile local search will outpace desktop by 2015.  Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey has projected that by 2015 there will be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs  in the US.  Already, Google has stated that local makes up for over 50 percent of all smartphone searches in the U.S. and Bing puts the percentage at 53.  These numbers don’t even account for search coming through mobile apps such as Yelp, YPMobile, Google Maps, UrbanSpoon, and many others.

2.  Consumers are interested in mobile local advertising.  In the YP Local Insights Digital Report, they found that the closer a consumer is to a business, the more likely they are to click on an ad, the sweet spot being within one or two miles of the business. In fact, a Mobile Path to Purchase study conducted by Nielsen for xAd and Telemetrics found that two of the top reasons why people engage with a mobile ad because the business is local and/or offers a local coupon or discount.

3.  Mobile search leads the way in mobile advertising. BIA/Kelsey also recently released its mobile local advertising forecast, predicting that local will grow to 58 percent of mobile advertising by 2016 at $5.8 billion and that search is and will remain the largest mobile local revenue component.

4.  Mobile influences commerce.  We know that mobile had a big impact on holiday shopping this year with smartphone only mobile commerce up 221 percent on Thanksgiving and 128 percent on Black Friday.  Nielsen’s Mobile Path to Purchase study also found that certain categories of mobile searchers are even more prone to make a purchase after a mobile search.  For example, 49 percent of mobile auto searchers end up making a purchase the same day of their research, with 36 percent of smartphone searchers reporting they would make a purchase within the hour.

5.  Having a mobile friendly website is critical to your success. A study conducted by Google earlier this year found that 61 percent of people surveyed said they’d quickly move onto another site if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site. The survey also showed that 67 percent of users were more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site.

If you are a local brick-and-mortar or storefront business, mobile search will have an impact on your business in 2013.  Here are some quick tips to be prepared:

1. Build a mobile website if you don’t have one already.  Need help? We can do it for you.

2. Automatically redirect mobile browsers to your mobile website.  We can help.

3. Include your contact information on your mobile site in a way that browsers and search engines can easily find it.

4. Optimize your site for keywords — remember, searchers use shorter keywords on a mobile device.

5. Create a mobile site map (we do that too).

6. Claim all your local profiles on Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, Bing Place, Foursquare, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and others.

7.  Get listed in local directories.

 

 

 

They Like Us, They Really Like Us!

BronzeAwardAlways a nice foot to start a new year off on.

TopTenReviews recently and bravely journeyed forth into the vast ocean of SaaS mobile web platforms to see what there was to see. They enjoyed the time they spent in Port MoFuse enough that they awarded us their Bronze award for ranking third amongst our many, many peers.

So! If you’re currently a MoFuse customer or mobile reseller? Feel free to take a moment to feel great about having selected an award winning mobile web service provider.

If you’re not a MoFuse customer or mobile reseller? Feel free to take a moment to think about how great it would feel to select an award winning mobile service provider like MoFuse!

To check out the review: Click Here!

 

Meet the Man Behind the Voice: Ted Weil

Ted WeilIf you’ve listened in on any of MoFuse‘s webinars, you’ve heard the voice of Ted Weil, our Director of Product and Client Services.  In addition, Ted works with our Partners to help them to get started selling mobile sites and using our platform. He’s also the man behind many of our training videos.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one facet of Ted’s role combines audio and technology, since he started out as a music major in college, with an interest in music technology.  After graduation, Ted spent time working for a number of music technology companies in various roles, preparing him for the unique environment that is a tech start-up.  Before coming to MoFuse, Ted was Product Marketing Manager and Integration Specialist at Andera, a banking industry solutions company.

Ted plays a critical role at MoFuse, involved with product development, client services and customer support, marketing and communications, and media production.  Since he interfaces with clients every day, we wanted to pick his brain and see what insights he could offer to small businesses.  This is what he had to share:

What are some of the top questions you get from businesses and partners looking to go mobile?

Businesses are still asking “Why Mobile?”  Our job is to communicate the value of the mobile web, and then demonstrate how to best realize the full value of mobile through the use of the right tools, strategies, and tactics.

