This is a guest post from Jean-Michel Bernstein, President of Emarcom, a firm specializing in text messaging and mobile marketing. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Internet has woven itself into the fabric of our society in ways we couldn’t imagine 5 years ago. Today, we access the Internet for news, information, entertainment, shopping and more. For a business, a website is as critical as having a phone. You can’t do business without it.
In recent years, we’ve seen another trend emerge: the smart phone. Today’s smart phones are micro-sized computers, able to do more than ever before. We use our smart phones to access the Internet, keep our children entertained, play “Angry Birds” and even make a phone call or two.
With more and more people accessing the Internet with their phone, websites have to be able to better accommodate the small screens on a cell phone. Websites that are designed for large desktop monitors now need to be re-sized to fit nicely on a smart phone screen.
Enter the mobile website.
But a mobile website is more than just a traditional website that’s been re-sized. Mobile websites play a different role in your company’s marketing efforts. These days many traditional websites include flash animation, forms, links, etc… the regular desktop website is designed to engage the visitor for as long as possible.
Mobile websites tend to be more functional in nature. Since not all smart phones are created equal, mobile websites need to be rather simple, in order to perform best across all of them. For example, not all phones support animation, so a mobile website should not have any.
The best mobile websites have an “about us” section describing the company. They also have a “contact us” page with phone number, address and link to map. They make it easy to find a business, even if a customer is already en route. Of course, they can do more. They can include videos about your product or company. They can also be used to capture payments, display schedules or calendars and present feedback forms for users to request additional information. But above all else, they are designed to be easy to navigate for someone on the go. Your business must be able to found and understood on the web – even when your customers are on the go.