It’s 2014, and these days, pretty much everyone uses mobile devices for their online activities. Studies show that engaging the mobile user is incredibly important, so you’re going to want to make sure your site is optimized for those users who are accessing it on their phones, tablets, etc. But where do you start, and how much work is it going to take to create a mobile version of your site? Here are five questions you should be asking yourself when you’re considering implementing a mobile site:
1. What are your site analytics telling you?
Keeping track of your site’s traffic allows you to not only determine what pages your users are visiting and where they are coming to your site from, but also what browsers and devices they are using. Do you see that a significant percentage (> 20%) of your visitors are accessing your site using mobile devices? If so, you’re definitely going to want to ensure that your site is providing them with the best possible experience to help drive conversions in the mobile channel.
2. Is your content optimized for mobile?
The content on your site should be adaptable to different screen sizes, providing the best experience no matter what device people are using to view it. Before going mobile, you should do a content audit to make sure you don’t have anything that will display incorrectly on smaller screens. You’ll especially want to be aware of any fixed-width images or tables, since they will not adapt to smaller screen sizes.
3. Are you ready to COPE?
Implementing a mobile website opens up another digital channel that your content editors and producers need to publish website content to. It is important that your content team is either staffed to accommodate for this additional channel or that they are prepared to Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE). Utilizing a responsive web design can allow your content editors to create their content and publish it to both the desktop and mobile channels simultaneously. This will help eliminate issues related to search engine optimization (SEO), because the content and content URL does not change when viewed in the mobile context. COPE allows you to reduce the effort and resources for maintaining your site, so you’ll want to be sure to define your content strategy to make the best use of your publishing efforts.
4. Is your site’s code prepared for mobile?
Before you implement a mobile version of your site, you’ll want to be sure the code your site is built on is optimized for mobile display. Ideally, your site layouts will be built on CSS/HTML, which will allow you to ensure the content can adapt to different screen sizes. If you use tables for layouts, the content will not be adaptable, so you’ll want to be sure you understand the site’s code and how much work might need to be done to make it ready for viewing on mobile devices.
5. Does your site’s underlying code allow you to get the best ROI out of mobile?
If you use a CMS or commerce platform, your site may already have some mobile functionality built in. Many platforms offer features like device detection, responsive imaging, and targeted content for mobile, so you’ll want to be aware of what is available to you. These functionalities can be incredibly helpful in optimizing your site for mobile users, and they offer additional ways to get more ROI out of your CMS software.
While you will definitely want to do your best to reach the ever-growing number of mobile users, it may be difficult to determine how much effort to invest in creating a mobile version of your site. If you want help determining your best strategy for going forward, please contact us about performing a mobile readiness assessment for your site. Do you have any other questions or comments about mobile readiness? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.