What mobile trends do you see facing small businesses in 2013?

One big trend is for traditional brick and mortar businesses to incorporate mobile.  They should be driving hard to evolve into “brick and mobiles.” Retailers can leverage the mobile web to fight back against the Internet. It sounds odd, but it’s true. The mobile web is enabling local businesses to more effectively capture mobile consumers, and helping those businesses get back to competing on what are arguably their greatest differentiators from online merchants: greater purchasing convenience and personalized customer service.

I lived outside of Boston for a number of years, and worked at the flagship retail store for a, now unfortunately defunct, music retail chain. We were helpless to do much about customers who would come in to the store to demo an instrument, and then make their actual purchase at either an online retailer, or, a low-priced competitor. But now, mobile changes that.

As a marketer, I’m really excited about the developing mobile technologies that now allow brick and mortars the ability to deliver customized, relevant, targeted messaging to interested consumers, and to deliver those messages at times when they can have the most impact – in this case, even when their customers are in-store, shopping that store’s products or services. Whether it’s geo-location driven mobile advertising, SMS-based marketing campaigns, or mobile coupons that support digital or POS redemption – these are all incredibly powerful tools that retailers can now use to engage and capture their local and in-store audience.

What is your advice for businesses and partners building mobile sites?

Do your homework, or hire somebody who’s done theirs. There’s no way anyone can well understand the unique sales and marketing demands that the increasingly mobile world is bringing with it, unless they’ve done the work required to understand the mobile landscape, and the current and future trends and technologies that are responsible for opening up all these exciting, new doors.

But I get that it’s a lot, especially if one isn’t sure where to start. Luckily, there are a number of companies that are already mobile veterans, and most are very, very good at what they do. There’s a very real benefit to finding and working with people who both know the mobile web, but who also understand how to best leverage current and future technologies in order to accomplish what is every businesses’ main goal – to make money. MoFuse really is a great example (as unbiased as I can be) of a company that has focused on helping businesses master and succeed in the mobile space since 2009. Yes, we offer an industry leading mobile web platform, but there’s a great deal more under our metaphorical hood that can help businesses go beyond just ‘going mobile’, in order to actually show measurable success in the mobile space.

What do you look for on a mobile site? 

I look for the user experience. Steve Jobs hated barriers between people and technology and one of his driving design goals was to remove as many barriers as possible. A well designed mobile site can go a long, long way in removing usability barriers between people, the internet, and the information or action that a user is specifically looking for on the internet.

Do you have any favorite mobile sites? What about apps?

As far as mobile sites: m.mofuse.com .  Favorite apps: Hands down, the sanity nurturing iApp, Naturespace. I’m also nearing the completion of my MBA, and am using my reclaimed free time to begin rekindling my musical pursuits.  I recently discovered a fantastic application called ‘Jamn’ that’s helping me shake the rust off my music theory chops.

What type of phone do you carry?

I’ve been an Apple devotee ever since my dad surprised the family with an Apple IIe for Christmas one year. iPhone all the way.

Want to hear more from Ted? Tune in to an upcoming webinar, where he regularly shares his mobile and design expertise.

Integrating Mobile Sites With iApps

It’s become a standard feature on most mobile devices, that users can save a mobile website to their mobile desktop as a ‘mobile appbookmark. Users can then interact with the mobile site in the same manner as they would interact with a mobile application.

But maybe you want to build an actual application out of your mobile site? Or you want to embed parts of your mobile site into an app like a product page, or a mobile coupon? For iPhones, it’s do-able, though it does require a bit of iOS application development know-how.

UIWebView offers a wrapper that allows mobile web sites to be neatly embedded into mobile applications.

A nice tutorial with some example code can be found here: http://www.iphonesdkarticles.com/2008/08/uiwebview-tutorial.html

Or, go straight to the source: http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/uikit/reference/UIWebView_Class/Reference/Reference.html

But maybe you’re still wondering which mobile solution – mobile web vs. a mobile app, or both – would be the “right” one for you? Joe Russo and I explored this topic in depth in a recent webinar. Just click below to view a recording of it: